Doyoung of K-pop boy band TREASURE / Courtesy of YG Entertainment
By Dong Sun-hwa
More than 500,000 students took the annual college entrance exam Thursday at some 1,250 testing centers nationwide, with several high-profile K-pop stars taking the test as well.
Among the test-takers were TREASURE’s Doyoung, VERIVERY’s Kangmin, Ciipher’s Dohwan and Won and MCND’s Minjae and Huijun. Rocket Punch’s Sohee, ICHILLIN’s Chaerin and Fromis 9’s Baek Ji-heon also took the exam.
One day before the exam, a wave of K-pop acts, including BTS, SEVENTEEN and Brave Girls, sent messages of encouragement to the test-takers.
“We hope your efforts will be fruitful,” BTS member Jungkook said on YouTube Wednesday.
Jimin said, “Don’t be so nervous… Just try to show what you got.”
Some K-pop singers, however, chose not to take the test. Among them are ITZY’s Yuna, ENHYPEN’s Sunwoo, STAYC’s Seeun, IVE’s Ahn Yu-jin and P1HARMONY’s Intak, who will focus on developing their musical careers instead of going to college.
The number of test-takers in the K-pop scene has seen a decline over the years. In the past, it was common for almost all stars to take the exam, with some successfully getting into reputable colleges through special admissions processes, despite their less competitive test scores. But this practice has raised fairness issues.
But the trend is shifting, as more stars put their professional careers ahead of getting into big-name schools that no longer guarantee anything. IU and Suzy were among the first big stars who gave up the test for their careers.
“My school grades are not good enough to get into college and right now, I have no idea what to study in university,” IU, who made her debut at 15, said in 2012. “I think it is a waste of time for me to go to college because I might not be able to concentrate on studying (due to my hectic schedule.) My parents also approved of my decision after I told them that I would study song-making, in order to live my own life to the fullest.”Internet Explorer Channel Network