Secondary Education

Information about secondary education in South Korea, including details of the different types of high school on offer…

Middle school education starts when children are 12 years old and both middle school and high school are very intensive. Children generally progress from one grade to the next regardless of their exam results; however, good results in the final year of middle school are very important in order to gain entrance into one of the top high schools. Parents often send their children for extra tuition (hak won) to prepare them for these examinations and it is not uncommon for children to study up to 12 hours a day.

Middle school (Joong Hak Gyo)

Middle school lasts three years and is free. The purpose of education in middle school is to develop basic skills, which is provided for in ten compulsory subjects. Students also have elective subjects, which they choose based on their abilities and preferences.

High school (Go Deung Hak Gyo)

High school also lasts three years and tuition must be paid unless students come from families with lower incomes. School meals are included in the tuition fees. Admission is based on middle school academic records.

High schools are divided into:

  • General schools - where admission is based on a student's registered residential address
  • Industrial schools - where admission is based on choice
  • Foreign language schools, art and music schools, science and technology schools - where admission is based on choice. These schools identify and develop students' potential for higher education at university

International Primary Schools