top of page

Preparing for Success: Lessons from the Toughest Exam in the World

Exam Stress.jpg

Pre-Reading Vocabulary; 
1)  practice makes perfect
2)  to hit the books
3) a tough nut to crack
4) to be at sea
5)  where there's a will, there's a way 


a) to mean that the more you practice something, the better you will become at it

b) to describe a problem or task that is extremely difficult to solve or accomplish

c) to be determined to achieve something, you will find a way to make it happen, no matter how difficult the task may be

d) to study hard and diligently

e) to feel lost, confused, or uncertain about something

Answers revealed at the bottom. 




Exams are a source of stress for many students around the world. However, some exams are known to be particularly challenging. One such exam is the suneung, which is a South Korean national college entrance exam that takes place every November.

The suneung is notorious for being one of the most difficult exams in the world. It covers a range of subjects, including math, science, and Korean language, and requires years of preparation to do well. Many students in South Korea attend private tutoring schools, known as hagwons, to help them prepare for this important exam.

Despite the difficulties, there are many idiomatic expressions that can be applied to learning and overcoming challenging situations, including exams. For example, "practice makes perfect" is a common expression that emphasizes the importance of putting in the time and effort to improve one's skills.

Another expression, "to hit the books," refers to studying hard and immersing oneself in the material.


However, some things can be particularly difficult to learn or overcome. For instance, the phrase "a tough nut to crack" can be used to describe a problem or task that is extremely challenging. Similarly, "to be at sea" means to feel confused or lost, which is a feeling many students experience during exams.


Despite the challenges, it's important to remember that "where there's a will, there's a way." With dedication and hard work, anyone can overcome difficult obstacles, including exams like the suneung. So, if you're feeling stressed about an upcoming exam, take a deep breath and remember that you have the ability to succeed.

Discussion Questions: 
1) What are your thoughts on this article? 
2) Why do you think exams are such a significant source of stress for students around the world?
3) What are some strategies you use to manage exam stress and stay focused during the exam period?
4) Can you think of a personal example of a time when you had to "hit the books" to prepare for an exam?
5) Have you ever encountered a "tough nut to crack" when it comes to studying? How did you overcome it?
6) "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" - Benjamin Franklin. What are your thoughts on this statement?

Vocabulary Answer: 
1 --- A
2 --- D
3 --- B
4 --- E

5 --- C

bottom of page