The number of applicants for the state-administered annual college entrance exam has dropped below 600-thousand for the first time in nine years.
According to the Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation on Monday, a total of 593-thousand-527 students registered to take the standardized College Scholastic Ability Test set for November 16th across the nation.
The figure represents a decrease of about 12-thousand-500, or two-point-one percent, from last year.
The number of applicants fell below the 600-thousand mark in the mid-2000's but recovered soon after and kept the level before dropping again this year.
High school students account for 75 percent of the total applicants for this year's test, while graduates take up 23 percent. Male students take up 51 percent, while female students account for 49 percent.