A few months ago I read a New York Times article on South Korean cram schools that said
Admission to the right university can make or break an ambitious young South Korean.
A parent added:
"In our country, college entrance exams determine 70 to 80 percent of a person's future."
It was striking how old fashioned this sounded. And yet when I was in high school it wouldn't have seemed too far off as a description of the US. Which means things must have been changing here.