For one semester in middle school, the free learning semester, or FLS, eliminates tests and exams, cuts back on academic subjects, and introduces diverse interactive programs. The goal is to liberate students from the burden of exams and grades and allow them to explore their options and future career paths as well as further develop their creativity and social skills. The response has been highly positive thus far. However, having no exams for a whole semester, many have come to regard the FLS as a chance to focus on their advance learning, raising concerns that it is encouraging the demand for private tutoring. So, is this true? Using Statistics Korea’s Private Tutoring Expenditure Survey, KDI analyzed the impact of the FLS on private tutoring. Overall, although no significant changes were observed, discrepancies were found between different income levels. Indeed, there was an explicit increase in the participation in and expenditure on private tutoring among high-income households while no meaningful changes were found for middle to low income households, barring a slight decline. Then, has the private tutoring of students from high-income households really increased? An examination was first conducted to examine whether the rise in private tutoring during the implementation of the FLS was a mere coincidence, and whether the increase was driven by other factors. To rule out the connection between the timing of the FLS and increase in private tutoring, the effects of the FLS on the previous year’s trends in private tutoring were examined which revealed no relevant findings.