Explainer: All the pieces You Get to Know In regards to the Gaokao

Explainer: All the pieces You Get to Know In regards to the Gaokao

The Explainer is where we order an side of Chinese language lifestyles. Easy. So now you understand.

The roadblocks are being put up, the police dispatched and the drones are hovering in the sky to lift cheaters. This twelve months, China’s annual faculty entrance examination season will bustle from June 7 to 9. You may per chance per chance practically smell the tension in the air as bigger than 10 million college students all the contrivance by the nation prepare to opt the National College Entrance Examination, aka the ‘gaokao,’ a high-stakes examination on which college students’ entire future depends.

But what exactly is the gaokao?


College students bury their heads in “paper seas.” Image by Quora

The gaokao (高考) is an examination that is taken by Chinese language college students in their third and remaining twelve months of high faculty generally from June 7 to June 8 or 9. It is additionally the lone criterion for admission into Chinese language universities. One Chinese language announcing aptly compares the examination to a stampede of “hundreds of troopers and tens of hundreds of horses all the contrivance by a single log bridge.”

Although varied from province to province, the gaokao on the total comprises assessments of Chinese language literature, arithmetic and a foreign language (most frequently English). If college students pick liberal arts as arena of expertise in high faculty, they ought to opt further assessments related to history, politics and geography. If they pick science, they’ll opt physics, chemistry and biology assessments.

READ MORE: College students throw gaokao papers from faculty to motivate examination stress

Sooner than or after college students opt the gaokao, they ought to salvage in a create list the colleges they ought to salvage into (the timing of which varies by quandary). Every faculty may per chance per chance have a lowest intake ranking which varies by province, and if college students meet that requirement, they’ll also be admitted. In every other case, they’ll be rejected and passed on to every other nominated faculty to peer if the ranking meets their requirements. 

If a pupil doesn’t meet any faculty requirements, she or he fully loses the possibility of going in faculty for the upcoming tutorial twelve months (which has pushed some to suicide in the previous). But because the gaokao has no reliable age limit, college students most frequently redo the entire remaining twelve months gaokao preparations to opt the test yet again… and yet again, and yet again. One grandpa farmer went viral in 2014 for taking his 14th gaokao. One other heroic 49-twelve months-susceptible man in Sichuan made headlines remaining twelve months after announcing that he modified into on his 20th try at taking the examination in expose salvage into his dream faculty.

How set up Chinese language college students and oldsters prepare for the gaokao?


A pupil burns the hour of darkness oil earlier than the giant day. Image by 新华网/Weibo

As you’ll seemingly be in a location to deem, the preparation for this kind of high-stakes make-or-ruin examination is a long and grueling project. The the leisure twelve months of high faculty is fundamentally dedicated to preparations where college students set up be aware assessments practically on each day foundation while books and examination papers will also be considered piled up on their desks. 

Maotanchang High School, a famed ‘cram faculty’ in Anhui province, got right here below fire when its drill-fancy 16-hour day-to-day see agenda modified into uncovered to the general public. In an interview with the New York Times, a pupil in Maotanchang said, “In the occasion you linked the total be aware assessments I’ve taken over the last three years, they would wrap the total formula world wide.” 

The examination additionally got right here below further scrutiny in 2012 after pictures of faculty students utilizing intraveneous injections while discovering out had been extensively circulated online.

Fogeys are additionally known to no longer sit idle while their young folks are up to their ears in “examination paper seas.” Some fogeys stop their jobs to accompany their young folks, while tubby-time gaokao nannies and employed examination-takers are additionally no longer outlandish. Some desperate fogeys even resort to burning incense and praying to Buddha to desire their young folks exact ratings.

When the giant day comes…


Image by Sina

From priority salvage entry to to noise alter, the entire nation tiptoes round in the future of the assessments. To make certain that college students salvage to their assessments in on time, many varied measures are taken by authorities. Shall we notify, transportation officers in Shanghai have allowed test takers to salvage priority salvage entry to to all metro stations, and college students preserving admission playing cards will also be waved by metro stations, free of payment. Volunteers and police are additionally deployed to motivate give directions, with bigger than 1,700 taxi drivers offering free rides to examination-takers in Beijing in 2014. With the most modern COVID-19 outbreak in Guangzhou, 1,200 taxi drivers are volunteering to motivate college students make the test on time.


Fogeys wait in the rain delivery air a test heart in Shanghai in 2015. Image by The Paper

Whereas most frequently criticized for prompting a culture of cramming, the gaokao is additionally thought to be the fairest formula of screening expertise in a nation with this kind of colossal population. For faculty students coming from rural locations, the gaokao will also be their model to very huge cities and extra promising futures. 

For all its importance, one thing that ought to be famed is that the gaokao weighs extra in much less developed areas, as college students in first-tier cities fancy Shanghai are extra prone to pick out to see foreign. Also, the intake ratings in those cities are slightly lower than those in much less developed areas. 

READ MORE: Test Out These Ingenious James Bond-esque Dishonest Devices Confiscated At some point soon of Gaokao

No matter the total stress and importance surrounding the gaokao, the sequence of faculty students taking the examination has dropped in most modern years, in response to World Times. The decline is in part resulting from population decrease, however additionally due to extra solutions for bigger education come in to Chinese language college students than ever earlier than. On the other hand, remaining twelve months’s test taker signal-up rose by 400,000 when put next with 2019, China Every day reports.

In most modern years, celebs have sent ideal desires and messages of encouragement to college students earlier than their assessments. From Stephen Hawking, who passed away in 2018, to Jim Parsons (of ‘Huge Bang Theory’ repute), celebrities have used internet sites fancy Weibo to narrate ‘jiayou’ to hundreds and hundreds of test-takers on social media.


Image by 生活大爆炸TBBT/Weibo

This text modified into originally revealed on June 6, 2017. It has been up to this point and republished on June 7, 2021.

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