Millions of Chinese participate in college entrance exam

Photo: VCG

China's National College Entrance Examination, or gaokao, took place on June 7 and 8. About 9.75 million students had registered this year, 350,000 more than last year, according to the data released by the Ministry of Education (MOE) of China.

It is a make-or-break experience for millions of prospective students, who undertake as many as three days of intensive tests which, in many cases, will determine whether they will become blue-collar or white-collar workers later in their lives.

Though being accused of killing students' creativity, gaokao is still being considered by the majority of Chinese people as one of the fairest way to pick up talents for colleges.


The subjects tested vary by region, but in many regions they will include Chinese language and literature, mathematics, a foreign language (often English), and another science or humanities subject of the student's choice.


To create a comfortable environment for the examinees, the MOE ordered to provide more services, such as arranging special buses to send them to the examination rooms, halting noisy construction, and taking precautionary measures to protect students from heat wave.

Crack down on cheating

Because gaokao is of such vital significance, there are always students willing to attempt cheating despite a stern warning from the MOE.

With modern technologies, cheating has become a veritable arms race between students and the authorities.

According to the latest laws and regulations, students sitting gaokao could face jail time if they were caught cheating in the tests.

Tremendous pressure

It is widely believed among Chinese parents that starting earlier than others is the key to success in China.

"If life is like a marathon, we Chinese always try to win at the starting line," a mother told CNBC.

Chinese children are forced to study hard from very young age, which puts tremendous pressure on them.

Challenges for parents

Education pressures are not only faced by students — willingness to spend huge sums and a limited number of well-reputed teachers have created an equally intense competition among Chinese parents.

To let their children receive the best education, many parents choose to make more payment to recruit the best teachers, which may cause fiscal pressure for them.

Some of them even spend heavily on buying school district housing.

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