Gaokao: An Overview of China’s High-Stakes College Entrance Exam

Gaokao: An Overview of China’s High-Stakes College Entrance Exam

In China, the National Higher Education Entrance Examination, known as the Gaokao, is one of the most important events in a student’s life. The exam is administered every year in early June and determines whether a student will be accepted into a university or college.

The Gaokao is a high-stakes exam that is taken by millions of students across China. It is considered one of the most challenging exams in the world and is seen as a make-or-break moment for many students. The test covers a wide range of subjects, including Chinese, mathematics, English, physics, chemistry, biology, history, and geography.

The exam is taken over a period of two days, and each day is divided into two sessions. The first session is held in the morning and covers the subjects of Chinese, mathematics, and English. The second session is held in the afternoon and covers the remaining subjects.

The Gaokao is known for its difficulty, with questions designed to test the students’ critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. The exam is also known for its strict rules and regulations. Students are not allowed to bring any electronic devices into the testing room, including calculators. They are also not allowed to talk to each other or leave the room during the exam.

The Gaokao is used as the primary tool for college and university admissions in China. Students who perform well on the exam have a higher chance of getting accepted into the top universities in the country. This makes the exam incredibly competitive, and students often spend months or even years preparing for it.

Preparation for the Gaokao usually begins in the student’s junior year of high school. Many students attend specialized schools that focus on Gaokao preparation, while others attend regular high schools and hire tutors to help them prepare.

The pressure to do well on the Gaokao is immense, and it is not uncommon for students to experience high levels of stress and anxiety in the months leading up to the exam. Many students and their families view the Gaokao as a ticket to a better future, and the stakes are high.

In recent years, there has been some criticism of the Gaokao system. Some argue that it places too much emphasis on test scores and does not take into account other factors, such as extracurricular activities, leadership skills, and creativity. Others argue that the exam is unfair to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who may not have access to the same resources and opportunities as their wealthier peers.

Despite these criticisms, the Gaokao remains an integral part of the Chinese education system. It is a test that has helped millions of students achieve their dreams of attending college and pursuing successful careers. While it may be a challenging and stressful experience, the Gaokao also serves as a reminder of the importance that Chinese society places on education and the value of hard work and dedication.



About Author

I was born in 1979 in Hungary and since my young age I'm interested in China. First, Hong Kong movies had an impact on me, then slowly, I went deeper into understanding and getting to know more about China and its vast history, culture and society. Recent years brought up lots of anti-China, even sinophobic sentiment, lead by misguiding media content in some countries. I'm making this website for those, who are curious about the real China, open minded for the truth and ready to know and understand more about this great country and its nation.

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