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Chinese Students Go To Extremes To Ace The Excruciating National College Entrance Exam


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The notoriously difficult Chinese college entrance exam, the gaokao, is being brought under closer examination after a photo of students cramming for tests hooked up to IVs with amino acids surfaced, along with other horror stories, according to The New York Times.

About nine million Chinese students take the gaokao every year to fight for seven million university spots. The test determines what schools students can attend and what career paths they will take.

The test, which spans two to three days in early June, is regarded as the most important test a Chinese citizen will take, and with that pressure students are going overboard with their efforts to study.

According to the New York Times the relatives and professors of one young girl, Liu Qing, a student from Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, hid the fact that her father died for two months so she wouldn't be upset before taking the test. It wasn't until after the test that she learned the news.

Most of the final year of schooling is devoted to cramming for the test, and critics say it cripples creativity because students are learning to the test. Some spent as much as 13 hours a day cramming once exam time neared.

“We Chinese are indeed the most intelligent people in the world,” Zhong Shan, a prominent Chinese talk show host said in a broadcast that blasted the gaokao. “Is there no way at all we can avoid having the younger generation, the future of our nation, grow up in such a fearful, desperate and cruel atmosphere?”

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