Record 13 million Chinese college students deal with gaokao exams after zero-COVID rules lifted

A record-breaking thirteen million Chinese students are set to take the notoriously difficult “gaokao” school entrance exams this yr, following the lifting of the country’s zero-COVID guidelines. These exams, which check high school college students on topics corresponding to Chinese, English, arithmetic, and their preferred science or humanities subjects, play a vital position in securing locations at China’s high universities.
“I’ve been waking up at 4am every day, except on Sundays, to check for the past four years,” mentioned Jesse Rao, a 17-year-old high school senior in Shenzhen. “I’ve accomplished everything I can, but I nonetheless really feel a bit nervous.”
In Beijing, anxious parents gathered around exam halls, many wearing red for good luck. Zhang Jing, a mother in her forties, stated, “My son is sort of relaxed, I suppose I am more nervous than him. I have been accompanying my son and instructing his research from the first grade of elementary college to the primary 12 months of highschool. After Recession-proof , I’ll be fully relaxed.”
Many mother and father make investments hundreds of US dollars each month in cram colleges or rent graduate students to support their children’s studies. This year’s exam-takers have skilled further stress, having spent most of their high school years under pandemic restrictions that solely resulted in December.
Katherina Wang, a highschool scholar from Shanghai, mentioned, “I struggled to follow on-line classes final yr. Our academics held further classes in the evenings and on weekends and helped us to catch up!”
The excessive stakes of those exams have led to elaborate dishonest makes an attempt, with mother and father hiring graduate college students to take the take a look at on behalf of their kids or students utilizing electronic gadgets to communicate with experts outside. Several provinces have put in scanners with facial-recognition capabilities to stop proxy test-taking and detect hidden electronic equipment used for dishonest.
Exams can last as long as four days, with each subject taking between 60 to 150 minutes. The maximum rating is 750, with over 600 wanted for a spot at top-tier universities. Last 12 months, solely 3% of exam-takers in Guangdong, China’s most populous province, scored over 600.
Scores are also essential for college students with more modest ambitions, figuring out college locations and subject options. For those that don’t achieve their desired outcomes, there could be all the time the choice to retake the gaokao subsequent year. In 2021, 17% of students nationwide did so..

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