Friday, April 19

The ‘gaokao’ begins, the demanding Chinese selectivity


Chinese students began their participation in the 45th national university entrance exam, cKnown as “gaokao”, which will last until June 9 and with which they will seek the better grades to get into the higher education institution they want or need.

A total of 11.93 million applicantsa record figure that represents an increase of 10.67% over the previous year, they will take the test in 330,000 centers supervised by more than a million examiners and coordinators, the official Global Times newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The Chinese authorities have placed special emphasis on the fact that all students may be examined regardless of their situation despite the measures put in place in the country by the pandemic at the mercy of its strict “zero covid” policy.

In Beijing, where they have presented 48,000 candidates, Each center will have special classrooms for students who have a fever or start coughing during the test, thus ensuring them a space in which they can take the decisive exam despite a possible covid positive.

These days the importance of “gaokao” for Chinese society can be witnessed on social media, as netizens they do not stop sending messages of encouragement for the considered “generation of online courses”, as this year’s young people are the first to have completed a good part of their high school away from physical classrooms.

“zero covid” protocol during tests

“Different generations have different ‘long march’ paths”, mentioned an Internet user on the Chinese social network Weibo, similar to Twitter, alluding to the Long March (1934-36), the epic that consecrated the Communist Party of China in the country, comparing with this milestone the difficulties ands special challenges that, in his opinion, helped this year’s candidates to grow in an extraordinary way.

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For its part, in the megalopolis of Shanghai, which remained more than two months confined until a week ago, The “gaokao” was delayed a month and will take place from July 7 to 9, although the students must be in the city since June 4 and must show 5 negative results to PCR tests.

The entrance exam, which has been taken by millions of Chinese students since 1977, is a stressful litmus test for the young people of the Asian giant, since having higher education can determine professional success in their lives and is a source of social pride for their families, even more so if they access a prestigious university.

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Since 2016, cheating on the ‘gaokao’ is a crime included in the Chinese Penal Code and punishable by up to seven years in prison, given the existence of mafias that try to sell artifacts to students so that they cheat, such as clothing with built-in microphones.

Taking into account the number of candidates and the number of places offered, about one in four students will not earn enough grades to go to college.


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