It’s that time of year again. 9.2 million high school students nationwide are strapping themselves onto chairs for the two-to-three-day gaokao exam, which is China’s national college entrance exam.
The exam tends to be pretty much procedural year after year. With that said, here are a few notable things happening around the country in light of this year’s gaokao:
- Just a few days before the exam, police detained 62 people suspected of selling false exam documents as well as electronic devices that would’ve helped students cheat.
- The number of exam takers has fallen by 240,000 from last year, marking the third straight year of decreased participation.
- Schools, parents and even local governments are reportedly taking a more Western approach to calm the nerves of students, from hiring psychologists to organizing pillow fights.
- Students at the South University of Science and Technology of China based in Shenzhen are refusing to take the exam, writing an open letter on the internet saying it was “inappropriate” for them.
- Some claim that the fading influence of gaokao illustrates China’s progressive social maturity.
By Esther Kang