We felt a great disturbance in the Qi this week, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in happiness. The relevant Shanghai authorities reported yesterday that the National College Entrance Examination (or gāokǎo 高考) would, as of next year, be reduced in order to ease the burden of stress placed on students.
This time around, students will not be required to sit the Comprehensive Section, which was categorized into arts and science tests and further subdivided into Politics, History, Geography, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
Shanghai has used the “3+1+X” Examination System since 1985, and was one of the first provinces to create their own system in the gaokao. The “3” refers to the core subjects of Chinese, English and Math, the “1” refers to the one subject a student chooses to be tested on according to their interests, and the “X” refers to the now defunct comprehensive section.
Unfortunately for test-takers, it’s not quite the godsend they were hoping for, as the comprehensive test was only worth a measly 30 points out of 630 (or the difference between an A+ and an A).
Either way, they’ll get about 3 or 4 hours of their lives back, including the hundreds of hours they might have spent studying for that section, which we all know really just translates into more time playing Defense of the Ancients.