#166 A fate-deciding exam 高考

Almost every Chinese student has to face GaoKao at least once. This is an annual university-entrance exam. It’s tightly connected to students’ career and even future life.  How do Chinese people feel about GaoKao? Is it an impartial exam? Today let’s find out more about GaoKao.

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今天是六月九日,昨天,一场对中国人来说最重要的考试结束了。这个考试,就是高考。你可能听说过高考,也可能知道这是一个很重要的考试。中国的学生们是怎么样准备高考的?中国人是怎么样看高考的?为什么高考这么重要?今天,我们来聊一聊这个决定命运的考试——高考。

 

在中国,有幼儿园,小学,中学,大学。中学里有初中和高中,初中有三年,高中也有三年。从初中上高中,学生们要参加中考,成绩好的学生,就可以去好的高中。从高中上大学,学生们要参加高考,同样,成绩越好,就可以去越好的大学。如果你去问一个中学生,或者是中学生的爸爸妈妈,“什么才是最重要的”,他们一定会说“高考”。中国学生们要用高中三年来准备高考。高考每一年只有一次,总是在六月七日和八日。大多数学生一生只会参加一次高考,高考的成绩决定了学生会去什么样的大学。如果学生可以去更好的大学,他们就可能找到更好的工作。所以,也有很多人说,高考是决定命运的考试。

 

如果你问一个中国人:“你是怎么看高考的?” 很多人都会说:“压力很大。”很多学生考完高考后做的第一个事情,就是撕掉全部的书,丢掉所有的试卷,因为在高中三年,他们的压力太大了!我也参加过高考,那已经是很多年前了,但是说实话,现在想到高考,我还是觉得很有压力。为什么呢?因为参加高考的学生太多了,高考太难了,好大学太少了。今年,一共有1342万个学生参加高考。学生参加高考要考六科科目,数学,中文和外语是一定要考的,学生还要在政治、地理、历史、生物、化学、物理这六个科目里选三个考试。这六个考试的总分一共是750分,学生高考的成绩越好,就可以去越好的大学。

 

高考是一个决定很多人命运的考试,那么,高考公平吗?有人说,只要考试的成绩好,就算是穷人的孩子也可以去好的大学,所以高考很公平。也有人说,高考不公平,因为大城市的好大学多,其他地方的好大学很少。在中国,学生只能在自己的家乡参加高考。北京和上海有很多好大学,所以,北京和上海的孩子更容易去好大学。在中国的河南省,参加高考的学生有136万人,但是,河南几乎没有好的大学,所以,河南的学生不得不考更高的分数,去其他地方的大学。

 

在英国,有一个Russell Group,Russell Group里的大学都是英国的好大学。在美国也有一个 Ivy League,里面的大学都是美国特别好的大学。在中国也一样,有115家很好的大学,它们在一起,叫“211大学”。在这115家大学里,还有39家特别好的大学,这39家大学叫“985大学”。考上985大学,是很多学生的目标,因为985的大学生毕业以后,可以找到更好的工作。北京有26家211大学,8家985大学。上海有10家211大学,4家985大学。北京和上海的学生想去这些大学,他们的高考分数不需要特别高。其他地方的学生想去这些大学,他们就需要特别高的高考分数。所以,我们可以说,高考很公平,但也不公平。

 

在你的国家,学生去上大学要参加什么考试?你觉得这个考试公平吗?欢迎给我们留言,和我们分享!

Hello everyone! Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese!

 

Today is June 9th. Yesterday, the most important exam for Chinese people ended. This exam is the Gaokao. You may have heard of the Gaokao, and you may know that it is a very important exam. How do Chinese students prepare for the Gaokao? How do Chinese people view the Gaokao? Why is the Gaokao so important? Today, let’s talk about this fate-deciding exam – the Gaokao.

 

In China, there are kindergartens, primary schools, middle schools, and universities. In middle school, there are junior high and senior high, each consisting of three years. From junior high to senior high, students have to take the Zhongkao (junior high school entrance examination), and those with good grades can go to good senior high schools. From senior high to university, students have to take the Gaokao (national college entrance examination). Similarly, the better the grades, the better the university they can go to. If you ask a middle school student or the parent of a middle school student, “What is the most important thing?”, they will definitely say “Gaokao”. Chinese students spend three years in senior high school preparing for the Gaokao. The Gaokao is held only once a year, always on June 7th and 8th. Most students only take the Gaokao once in their lifetime, and the results determine which university they will attend. If students can go to better universities, they may find better jobs. Therefore, many people say that the Gaokao is the exam that determines fate.

 

If you ask a Chinese person, ‘How do you view the Gaokao?’, many people will say, ‘It’s very stressful.’ The first thing many students do after taking the Gaokao is to tear up all their books and throw away all their papers because they have been under too much pressure during the three years of senior high school! I have also taken the Gaokao, which was many years ago, but to be honest, even now when I think about the Gaokao, I still feel very stressed. Why? Because there are too many students taking the Gaokao, it is too difficult, and there are too few good universities. This year, a total of 13.42 million students took the Gaokao. Students taking the Gaokao have to take exams in six subjects: mathematics, Chinese, and a foreign language are compulsory, and students also have to choose three exams from politics, geography, history, biology, chemistry, and physics. The total score of these six exams is 750 points, and the better the score, the better the university students can go to.

 

The Gaokao is an exam that determines the fate of many people. So, is the Gaokao fair? Some people say that as long as the exam scores are good, even the children of poor people can go to good universities, so the Gaokao is very fair. Others say that the Gaokao is unfair because there are many good universities in big cities, but few in other places. In China, students can only take the Gaokao in their hometowns. Beijing and Shanghai have many good universities, so children in Beijing and Shanghai are more likely to go to good universities. In Henan Province, China, 1.36 million students took the Gaokao, but Henan has almost no good universities, so students from Henan have to score higher to go to universities in other places.

 

In the UK, there is a Russell Group, whose universities are all good universities in the UK. In the United States, there is also an Ivy League, with universities that are very good in the United States. Similarly, in China, there are 115 very good universities, which together are called the “211 universities”. Among these 115 universities, there are also 39 particularly good universities, which are called the “985 universities”. Getting into a 985 university is the goal of many students because graduates from 985 universities can find better jobs. Beijing has 26 211 universities and 8 985 universities. Shanghai has 10 211 universities and 4 985 universities. Students in Beijing and Shanghai who want to go to these universities do not need very high Gaokao scores. Students from other places who want to go to these universities need very high Gaokao scores. So, we can say that the Gaokao is fair, but also unfair.

 

In your country, what exams do students have to take to go to university? Do you think this exam is fair? Feel free to leave us a comment and share with us!

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