#74 A ‘fate-deciding’ exam in China 决定命运的考试

Podcast Transcript

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当你听到这一集的播客的时候,中国一年一次的高考应该刚刚结束。每一年的6月7日和6月8日,都是决定很多学生的未来的日子,因为这两天,是高考的日子。我也是一个经历过高考的人,今天,我想和大家一起回忆一下我的高考,我也问了我的一些朋友。今天我们一起来说说,我们的高考和我们的高中生活是怎么样的。

中国的中学有六年,初中三年,高中三年。高中的最后一年叫高三。一般每年的6月7日和6月8日,都是高考的时间。在这两天里,中国大陆所有的高三学生都要参加考试。这一场考试的分数会决定这些学生以后上什么样的大学。在大部分人的观念里,如果能去一个好大学,那么他们以后也会有更好的资源,生活也会更好。因为高考成绩直接决定学生们以后去什么大学,所以每一年的竞争都非常激烈。今年有1193万个学生参加高考,但是重点大学每年大约只录取大约180万人,所有只有不到百分之19的人能进去重点大学。重点大学里的一些一流大学,录取的学生更少。

在所有中国人的前二十年里,高考应该是最重要的考试了。我记得我在高三的时候,我在寄宿学校学习,每两个星期才能回一次家。我和我的同学们每天六点半起床,七点半开始一天的学习,一直到晚上十点才结束。我也记得高考的两天里我一直非常紧张。甚至在高考结束的几年里,我有时候还会梦见高考,每一次几乎都是噩梦。我也采访了我的几个朋友,问问他们的高考和高中生活是怎么样的。我们一起来听一听吧:

“高考就是不想再回去的噩梦。整个高考两天都没有睡觉,然后呢,当时正好高考前有一个,就是我们学校有一个心理辅导员,然后他就说你这个人天赋异禀,就是不用睡觉也可以正常的考试。然后那一天呢,就是高考的数学,是我这辈子考数学考的最稳定的一回,所以就是觉得说哎呀,真的不想再回去了,然后每天现在做噩梦,如果一做到噩梦的话,都是有关高三考试,特别是在数学考场上,而且我这个人呢,一紧张就会咬指甲,所以我高考的时候,从数学考试出来之后,我手指全部秃掉了。”

这位朋友说,他高考的两天里都没有睡觉,学校的心理辅导员安慰他,说他“天赋异禀”,不睡觉也可以正常地考试。他说的这个成语“天赋异禀”,意思是他有很特别的天赋。他说他高考的时特别紧张,而且他一紧张就会咬手指甲,所以考完高考数学的时候他的手指甲几乎没有了。

听起来高考真的非常让人紧张。我们再来听一听另外一位朋友是怎么说的。

“我当时还是挺快乐的哎,每天就两件事情,一个就是吃,一个就是学习做做卷子什么的。哎,真的哎,我真的过得还挺快乐的,可能是我心大吧。但唯一比较烦的就是高中的时候觉睡不够,每天就睡那么五六个小时。天天都是困得不行,但我们中午学校是让午睡的,我记得还有一次我午睡没有睡够,上课铃声响了,我们班主任叫我,他把我叫醒了之后,我就放声大哭,因为有起床气,把他给吓到了。”

这位朋友说“她的心比较大”。“心比较大”,是一个比较好玩的说法,意思是说一个人特别乐观,也不会有太大的压力。但是因为高中的时候她每天只能睡五六个小时,每天都很困。有一次午睡后,她的班主任叫醒她,她有起床气,就大哭。“有起床气”,意思是一个人刚起床的时候脾气特别不好,特别容易生气或者难过。

高考,对每一个在中国上学的孩子的来说,都是很难忘记的经历。在你的国家,考试重要吗?你们的高中生活是怎么样的?欢迎给我们评论分享哦!

Hello everyone. Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese!

When you hear this episode of the podcast, China's National College Entrance Exam(Gaokao) should have just ended. Every June 7th and June 8th are the days that determine the future of many students because these two days are the days of the National College Entrance Examination. I have also experienced Gaokao. Today, I would like to talk about my memories of Gaokao. I also interviewed some of my friends. Today, let's talk about what our Gaokao and our high school life are like.

In China, there are six years of middle school. Three years of junior high school, and three years of high school. The last year of high school is called senior year. Generally, June 7th and June 8th each year are the time for the college entrance examination. During these two days, all senior high school students in mainland China have to take the exam. The scores on this exam will determine which colleges these students go to. In the opinion of most people, if they can go to a good university, they will have better resources and a better life in the future. Because the results of the college entrance examination directly determine which university students go to in the future, it is really competitive every year. There are 11.93 million students taking Gaokao this year, but only about 1.8 million people are admitted to key universities each year, which means less than 19 percent of them are admitted to key universities. Some of the top universities among the key universities admit even fewer students.

In the first two decades of all Chinese people’s lives, Gaokao should be the most important exam. I remember when I was in my senior year of high school, I was in a boarding school and could only go home every two weeks. My classmates and I got up at 6:30 every day to start the whole day's study at 7:30, and ended at 10:00 in the evening. I also remember that I was very nervous during the two days of Gaokao. Even in the years after Gaokao, I sometimes still dream of it, and every time it is almost a nightmare. I also interviewed a few of my friends and asked them what their college entrance examination and high school life were like. Let's have a listen:

"Gaokao is a nightmare that I don't want to go back to. I didn't sleep for two days during Gaokao. There was a mental health counsellor in our school, and he said, ‘you are a talented person and you don't need to sleep to sit exams normally.’ I remembered that day was the mathematics exam. It was the most calming time for me to take the mathematics exam in my life. Whenever I have a nightmare, it is all about Gaokao and normally in the math exam classroom. I personally always bit my nails when I was nervous, so when I took the college entrance exam after I got out of the math exam, all my fingernails were gone."

My friend said that he hadn't slept for two days during Gaokao, and the school's mental health counsellor comforted him, saying that he was "uniquely gifted" and could take the test normally without sleeping. The idiom he said was "uniquely gifted", which means that he has a very special talent. He said that he was very nervous during Gaokao, and he would bite his fingernails when he was nervous, so his fingernails were almost gone after the examination in mathematics.

It sounds like that Gaokao is really stressful. Let's hear what other people have to say.

"I was very happy at the time. There were only two things to do every day, one was eating, and the other was working on exam papers. Hey, really, I was really happy. Maybe it's because I have a big heart. But the only thing that bothered me was that I didn't get enough sleep in high school. I only slept five or six hours a day. I was sleepy every day, but we had a nap at noon at school. I remember one time I didn't get enough sleep. When the bell rang for the class, our class mentor woke me up, and after he woke me up, I burst into tears, because I had a bad temper when I got up and it probably scared him."

"She has a bigger heart," said the friend. "The heart is quite big" is a fun way to say that a person is very optimistic and will not be under too much pressure. But because she could only sleep five or six hours a day in high school, she was very sleepy every day. One time after a nap, her class mentor woke her up, and she cried. "起床气", means that a person has a particularly bad temper when s/he just gets up and is particularly easy to get angry or sad.

Gaokao is an unforgettable experience for every child who goes to school in China. Are exams important in your country? What was your high school life like? Welcome to comment and share with us!

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