by Yani Liu, GYV Social Media and Program Intern

Every year from June 7th to June 9th, the whole nation of China prays for teens who attend the National College Entrance Examination, which is considered as the most important thing for Chinese teens and their families.

For Chinese students, this annual examination may determine their future and their life path. What grades or scores you get directly effect whether you have the entrance ticket to college life as well which college you are going to. Most of Chinese students start to prepare for the big exam from the first day in high school.

The National College Entrance Examination is considered as the only chance for those from rural area of China to change their destiny.

In the rural areas or remote areas, education quality is not as good as that in big cities in China, and there are not many job opportunities. So students from undeveloped areas study as hard as they can in order to get the chance to become a member of big cities, otherwise, they may lose the only opportunity to go out of the countryside. On the other hand, the government has policies to exempt college tuition fees for students from rural areas, so if they cannot pass the examination, they will probably be farmers for the rest of life because their families may not have enough money to support them for another year. But I saw many students from urban areas attended the exam more than twice just because they want to go to a high-ranked university or they did not pass the previous year’s exam.

The subjects of examination are 3+X. ”3” means Chinese, Mathematics, and English. “X” can be varied between different types of students. Chinese students make decisions to become “art students” or “science students” in their second year of high school. “Art students” will have politics, history and geography for their “X,” while “science students” will have physics, chemistry and biology. Different types of students have different limits to choose from majors when they are accepted by universities. “Art students” cannot choose science major but some art major accept “science students.”

Education System in China is composed by four parts: elementary education, higher education, professional education, and adult education.

Elementary education starts when people are three years old. Children go to kindergartens at three and turn to primary school when six or seven. And then they spend six years in primary schools, three years for middle school, and three years for high school. The education from primary school to middle school is called compulsory education that is mandatory according to Chinese law.

We’d love to hear from you… How is the Chinese education system and college examinations similar or different that those in your country? How important are college entrance examinations to students in your country?

yaniYani is from Guilin, a tourist city in Guangxi Province of southern China.  She received her B.A. in Chinese Literature and Language from Sichuan University in Chengdua and her M.A. in Strategic Communications from American University

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