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ref:topbtw-1291.html/ 20 Giugno 2018/A

Tempo d'esami..

Cina: da un posto qualsiasi..

For Chinese students, the beginning of June is possibly the most stressed and nerve-wrecking of all the months, because it brings the exam which is one of, if not the, biggest and most important event of their lives.

When the University Entrance Examination, knows as Gao Kao 'higher examination' in Chinese comes each June, all China holds its breath.

Every year around the 7th-9th of June, millions of high-school students gather in large rooms to take an exam which defines their lives.

It's comprised of Chinese, math and an option of either the three sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) or the three humanities (history, geography, politics).

Exam questions may vary depending on the province or municipality where the exam is sat.

There were over 9.3 million participants in 2012, and it is known as one of the toughest exams worldwide, especially with math.
The Gao Kao determines which university each student will go to, regardless of their wealth, class, gender or any other factors.

The score determines if they will be able to go to a first-class, second-class or third-class university, and therefore is a crucial milestone.

In China, a high Gao Kao score means a better university, meaning better job opportunities.
It is an opportunity for people who come from poor families to gain high status regardless of their background.
With the Gao Kao, anyone can improve theirs or their families lives with one test.

According to many, it is the fairest way for students to have equal opportunities to get into universities.
Still, you can clearly see the overwhelming pressure on students.

'One test can define your life' can have both positive and negative impacts, and unfortunately for those straight-A students who got a bad Gao Kao score, it would all be for nothing.

The pressure is so crushing that suicide cases rise, as many students have worked their entire lives for this exam.

After-school tutoring is gaining popularity in the recent years because of the important assets it provides for the pupil and the extra knowledge.

"If life is like a marathon, we Chinese always try to win at the starting line,"
Milanie Shi said in Mandarin.

As I mentioned before, China holds its breath on a standstill for the Gao Kao.

As quotes from The Guardian,
"Construction work is halted near examination halls, so as not to disturb the students, and traffic is diverted."

Ambulances are on call outside in case of nervous collapses, and police cars patrol to keep the streets quiet.

Radio talkshow hosts discuss the format and questions in painstaking detail'.

My school is in the same area as several Chinese schools, and the day of Gao Kao, we all have holiday so not to disturb the students sitting the exam.

Many foreigners consider the entire matter devastating, but for Chinese it is a simple reality.

It is a stepping stone all must overcome, the ultimate test, paving the way to success.

Still, students taking the Gao Kao are decreasing.

With rising applications to foreign universities, people see other chances to gain better job opportunities both inside and outside the country.

Regardless of the opinion on the Gao Kao, I wish all of the entrants the best of luck on your results coming out on the 23rd of June, and that you may find your way to the university or jobs of your dreams.

Cortesia di L.B.

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