GaoKao, China’s toughest entrance examination.

 “High education” is a way of raising social status and changing quality of life. Therefore, we are determined and cultivated by society to concentrate on studying so that we can succeed in the future. Today, ACU PAY will introduce you to the toughest entrance exam in China that have more than 12.9 million participants called “GaoKao”

What is Gao Kao?

The National College Entrance Examination – NCEE, also known as “GaoKao” (考高), is the most important exam in Chinese students’ lives because the opportunity to take the examination is only once a year. It is usually held on June 7 – 8 every year, and the GaoKao test takes about 2-3 days or longer in some provinces.

Life is determined by the test results

For Chinese students, the score of the GaoKao is a determinant of fate because it is believed that if they get good grades, they can improve their quality of life, get a good job, or change their social status, also expectations from families who hope for high grades. However, anyone who fails or does not get into university must cope with the pressure and prepare for a new round in the following year, which can keep on taking exams again and again without age limitation. The last examination was held in June, with 12.9 million Chinese students taking the test across China. 

It is the pressure that Chinese students have to prepare for intensive GaoKao exams. Parents choose to hire tutors or send their children to expensive private lessons to secure their future while the school is conducting intensive tutoring. The homeroom teacher will closely monitor all students and sometimes there may be some stress relief activities for students. In addition, after school, some schools also make senior high school students study and read after dinner.

The format of the GaoKao test will be adjusted according to the era. Currently, the GaoKao test has a total of 2 main and optional subjects.

Part 1, 3 major subjects, mathematics, Chinese, and English, 150 points each, a total of 450 points.

Part 2 is divided into science (chemistry, biology, and physics) and art (history, geography, and politics), with a total of 300 points.

Total score is 750 points

An example of the GaoKao test that made the most talked for the exam, such as the 2013 Hubei Province GaoKao test, which asked: 

“Milk containers are usually rectangular box-shaped, mineral water containers are always round bottles, and round wine bottles are often placed in square boxes. Write an essay on the philosophy underlying the sphere and square.”

When Children's Future Is a National Agenda

On the day of the GaoKao test, the Chinese government enacted various rules to facilitate examinees, such as measures to refrain from all forms of entertainment activities to prevent distracting students’ concentration. In addition, there are volunteers and police officers who facilitate test takers to take the test on time.

In addition, the GaoKao test is an important official document. Therefore, there is a strict security policy. Three hours before the test, police transported the test with surveillance cameras and GPS at all times. In front of the examination gate, armed officers were on duty to ensure safety.

Moreover, all electronic devices were checked before the examination to prevent corruption. CCTV was installed in the examination room and drones were used to check radio signals to prevent corruption.

After the test is finished, the test will be moved and stored in a good suitcase. Police officers will sit in the car and have at least 3 guiding officer vehicles. If transferred by high-speed train, CCTV will be installed inside the transportation room.

After that, test scores are usually announced at the end of June to submit to a famous university. The higher the score, the higher the chances of going to a good university will be. For example, in 2022, the students who are triplets scored the highest. The eldest and the youngest submitted their scores to the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) with 664 and 654 points, and the middle was offered from Peking University because of a high test score of 674 points out of 750 points.

Currently, the GaoKao test is still accepted internationally. Many overseas universities are accepting Chinese students to continue their studies at the undergraduate level with GaoKao test scores as well.

It can be seen that the Chinese GaoKao test is very important to a student’s life because scores can determine the child’s life course and future social status. As a result, many children are under tremendous pressure and stress. The stress and pressures of the examination have been felt in many Asian countries and Thailand is also one of them.

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