Written by Oliver Ye
Earned an Honorable Mention in the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Competition
“After my son entered the last year of his high school life, he fell totally in love with studying” said ShuFang, a proud mother whose son is in a highly ranked high school.
Every July, almost all Chinese senior high-schoolers take the Gaokao as a requirement for applying to university. As universities only use the result of this one exam to determine entrance, the Gaokao is certainly important. All students try extremely hard to reach their ‘gao-l’s.
Some parents are very thankful to the creators of this exam because the pressure of the test forces their children to concentrate on their studies for more than 20 hours a day, essentially providing the most effective, cost-affordable childcare. Children will no longer be distracted by sports or other after school enrichments, meaning parents won’t need to be inconvenienced by having to drive them everywhere.
During her interview, ShuFang praised the exam undisguisedly, saying: “He now prefers to structure his day around 17 hours of study minimum. My son can now write more than 15 fully developed, polished essays and complete at least 3000 pages of worksheets every day.” A sudden flush of pride overtook her, and she could barely speak. “Thank you, Gaokao… Thanks for what you have brought to my son! Gaokao is the best educational method, incomparable!” Even the interviewer was touched by this parent’s sincere response, and smiled with approval.
It is absolutely right to thank Gaokao. We should never ignore the merits that it brings to growing teenagers. In addition to the academic benefits of spending their entire educational career preparing for one test that truly prepares them for life after education, a student can benefit in other ways.
According to a recent study, 72% of high-schoolers in China are nearsighted. The great news here is that another research study shows 79% of teenagers prefer their future partners to wear glasses. Conclusions drawn by the researchers suggestion that to young people, glasses reflect a sense of maturity and intelligence. So, after the learning process of Gaokao ends and young people are adorning their glasses proudly, the future population of China is secured.
Furthermore, in 2019, an 18 year old high-schooler without professional training experience won the first prize in a national bodybuilding competition. It was learned later that their arms were built up by carrying 100 kilograms of worksheets to school and flipping thousands of pages of books every single day during the preparation for Gaokao.
Scholars are not surprised by the results, which suggest that the biggest factor that led to the increase in muscle mass was: Gaokao. One even said, “… Gaokao brings all the good things to our kids, to the future generations, giving our children chances to thrive in love and maintain physical well-being. Those who haven’t fallen in love with this effective educational system need to have their brains checked!”