Faces Of Gaokao

It was only last year that I stopped having one particular recurring nightmare: I would be back in high school or college, and it would be the day before a big exam, and it would dawn on me that I had never attended any classes; or I would totally forget that I had even signed up for a course; or I would discover that I was a chronic class-cutter; that kind of thing.

I have no idea why these scenarios implanted themselves in my unconscious. I had a relatively easy time in school, considering I never fainted before a test, or felt the need to kill anything because of exam-related stress (Global Times: “Frogs in a pond near a residential compound in Qingdao, Shandong Province were poisoned recently by property management personnel to stop their croaking from interrupting students’ sleep, according to media reports”). Still, those nightmares…

All this is a long way of saying that I can’t imagine how gaokao — China’s national college entrance exam — will scar the psyches of this country’s youth. If I thought my nightmares were bad (though the relief from waking and realizing that I was in fact free from the bonds of institutional education was always a nice shot of euphoria for the morning), I can’t imagine the horrors today’s students will relive for the rest of their lives… especially if they, heavens forbid, fail to test up to expectations, their own or otherwise.

After the jump, pictures to commemorate the high school students of China, who are undergoing gaokao today and tomorrow. We’ll discuss this topic in-depth after the weekend. (Curated by Alicia, who supplied the captions.)

From study exhaustion

If I were the police, I'd be concerned for my safety too.

Will they look so happy after two days of testing?

Don't cheat. Seriously.

Never miss an opportunity to advertise – who knows, some of these kids taking the gaokao could be the future generation of Audi-driving cadres.

"I can sleep when I'm dead and/or done studying."

While parents eagerly wait for their children to emerge from the classrooms where the exams are happening...

…cops chat and drink water at the little booths set up for them.

While students, we can only hope, are doing this. Take it easy, guys and gals.

Sources: Sina (H/T Bo Li)

2 Responses to “Faces Of Gaokao”

  1. The Good Doctor

    just because you haven’t had that nightmare in a year or so doesn’t mean you’ve stopped. it just means you haven’t had it in a while. i still have this dream, and i’m old. now that you’ve planted the idea in my head, i’ll probably have that dream tonight.

    i don’t mind really. at the end of these dreams i always pass the test, because i’m fucking brilliant.

    Reply
  2. Cindy

    The university entrance exam in Australia is nothing compared to the Gao kao. And yet, two months after the exams were finished, I still had nightmares about it. I distinctly remember this nightmare I had about failing my philosophy exam. And I never even took philosophy for my VCE.
    I also had one where my classmates tried to ruin me by telling me to go study the wrong text.

    Yeah.

    Reply

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