What is the Gaokao?

News and Travel Editor

Students across China can breathe a sigh of relief now that they are safely free from the dreaded Gaokao exam. The Chinese education system in the largest in the world, and over 9 million students sit the Gaokao every year.

As stories about the exam have littered social media, we thought we’d answer your questions about the famously difficult college entry exam.

 

What does Gaokao mean?

‘Gaokao’ roughly translates as ‘high test’.

 

What is the Gaokao?

It is an exam that students across China take once a year and acts as the sole determinant to most Chinese Universities and Colleges. Yikes!

 

How long does it last?

The Gaokao lasts 9 hours – twice as long as the SAT in the USA – spread over 3 days.

 

Is the Gaokao a big deal in China?

The Gaokao is a HUGE deal. The test is a national event – roads are closed, construction is halted and some taxi drivers even give students free rides to create the best atmosphere for students as possible.

 

Who takes it, and how many people pass?

Students take it in their final year of secondary education. There are minimum Gaokao requirements for each of China’s universities, with roughly two-thirds the amount of spaces as there are students taking the Gaokao.

 

What is ON the Gaokao?

Chinese, maths and a foreign language are compulsory. Three other humanities/science subjects are chosen by the student.

 

 

Want to have a go? Here are a few example questions that students have faced on the Gaokao in the past.

 

1) Good families are much to all their members, but______ to none.

A. something

B. anything

C. everything

D. nothing

 

2) For hyperbola (x 2 )/(a 2 )-(y 2 )/3=1 (a>0), suppose the eccentricity is 2, then a=?

A. 2

B. 6 (1/2) /2

C. 5 (1/2) /2

D. 1

 

3) Banks charge processing fees and interest when granting loans. They charge

fees because of the services provided, such as account management. The reason

for claiming interest is that

A. Banks are a monopoly

B. Bank credit is higher than commercial credit

C. Capital offered by banks is a factor of production

D. Banks are the hub of smooth production

 

 

ANSWERS

1. C

2. D

3. C

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