Gaokao shapes my tough character

Source:CCTV.com 13-07-20 09:43 Updated BJT
Font size:A+A-

By CCTV.com Zhou Fujing

The two-day 2020 Gaokao, China's national college entrance exam, concluded on July 8, one month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 10 million students took this year’s exam, deemed the most important event of their lives as it provides a fair opportunity to plan future careers.

A mother dressed in qipao takes a photo with her son after he finishes the Chinese exam on the morning of July 7, 2020 in Beijing. Both the sunflowers, pronounced “kui” in Chinese, and qipao have auspicious meanings of “contending for championship” in Chinese.

A mother dressed in qipao takes a photo with her son after he finishes the Chinese exam on the morning of July 7, 2020 in Beijing. Both the sunflowers, pronounced "kui" in Chinese, and qipao have auspicious meanings of “contending for championship” in Chinese.

I took the Gaokao in 2002. For me, who was born in a farmer's family in a village, Hebei Province in the 1980s, the Gaokao meant a rare, fair and valuable opportunity and it was decisive. It was the only way for me to leave the village, to avoid a lifetime of farmland toil which my parents have endured throughout their lives, and to start a better urban life. My parents put high expectations on me and I desired for a better life as well. Study hard was the only thing in my primary and middle school life. The senior high school years had toughened me to have a never-give-up character.

I performed very well during the national college entrance exams. My combined score of the five subjects was 570 (the full score was 750) and ranked the 1011th place among the more than 200,000 candidates in the province. The full score for math subject was 150 and mine was 139, extremely good. About 10 days after I knew my score, the provincial educational authority announced two groups of boundary scores to divide candidates into three levels: the prestigious 4-year-study universities, ordinary 4-year-study universities and those for 3 years college study. My score was much higher than the first boundary score line and I could get more academic options.

At that time, I had limited sources to know more about the universities, except two thick guide books the school handed out. One listed the universities across the nation, which would recruit students in Hebei Province, the majors available to choose from and the recruitment number for each major; and the other listed the threshold score for all the majors in all universities over the past few years. The school handed out a paper form for students to apply for the colleges, altogether four options. The two books were the only references.

I loved math very much and demonstrated my talents in logic, deduction, analyzing problems in many exams. Naturally, my first and most desirable choice was to pursue an Accounting major at Tianjin University; and my second choice was to major in English in Hebei University.

I was not recruited by Tianjin University and started my 4-year undergraduate language studies in Hebei University, then 3-year-postgraduate English study in Capital Normal University. The Gaokao changed my life and determined my later job selections somehow. I am an English editor and reporter now.

Although there are debates and arguments about the fairness of the exam, I consider it a valuable chance for students from poor families and rural areas to succeed in if they are smart, conscientious and hard working.

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng
13-07-20 09:43 BJT
Share this:

The CCTV.com Global app provides you with the best multi-language news coverage and TV shows.

Download

Please scan the QR code to read on mobile phone