As Z has started his days with a healthy breakfast, a spoon of peanut butter, and a peppermint (reported to increase synapse in the brain) in preparation for the annual tradition of Terra Nova Tests--the Catholic School equivalent of MSAs--that began this week, we were all transported back to Beijing (in our minds, anyway) to the annual test that will take place there and across the entire nation in just a few short weeks....The one that decides everything for a student: The Gao Kao.
While certainly important, standardized tests in America (even the SAT) seem a lot less stressful when compared with their Chinese counterpart. During this
As stated in a June12, 2009 New York Times article entitled, "China's College Entry Test Is An Obsession," Sharon LaFraniere states, "One Chinese saying compares the exam to a stampede of 'thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of horses across a single log bridge.'" In this way she notes that "only about three in five make the cut."
Kind of makes the thought of filling in those little circles a bit easier to to stomach, no?
PS: This picture is also credited to the June 12, 2009 Times article and depicts the throngs of anxious parents who congregate outside the test sites. Check out the link to this article for even more interesting angles to this compelling yearly event.