This is the second day of the nation wide College Entrance Exam. This is the very important day for middle school students in China. The 48 hours will be big impact to their future: Whether they can get higher score in the exam? Can they attend a university? Can they enter the university they want?
I talked with my friends who wanted to learn the university entrance processes in China. It works this way: Before the students know the score of their exam, they have to select three colleges as the proposed school to enter. Sometimes, and in some provinces, the selection happens before the exam, and other times, in other provinces, the selection happens after the exam (like in Henan in 1995). The trick is, since you don’t know your score yet, you have to estimate which kind of school you want. Typically, students have to be very careful to select the schools.
For example, when I faced the selection, I have two choices: Tsinghua University AND Shanghai Jiao Tong University. I think Tsinghua is a much better choice, but SJTU is a safer bet since it does not require as high score as Tsinghua. To put Tsinghua as the first choice was too risky, because if I fail, no school (including SJTU) will accept me and I risk having no university to choose. If a student put Tsinghua as the first choice and failed, the university on the second choice typically won’t accept the students since there are more than enough students put their name on the first choice. To keep the university competitive at the second year, the strategy most university take is, they would rather accept a student with lower score other than the students who put their name on the second or third choice. Maybe the student has to either enter a not-well-known university, or wait for the second year for the second try. Meanwhile, if I choose SJTU, it is a much safer bet, because I am 100% sure that I can enter this university.
Well. Obviously, my choice was the safer choice. So although my score finally turned out to be about 60 points higher than Tsinghua, since I didn’t put it on the first choice, I entered SJTU (as the first place of the province). It is very cruel that I cannot attend the university I wanted, but it is pretty fair – it was all about the choice of taking risk or not.
Whenever the exam comes, I thought about the experience and understand the importance of taking risks if I really want something.
Silence for the Students
In the morning, at many of the street corners, police put on sign to prohibit horning, like the sign above. And there are blackboard everywhere on the street reminding drivers that the entrance exam was going on and keep silence. You can see the black board right of the policeman in the picture below. Some smaller streets were completely closed to reduce the noise. It was a war for the students, and it was a war for the parents and the police.
Good luck to the students!