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My Gaokao Essay

Popularity 3Viewed 4756 times 2016-6-9 22:48 |Personal category:Growing with my daughter|System category:Life| gaokao, education, zuowen

My wechat moment has been flooded with all kinds of funny scripts on the topic of the college admission essay of Guangdong province since the first day of Gaokao on 7th June. Examinees were asked to make a composition according to a cartoon-- pupil X won a kiss when he got a score of 100 in one exam, and pupil Y was punished by a slap on the face with a score of 55; and in the second exam, poor X got a slap on the face because he scored 98, while Y won a kiss because he achieved a score of 61.


Someone sighed that it was really not easy to be a top student. Someone argued that the score was not important, while the focus should be put on the knowledge the students learned and grasped. And someone joked that they could first hide their capability to some extent, and showed to boss later on that they had been making progress… The Gaokao essay actually provoked an interesting nationwide discussion.


As parents, there came also an interesting discussion between us on the topic of Nicole’s education. What kind of attitude should we take on her schooling? What the scores on her subjects will mean to us? Or what kind of expectation do we bear in mind for her future?


Here I like to make a summary of the discussion, which I think will provide a reminder for us in the future as well.


Firstly, we both agree that to encourage rather than to blame her is a prerequisite, when she comes across with difficulties during her learning, experiences frustrations and endures adversity. Too picky and demanding about her performance would only result in counterproductive response of her. This is completely clear without any argument because we both experienced the harsh schooling and Gaokao before.


Secondly, we’ll look at her scores, good or poor, but we won’t pay much attention to the score itself. Base on it, we will get the clues on how much she has mastered, and together with her, figure out an alternative way of a more efficient learning.


Thirdly but not the least, time and efforts should be preferentially put to make some breakthrough. As shown in the cartoon, there is indeed no difference between the score 100 and 98 in our opinion. They both are at the top level, saying A level. But as to the case of increase from 55 to 61, there is actually something significant happened. It’s a leap forward from failed (means a grade of D) to pass (means a grade of C), a breakthrough of quality because of sufficient accumulation of quantities. We should encourage and inspire this kind of study or innovation for the kids. For example, I’ll suggest her to choose two or three more elective courses if she has some spare time and energy, to broaden her knowledge rather than push her to work harder and harder to make a progress on the scores like from 90 to 100. In the long run, time is limited, and it should be spent to what is worthwhile. Actually most of the great discoveries and innovations which have been made worldwide in the history belongs to such a leap forward, from D to C, but not A to A plus.


However, to adhere to the guidelines summarized here, we need to be strong in mind first, and not to be affected by the scoring system. Furthermore, it would be highly expected that one day the universities don’t look at the Gaokao score only for recruiting students, while give it a weighting factor, and include other exams during the past three years together for a comprehensive review.

Gaokao zuowen, Guangdong

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (3 comments)

Reply Report voice_cd 2016-6-10 15:37
thanks for sharing your interesting story here, we would highlight it.
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2016-6-10 15:55
voice_cd: thanks for sharing your interesting story here, we would highlight it.
Dear Voice, thanks a lot for your recommendation!
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2016-6-10 16:03
It's really funny and unbelievable that I made another Gaokao zuowen seventeen years after i sat for my Gaokao exams!!! A milestone to me.

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