高考 gaokao (university entrance exam in China)
Some poddies might be interested in the 高考 gaokao (university entrance exam in China.) Another 高考 has just come and gone. There are exams over four days; two Saturdays and yesterday and today. By comparison in Australia the Gr.12 exams are run over a number of weeks, to accommodate the huge subject choice available. Here in China subject choice is limited.
The other students (grades 10 and 11) at this time of year get a holiday (!), both to lessen congestion on the roads and to make classroom space. Classrooms that normally contain 50 or 60 students now have just half that for the exams, spreading the kids out to limit the opportunity for cheating.
In Grade 11 students take the 会考 huikao – to proceed to Grade 12 and university students have to get at least 60 in all subjects, covering the arts and sciences. However, students make a choice in Grade 12: 理科 (sciences) 或 文科 (arts). 理科includes 化学 (chemistry)，物理 (physics)， and 生物 (biology)。 文科 includes 政治 (politics)，历史 (history)，地理 (geography)。For the 高考 students take the following compulsory exams:英语 (English)，数学 (Maths)，语文 (Chinese) and one of 理科 (sciences) 或 (arts) 文科。
This does limit your choice of majors at university, but not as much as is commonly thought. A number of majors such as Economics will take students from either理科 or 文科. And some majors (eg. media studies, foreign languages) require an additional exam called 高考口语考试 (an oral English test.) The entrance test for higher degrees is called 试验 shìyàn.
bodaweiJune 21, 2011, 11:52 PM
I picked up my free newspaper on the bus yesterday (that was for RJ if he's on-line) and found an article on the 高考 - it is still news because the results in this province come out on June 25. So quick!
It had some 数说 (is this something that newspapers right around the world got onto - I see it everywhere now but in the past I never saw it.)
In this province (pop. 45 - 50 million) there were about 900,000 papers marked - I think about 200,000 students. There were five centres in the capital city for managing and marking the papers, and 1,130 teachers involved in the marking.
All test papers are scanned and then marked on a computer screen - no-one touches actual paper any more.
Vocab. about test format:
客观(题) - true/false; multiple choice and 'fill in the gaps' style questions and answers
主观(题) - essay type questions and answers
All of the first type of questions are marked by machine.
Vocab. about schools
所 - measure word for schools， universities and hospitals
bodaweiJune 22, 2011, 12:10 AM
I also learnt that there are two levels of maths - that if you do the 文科 stream then you do 数学（文）, and if you do the 理科 stream you do 数学（理）.
Also, students in grade 12 who opt to do a technical college level qualification sit a different set of 高考 papers.
When applying to universities there are five levels in China and you can apply to up to five universities at each level (a theoretical total of 25), assuming you have the marks that would qualify you for entry.
There are various ways to get your results including on-line and checking on a TV channel. But most students know more or less know their results because they are given answer sheets after the exams.
Results can be 'challenged' but this only involves a check of the arithmetic in adding up your marks. There is no charge for this service.