Peculiarities Of Schooling in China

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Schooling in China is driven by competition, memorization, and the fear of failing. Not to be over dramatic but these school years will determine the rest of your life. From grading, testing and everyday life, it all revolves around school. Your schooling years will either make you or break you.

Grading is one huge factor for any student in China. Grading is a head- to- head competition between the students. Only a certain amount of each letter grade is allowed per class, depending on how many students per class.( This means students directly compete with each other for their grades; they have to earn it. Grading determines class rank which is what determines a student’s success. The actual letter grading system can go one of two ways. The five–scale (which is more popular) or the four–scale. The five–scale is laid out to where a 90%-100% is an A, 80-89% is a B, 70%-79% is a C, 60%-69% is a D, and 0%-59% is an F. The four-scale is laid out to where 85%-100% is an A, 75-84.99% is a B, 60%-74.99% is a C, and 0%-59.99% is a D (which would be an F in our grading system.)( Finally, this all leads up to the dreaded grade card. Unlike our grade cards, in China they can be up to 30 pages long. Included on these are: height, weight, eyesight, hearing, lung capacity, grades compared on a national level, assessments by the students’ teachers, parents, and then a self reflection by the student. (Hays)Overall, the grading system is a fierce competition, where the students must work for every pinch of their success.

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Testing is another huge factor in schooling; not only used to determine GPA, but also what schools are even an option in your career path. Entrance exams are usually known to be for college or private schools, but in China they’re for every level of school. Once a student is done with elementary they must take a middle school entrance exam; in hopes of getting into a prestigious middle school.(Hays) After middle school, students are expected to take another entrance examine in hopes of getting into one of the best, most prominent high schools in China. Once again you will take an entrance exam for college called GaoKao. GaoKao is possibly seen as the biggest test for any student in China. This test is similar to the American SAT or ACT, but on steroids. Students will study heavily before this major exam. Even after a regular school day they go to buxiban or cram school in order to prepare them adequately for this significant test. (Mack) Even with all of this preparation only 40% of students pass on their first try.( This will help determine what level of higher education the student may receive, and from there what they will do with the rest of their lives.

Though testing and grading are a major part in any student’s life, there is much more to their school day than this. School days are between five to six days a week from 7a.m. to 4.p.m or later.(Mack) Each class is an average of 45 minutes with at least nine classes and a decent time for lunch (where students are encouraged to work during this time.) (Qiu) Also, besides lunch they have 10 minute breaks between each class. During this time “students perform eye exercises based on ancient Chinese acupressure therapy to prevent nearsightedness.” (Laing) Besides this extracurricular activities are highly encouraged, many of these activities are fully for scholar purposes. They are intended enhance the student’s abilities overall such as: extra class, study sessions, music lessons, art clubs, and if there is any physical activities to choose from they are seen an intramural.(Mack) The average day of a student is to revolve around education at almost every point in intentions of planning ahead for a successful future.

In conclusion, schooling in China is driven by competition, memorization, and the fear of failing. Grades and testing are no joke and will determine the rest of their lives. Their school day is full of success oriented tasks, from test preparation, to preventing nearsightedness. It all is for the benefit of the students future, especially when a schools success is determined by how many students go to college.(


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