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Affirmative gao kao (the high test)

Mr. Liu calculated that his score leaped by more than 100 points over last year's dismal performance. But he was still downcast, uncertain whether he would make the cutoff to apply to top-tier universities. The cutoff mark can vary by an applicant's place of residence and ethnicity.
Ms. Li, on the other hand, was exhilarated by her estimate of 482.5, figuring it was probably high enough for admittance to a college of the second rank.

Posted to Fair and Asia.

By Wednesday evening, both were buoyed by news of the cutoff scores for their district. His estimated mark was well above the one needed to apply to first-tier schools, and hers was a solid five points above the notch for the second tier.
Before the test, Ms. Li's aunt warned her that this was her last chance for a college degree. Even if she knelt before her mother and begged, her aunt said, her mother would refuse to let her take the test again.

But Ms. Li, a hardened veteran of not one but two gao kao ordeals, had a ready retort: "Come on. Even if my mother kneels down before me, I will refuse to take this test again."

China's College Entry Test Is an Obsession
Published: June 13, 2009
Families pull out all the stops so children can pass the annual gao kao, or high test, the sole determinant for admission to Chinese colleges and universities.


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