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Some Trivial Thoughts on University Entrance Exams

 

12 years ago today, I finished my university entrance examinations, waiting uncalmy for my grades. Then after getting the scores, all my families were busy with selection of the potential universities. It was just like a game among the students as well as the universities.

The university entrance exams, are called for short as "Gao Kao" in Chinese. I don't know what it means to people other than Chinese. I had almost forgot about it, but for the pieces of news in the media surrounding the bus and subway which reminded me of it. For example, cars for the exam-taking students were priviledged to go first, or go on special lanes. Even the police would offer a hand to the students who unfortunately encountered troubles, which seemed not to be their duties on "ordinary days" though. Besides, some students were interviewed for their feelings of the exams, and the Chinese composition questions from the exam papers all over China were discussed heatedly as usual.

All of the information just tells us that "Gao Kao" is still highly valued in China. While on the other hand, some other students interviewed came into my eyes. They didn't have to and wouldn't take part in the Chinese "Gao Kao", since they chose to go abroad for their further study. Their relaxed looks and words made them unique from the other tired exam-preparing ones.

I envy those lucky guys not only because they don't have to take "Gao Kao" as their only choice, which in many Chinese's opinions, is still the mere road to change, or more exactly, to decorate one's fate, but also they can see an outside world at such a young age. Indeed, the students going overseas are becoming younger and younger, from the ones for a doctor degree about 30 years ago, to a growing number of ones for a bechaler in recent years. What is greatly different from before, lies in that many the students who pursue an oversea education background nowadays, are usually with highest scores at school. Namely, they give up the opportunity of going to the best universities in China, never because they will fail.

If I gained a chance to go back to my old days, maybe I would have spent them in a totally different way, at least not as much time in my textbook-studies. Anyway, since time could only move forward, I think what I can do now, is to examine well what I have done before, and to use them to guide me in the future.

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Thanks a lot for your reading, and any comments are welcome.

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    The next chunk is:

    "The university entrance exams, are called for short as "Gao Kao" in Chinese. I don't know what it means to people other than Chinese. I had almost forgot about it, but for the pieces of news in the media surrounding the bus and subway which reminded me of it. For example, cars for the exam-taking students were priviledged to go first, or go on special lanes. Even the police would offer a hand to the students who unfortunately encountered troubles, which seemed not to be their duties on "ordinary days" though. Besides, some students were interviewed for their feelings of the exams, and the Chinese composition questions from the exam papers all over China were discussed heatedly as usual."

     

    The university entrance exams are called "Gao Kao" (高考 gāo kǎo). [Omit the longer version because it is too much information for the reader.] I do not know how non-Chinese people view "Gao Kao" [or entrance exams? I am not clear if you mean the word "Gao Kao" itself or the entrance exams. Define "it" here.] I have recently been reminded of my college entrance exams because I have seeing notices about them in the news, in the subways, and on buses. Also, cars carrying examinees again [I assume this occurs on a regular basis, such as yearly or twice a year, or on some other regular interval.] have the privilege to go first in traffic and in some cases have special lanes. Even the police go out of their way [see http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/go-out-of-your-way?q=go+out+of+your+way, which states, "to try very hard to do something, especially for someone else
    Example: They really went out of their way to make us feel welcome by giving us the best room in the house."] to assist any entrance-examination student. As usual, several students were interviewed about their feelings about the exams, and the Chinese composition questions on the exam where heatedly discussed all over China.

    [Wonder insight about this part of Chinese life. Keep writing! :)]

     

    Some Trivial Thoughts on about University Entrance Exams

     

    Although it is common for native English speakers to use the word on in the preceding sentence, what you really mean is about. Reserve the term on for location purposes, such as on the table.


    12 years ago today*, I finished my university entrance examinations, waiting uncalmy for my grades. Then after getting the scores, all my families were busy with selection of the potential universities.** It was just like a game among the students as well as the universities.***

     

    *I find it odd to start a sentence with a numeric number. As you might already be aware, numbers less then 10 are spelled out:

    http://www.grammarbook.com/numbers/numbers.asp

     

    What you have written is a definite event followed by an indefinite period of time. I would rephrase this to say, "About 12 years ago, I remember finishing my university entrance exams and waiting nervously for my grades."


    **Next, what do you mean by families (plural). Based on what I have heard other Mandarin speakers say in English, I assume you mean your immediate family as well as your extended family. In English, if you say my family members, it is not clear if you are referring to your immediate family members, your extended family members, or both groups. Sometimes, this level of vagueness is useful.


    "After receiving positive results, all of my family members started researching and selecting potential univerities."


    ***"For both the students and the universty, it was just a game." What does it refer to? The process of passing exams?


    <stopped here for now>


    The university entrance exams, are called for short as "Gao Kao" in Chinese. I don't know what it means to people other than Chinese. I had almost forgot about it, but for the pieces of news in the media surrounding the bus and subway which reminded me of it. For example, cars for the exam-taking students were priviledged to go first, or go on special lanes. Even the police would offer a hand to the students who unfortunately encountered troubles, which seemed not to be their duties on "ordinary days" though. Besides, some students were interviewed for their feelings of the exams, and the Chinese composition questions from the exam papers all over China were discussed heatedly as usual.

    All of the information just tells us that "Gao Kao" is still highly valued in China. While on the other hand, some other students interviewed came into my eyes. They didn't have to and wouldn't take part in the Chinese "Gao Kao", since they chose to go abroad for their further study. Their relaxed looks and words made them unique from the other tired exam-preparing ones.

    I envy those lucky guys not only because they don't have to take "Gao Kao" as their only choice, which in many Chinese's opinions, is still the mere road to change, or more exactly, to decorate one's fate, but also they can see an outside world at such a young age. Indeed, the students going overseas are becoming younger and younger, from the ones for a doctor degree about 30 years ago, to a growing number of ones for a bechaler in recent years. What is greatly different from before, lies in that many the students who pursue an oversea education background nowadays, are usually with highest scores at school. Namely, they give up the opportunity of going to the best universities in China, never because they will fail.

    If I gained a chance to go back to my old days, maybe I would have spent them in a totally different way, at least not as much time in my textbook-studies. Anyway, since time could only move forward, I think what I can do now, is to examine well what I have done before, and to use them to guide me in the future.

    --------------------

    Thanks a lot for your reading, and any comments are welcome.

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