The Importance of the College Entrance Examination

The Importance of the College Entrance Examination


As the most important examination in China, the National College Entrance Examination, also known as the Gaokao, has always been a hot topic of discussion among students, parents, and educators. This exam not only determines a student's future academic path but also has a significant impact on their overall life. In this essay, we will explore the significance of the Gaokao and its impact on students' lives.

The Significance of the Gaokao

The Gaokao is a critical event in the lives of Chinese students. It is not only a test of their academic knowledge but also a test of their mental and emotional strength. The results of this exam can determine whether a student can enter a prestigious university, which can greatly influence their future career prospects. Therefore, students and their families attach great importance to this examination.

Moreover, the Gaokao is seen as a fair and impartial way to select students for higher education. It is a standardized test that evaluates students' abilities in various subjects, such as Chinese, Mathematics, English, and Sciences. By using the same examination paper for all students, it ensures equal opportunities for every participant, regardless of their background or location.

The Impact on Students' Lives

The Gaokao has a profound impact on students' lives. The intense preparation for this exam often starts years in advance, with students dedicating countless hours to studying and reviewing. The pressure to succeed in the Gaokao can be overwhelming, leading to high levels of stress and anxiety among students.

Furthermore, the Gaokao determines the future academic path of a student. The scores obtained in this exam are used as the primary criterion for university admissions. Students with high scores have a better chance of entering top-tier universities and pursuing their desired majors. On the other hand, students with lower scores may have limited options and may need to consider alternative paths, such as vocational schools or community colleges.

Additionally, the Gaokao's influence extends beyond academics. It affects students' personal and social lives as well. The intense focus on studying often leads to a lack of time for extracurricular activities, hobbies, and social interactions. Many students sacrifice their personal interests and relationships in pursuit of academic success in the Gaokao.

The Debate Surrounding the Gaokao

While the Gaokao has been widely accepted and recognized as an effective way to evaluate students' abilities, it has also faced criticism. Some argue that the Gaokao places too much emphasis on rote memorization and does not adequately assess students' critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They believe that this exam should be reformed to better reflect the needs of the modern society and encourage creativity and innovation.

Others argue that the Gaokao creates an excessive amount of pressure on students, leading to mental health issues and a narrow focus on academic achievements. They propose alternative methods of university admissions, such as considering students' overall performance throughout their high school years, including extracurricular activities, community involvement, and personal qualities.


The Gaokao is undoubtedly a significant event in the lives of Chinese students. It determines their academic and career paths and has a profound impact on their personal and social lives. While it is seen as a fair and impartial way to select students for higher education, there is an ongoing debate about its effectiveness and the pressure it places on students. As education continues to evolve, it is essential to consider alternative approaches that can better assess students' abilities and promote their holistic development.