The annual Gaokao (College Entrance Examination) begins in early June each year and it is an important event for the whole society. On June 8, 2017, the Gaokao is about to fall the curtain in the afternoon. So what do foreigners in Foshan think of the Gaokao?
Two foreign teachers in Foshan are invited to share with us their opinions and the “Gaokao” in their countries. Let’s have a look!
Neil comes from the UK and has graduated from University of Oxford. He has been in Foshan for 13 years and now works as an English teacher in Nanhai Shimen Middle School. He is also the class teacher of four years of senior high school students. He speaks very fluent mandarin.
Yuri is an experienced trainer from South Africa with a doctorate degree in technical field, who is often invited to give speeches to all kinds of academic organizations and enterprises.
Q1: Do you have exams similar to Gaokao in your country?
Neil: We have A-Level and it is very different. We can choose the subjects we like. For example, I chose History, French and English Literature and I only had to learn these three subjects in two years. We have more exams. Each subject will probably have 3 to 4 exams and each exam will take 2 to 3 hours. We take these exams in two weeks while you take them in two days.
Yuri: Yes, we do have a similar examination for our students who want to attain university or college in South Africa. We have both A-Level and a Matric as it is called back home. And it is just as tough as Gaokao for most students.
Q2: As a teacher in Shimen, how do you feel about the Gaokao atmosphere there?
Neil: Generally, I feel that in a couple of days before the Gaokao, the whole atmosphere may be more relaxing. Perhaps it is because everyone enjoys the last few days in the campus. On the other hand, they may know that whatever happens, a new stage of life is coming soon. I feel that the atmosphere at this time is quite good.
Q3: Have you ever tried the Gaokao English test?
Neil: I have tried questions on the Gaokao paper for many years. And I only made one mistake. (I think) it is really logical and really tight.
Q4: Do you have any words for the students who are going to finish Gaokao?
Neil: The most important thing is, don’t do anything strange and don’t do anything different. Remember in every Gaokao there will be some surprises. Also remember in every Gaokao there will be ups and downs. Like all the successful students I’ve taught before, there will always be some time when they thought there was no hope or they failed. But in fact it is not like that. It just means it is a normal part of the Gaokao. So relax and do everything normal, and don’t be afraid of surprises. It is more important that you keep being excellent afterwards.
Yuri: Work hard, study hard, play hard and GOOD LUCK!