Passport

China’s hippy-dippy exam questions

China’s nationwide gaokao college entry exam might be the world’s toughest academic test. A grueling two-day marathon testing virtually everything you’ve ever studied that is essentially used as the sole criteria for college entrance. (Brian Fung wrote about some of the anti-cheating measures being put in place on Passport last week.) It seems a perfect ...

China’s nationwide gaokao college entry exam might be the world’s toughest academic test. A grueling two-day marathon testing virtually everything you’ve ever studied that is essentially used as the sole criteria for college entrance. (Brian Fung wrote about some of the anti-cheating measures being put in place on Passport last week.) It seems a perfect symbol of modern China’s ruthlessly practical hyper-efficiency. 

Given all that, the essay questions on this mother-of-all-standardized-tests, as reprinted on Danwei.org, seem surprisingly new-agey. For instance, Beijing students had to write an 800 character response to the prompt, "I have a pair of invisible wings." Here are some others:

  • My thoughts on the post-90s generation
  • Life is full of stories. You may be a participant, you may be a listener, or you may be a critic."
  • Standing at the Door to _____ (??____??) — Fill in the blank and write an essay using this as a title. 
  • The Affection of Leaves for the Stem

Check out the rest at Danwei.

 Twitter: @joshuakeating

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