Gaokao essay questions reflect key topics of the time

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/7 14:13:03

Photo: Li Hao/GT

Photo: Li Hao/GT

More than 10 million students took the Chinese subject exam on Friday morning for 2019 national college entrance examinations, otherwise known as gaokao, and the essay topics vary from patriotic expressions to an understanding of philosophical witness.

Since some provinces and regions have their own exam questions, every year, the whole country pays close attention to and actively debates the different essay topics, which were released around 11 am on Friday.

Beijing's students can choose from two topics. The first is "tenacity of a civilization," which requires examinees to discuss how Chinese civilization's tenacity helps Chinese people withstand difficult times in history and realize the national rejuvenation. 

The second topic, "the color of 2019," askes students to write about their understanding and expectations for 2019, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the 100th anniversary of the May 4th Movement. 

Shanghai's essay topic is about patriotism but in a light way. It asks students to write about how to appreciate Chinese traditional music after hearing different music genres from the world. 

Many netizens were impressed with one essay topic, which asked examinees to pretend to be a young student in 1919 and write a speech for the May 4th Movement. The other choices include writing a letter to family members after attending the PRC's founding ceremony in 1949, and writing a letter to a classmate in September 1979 after the school opening ceremony. 

East China's Jiangsu Province challenged students' philosophical thinking by asking them about their understanding of "different substances (salt and water) having their own flavor. Different flavors coexist and so do the highs and lows of life."

One essay topic moved many people to tears. The comics shows a teacher standing in front of his students, whose study materials are piled on their desks. A caption beside the picture reads, "On the last class before graduation, the teacher says 'you take one more look at your books, and I take one more look at you.'" The picture reminded many internet users of their high school life and their teachers. 

Gaokao started Friday morning this year, with a record of more than 10.31 million students taking the exams, or roughly the population of Portugal.

Hashtag Gaokao essay topics topped the most searched phrases on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo. 

Global Times

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