China Gaokao 2017: the 'world's toughest' uni entrance exam questions?
By Hu Shaocong

2017-06-07 16:53 GMT+8

As China's college entrance exam, or otherwise known as Gaokao, kicked off on Wednesday, around 9.4 million high school student have just finished Chinese, the first part of the test in the morning.  

Determining whether a student is able to enter a top university or not, the exam has become notorious for its challenging questions, especially the tricky essay questions in the Chinese part. Three hours after the essay questions were disclosed online, it has already become a heated topic, mentioned on social media platform Weibo over 1.33 billion times.

Here's a chance for you to check out how tricky they are. CGTN has compiled a list of composition questions that students in different regions of the country took this year. How would you answer them?

A noon break before striving for gaokao./Xinhua

National version I:

According to a recent study for foreign students in China, some key words about China that draw their attention include: Belt & Road Initiative, Giant Panda, Square Dancing, Chinese Food, the Great Wall, Bike-sharing System, Peking Opera, Air Pollution, Beautiful Villages, Food Safety, High-speed Railway, and Mobile Payment.

Please select two or three key phrases from above and write an article to help foreign youths to understand China.

National Version II:

Pick two or three lines from the following ancient poems and write an essay.

1.       As heaven maintains vigor through movements, a gentleman should constantly strive for self-perfection. – Zhou Yi (or, The Book of Changes)

2.       White Dew begins tonight, bright is the moon over my home village. – Du Fu

3.       No need of the green, red colors' decoration, osmanthus prove its first-class place with the delicate fragrance – Li Qingzhao

4.       Only those who dare to face the situation, dare to think, to talk, to do and to deserve. – Lu Xun

5.       For truly great men, look to this age alone. – Mao Zedong

National Version III:

This year marks the 40 anniversary of China's resumption of Gaokao. This exam has been selecting China's top talent, pushing forward educational reform and social improvements, and has accomplished remarkable achievements.

1977 marks a turning point, and today, you are competing with your peers in completing this year's Gaokao.

Write an essay on "My Gaokao ", or "Gaokao in my eyes".

Police cars escort vans carrying gaokao takers in Chengdu./VCG Photo


"Big Essay"—on Bond

A bond connects persons and matter. In this era, the term bond is used in various areas such as global economic development, cultural development, historic inheritance, social security and harmony on campus.

"Macro Essay"

2049 marks the centennial of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Please imagine, how would you depict the glamorous achievements throughout the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in photos? 


Write an essay based on the following:

We can't live a life without vehicles. In various forms, vehicles have witnessed the development of our times and carried the warmth in this world. Vehicles reflects changes of opinions and philosophies about life.


Write an essay based on the following:

A book store opens 24 hours a day. In the last two years, most of its customers left before midnight, while others came in after midnight. Among them are some local residents who loves reading at nighttime, college students who study by themselves, migrant workers and homeless people. The book store never expels any of them. A store employee said, "some of them fall asleep while reading, but if they read, they are our readers. We feel our work is meaningful, even if some of them just stepped in for a rest."

Parents pray for good luck of their children in gaokao./VCG Photo‍


Write an essay based on the following:

Prediction is speculation beforehand. Life is all about changes. Some love to accept predictions about life, some don't.


Reread the books of the elderly

We grow up surrounded by our elders and think we know them well. Actually, every person older than us is like a thick book, once we reopen it, we read about reasons to live, accumulations of tradition, marks of ages, and we read about ourselves. We also read about them maturing while we are growing up, and the common views and disputes between them and us.

We are grown up now, today we reread, and it is a heart-to-heart conversation, it's a path to understanding.


Three books of life

A writer said that we need to read three books. One is a book of words, another is a book of no words, and the other is a book of the heart.

Please give your thoughts and comment in an essay.

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