Gaokao University Entrance Exam Stress Relief In China


From NetEase:

It is almost time for the “gaokao” [university entrance exam] and yesterday morning and the third years [final year of high school in China] at our school had a pledge ceremony. Afterward, the third year students began to throw their exam papers, their books. At first people tore them into pieces, later they were throwing entire sheets and sheets, and even later they were throwing bundles and bundles. It was spectacular. It was a release from the stress of the third year.

I am just a first year. If our our school’s seniors can get a better score, then they would have done so many exam papers justice.






A video:

Comments from NetEase:


If only we had such a thing to vent when we were about to take the “gaokao” in our day!


This might end up being a problem for those who fail the test! Books gone, study materials gone, all need to be acquired anew, it will be such a hassle for them! Haha


1 word describes this bunch of students: waste
Trash all over the ground, who will clean up after them except the poor old janitor. Scum~if they are unable to bear the pressure of the “gaokao”, they will not be able to accomplish much in the future.


You know what pressure is now, yes? You know how frightening it is now, yes?
This is the reason why some people because of the “gaokao” can go mad.
China’s education system.
Can we stop people from going mad just for positions? Can we stop people from losing their rationality just for fame and fortune?


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Children that have been tortured by China’s education system, you have suffered…


Hahaha, very interesting! May you guys get a good score!

Sigh! When can we free ourselves from China’s education system?


I remember my graduation from university to be similar to this, throwing away all my books and things while leaving, like a kind of venting/release.


They are not bad, but when we were about to take the “gaokao,” aside from the desks and chairs in the classroom, anything that could be thrown away was thrown away. Afterward we however regretted it, and voluntarily went to clean everything up, recovering whatever could still be used, hehe, this was 7 years ago, hahahaha!


Fuck [wow], so spectacular!
Actually, I rather envy them, since they have finally endured three bitter years of high school and reached the end, so nice!
I am just in my first year, and must continue fighting.
May our senior schoolgirls get a good score on their “gaokao”!


Those critical people, you understand bullshit. This is a kind of venting/release, a way of adjusting one’s mood.
Criticizing China’s education system all day, why don’t you suggest a better education system then?
Are you thinking of saying America’s education system is better?
American undergraduates on the night before their tests, both boys and girls, run around in their underwear, even completely naked.
According to your reasoning, what bullshit can they accomplish if they cannot even bear this bit of pressure/stress?
Actually, every place has their own education system, so do not blindly criticize ourselves.
Those who had received China’s traditional education are already taking on the important task of building society. Have you discovered some major problem in all of these people?

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • Couch.

    Shouldn’t they throw the papers after they’ve taken the exam?

    • NJ

      Well obviously logic and common sense is not taught in Chinese high schools!!

  • The John


    Well, I can understand their pain. Students really have to study hard.

  • Cheers kids! We have all been going through this moment, it could be like paradise or hell. But anyways, you still have to move on with ur bright new life. So, take it easy, and I know how you are!

  • manusan

    don’t worry

    foreigner university waiting for you :
    10 000 USD for incription (no room included)
    fake diplome delivered for your return in China (no job for us here, so for foreigner you can forget)

    enjoy life and capitalism, welcome to modern world.

    I can propose something for you, to change the world, you and me, like some students in Beijing 20 years ago (even if you never listen of them on

    Are you really ready to move your ass of cyber cafe ?

    • mike

      if youre going to criticize something, at least spellcheck first…

    • redmini

      i cant even make sense of what you’re trying to say

      • Samael

        engrish much?

        • Xuchen

          Yeah… WHat???

  • Josiah

    Notice how there’s always someone going “How dare you criticize china! Where is your patriotism! America is far worse then china! You are shaming Mao/Your grandparents/insert as appropriate ”

    Surely a great nation or people can look honestly at its own flaws without flinching.

    • Jason

      Read that guy’s comment more closely. Do not assume that any argument against criticism is nationalistic and irrational. There is nothing about being patriotic or shaming anyone in that comment. It is merely asserting that people should not blindly criticize the educational system. Some criticisms on there are really stupid and short-sighted.

      That comment also did not say anything about America being far worst. I read it as only implying that American education system is not better. (although I don’t really get what that running in underwear part is about)

      • Kai

        There’s a rather famous (look on YouTube if you can) set of videos showing a bunch of UC Berkeley students running through the Library (main stacks) in their underwear or butt-nekkid during finals week. That’s what the guy was referring to. I agree the Chinese commenter wasn’t saying America is worse and was instead just pointing out that students everywhere experience stress and do silly/crazy things as a result.

  • malagebi

    If there’s one thing the Chinese do right, it’s pollution.

  • fozzwaldus

    we did exactly the same thing after our Leaving Cert (Irish Gao Kao) …

    but I think there was more burning involved.

  • Andre


    • Rawr


      • Cheoro

        lol and you, please reply fozzwaldus in the right language, chinese thanks.

  • 让我想起了我高考的那个时候,祝所有的同学明天发挥出最好的水平!加油!

    • Kvn

      Fauna, I’ve recently arrived from Shanghai and tried to visit chinaSMACK but it says that the website is under DDOS attack. Am I missing something?

  • Peteryang

    I didn’t take the uni exam because I went overseas way before that, but my cousin told me they had a massive book-ripping party similar to this one after they finished the exam, the whole campus went insane, it was as if they would never read textbooks, ever again.

    And I often feel sad for these students, who bike to school at 6 in the morning, come back at 9 in the evening and still burdened with crap load of homework. And when they’ve finally graduated from university, another harsh truth strikes — no, fucking, job.

  • The Grudge

    I’m disappointed, at first I thought it was a video about students celebrating the reform of the shitty Chinese education system.

    “We will finally be allowed to be creative! Woooot!!! We know what happened 20 years ago!!!”

    All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

  • zglobal

    go digital haha

  • GFZ

    Man… I am so freakin grateful that I moved the US when I was young, so I didn’t have to experience the Chinese Education system. It is brutal.. So I can why there are these traditions of ripping educational materials.

    • Jason

      Yes,it’s so cruel .Some of the students get mad because of the tiring ,boring learning.I’m one of these tired students.Only one who exoeriences the GaoKao can uderstand them.The fact is the majority of students study from 7:00am to the next1:00am .Tired,but may not get a chance to receive higher education. May there were some words mistakes,don’t mind please.Thank you.

  • The Grudge
  • The Grudge

    We don’t need no education
    We dont need no thought control
    No dark sarcasm in the classroom
    Teachers leave them kids alone
    Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
    All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
    All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

    We don’t need no education
    We dont need no thought control
    No dark sarcasm in the classroom
    Teachers leave them kids alone
    Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
    All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
    All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

    “Wrong, Do it again!”
    “If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding. How can you
    have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”
    “You! Yes, you behind the bikesheds, stand still laddy!”

  • The Grudge

    The land of the repeaters has a name: China

  • The Grudge

    Mother do you think they’ll drop the bomb
    Mother do you think they’ll like the song
    Mother do you think they’ll try to break my balls
    Ooooh aah, Mother should I build a wall
    Mother should I run for president
    Mother should I trust the government
    Mother will they put me in the firing line
    Ooooh aah, is it just a waste of time
    Hush now baby, baby don’t you cry
    Mama’s gonna make all of your
    Nightmares come true
    Mama’s gonna put all of her fears into you
    Mama’s gonna keep you right here
    Under her wing
    she won’t let you fly but she might let you sing
    Mama will keep baby cosy and warm
    Ooooh Babe Ooooh Babe Ooooh Babe
    Of course Mama’s gonna help build the wall

    Mother do think she’s good enough for me
    Mother do think she’s dangerous to me
    Mother will she tear your little boy apart
    Oooh aah, mother will she break my heart
    Hush now baby, baby don’t you cry
    Mama’s gonna check out all your girl friends for you
    Mama won’t let anyone dirty get through
    Mama’s gonna wait up till you get in
    Mama will always find out where
    You’ve been
    Mamma’s gonna keep baby healthy and clean
    Ooooh Babe Ooooh Babe Ooooh Babe
    You’ll always be a baby to me
    Mother, did it need to be so high.

    Learn China Learn…

    Been there done that as we say. Stop posting about your Gucci Bags and fucking wake up you bunch of fucking Chinese lemmings.

    God I love the word FUCK! FUCK ROCKS! Let’s all embrace it, as our national anthem!

    • Shoeshine

      congratulations, you are able to copy and paste lyrics from a pink floyd song. we are all very impressed.

  • David

    Now that’s what I call a 6-4 incident.

  • The Grudge

    I’ll be even more impressed if:

    1. You are Chinese and living in China (Oversea keyboard warriors excluded)
    2. You know about Pink Floyd
    3. You actually understand the lyrics and their meaning

  • Jamar

    I had to go through the same thing after all (but two weeks earlier as I was a foreign passport holder). I got into Jiao Tong (Computer Science major). However, I never did any of the paper tossing. Probably because I’m more of a quiet type.

    Just an anecdote.

  • bob

    I just watched a Chinese news program about a girl (from Nanjing Foreign Language School) who decided to forgo gaokao and took the SAT. She made it to Yale, and later described the US college entrance process as being tougher, because it wasn’t solely focused on academics [or a single gaokao test]. I think she full of bullshit. Gaokao is exponentially more difficult compared to SAT.

  • malagebi

    Let’s see: Gaokao is more difficult than SAT. Yes, though entrance into US colleges is far more difficult than Chinese colleges. Chinese students with perfect grades are a dime a dozen (or million). If you want to get into a top ivy league school (Yale, Harvard, Penn, etc.) you need great SAT, GPA, as well as leadership in organizations, sports, volunteerism and a varied background. America doesn’t need more socially awkward nerds.

  • yellow master race
  • bob


    “Chinese students with perfect grades are a dime a dozen (or million)”

    Yes, the lopsided ratio of Chinese students at these top US universities versus the overall population of Chinese in USA is a proof of that.

    Looking at it statistically, you think the top SAT scorers (~1.5 million annual takers) are in the same academic caliber as top gaokao takers (~10 million annual takers)?? I’m sorry, for any job that requires some intellectual competency, I’m going to take Tsinghua graduates over Harvard graduates.

    “America doesn’t need more socially awkward nerds.”

    CEOs here in the Silicon Valley would disagree with you. There are too many “leaders” in this country, and too few people who know what the heck is going on. This is the reason why high-tech jobs are leaving Santa Clara and moving to Pudong.

    • malagebi

      I’ll take a Tsinghua graduate over a Harvard graduate if I’m looking for a robotic mind. If I want any sort of creativity, abstract though, or leadership I’d pick someone with a lifetime of Western education. The average Harvard grad has had much more experience than any Chinese uni grad. American students get jobs in high school, work during college, get internships, etc. There’s also a far higher degree of independence. Chinese students study, study, and study. Book smarts only get you so far.

      • bob


        “If I want any sort of creativity, abstract though, or leadership I’d pick someone with a lifetime of Western education.”

        Hmmmm….western education gives you an edge in creativity and abstract thought? Not according to any objective rankings:

        In my opinion, the types of problems that are solved on topcoder competitions require a lot of creativity and abstract thought, and apparently, the best US schools are nowhere near the top.

        Also, it’s good to objectively to look at creativity and abstract thought through other competitions like International Mathematics Olympiad, International Physics Olympiad, International Chemistry Olympiad, International Informatics Olympiad, all of which China have been at or near the top for the last 20 or so years.

        No, working at McDonalds doesn’t help with creativity and abstract thought.

        • Jamar

          After having been through a local school after going through American education for most of my life, I agree with malagebi. I never want to repeat that experience again. Enough to make me jump? No way. But it left too much to books.

  • Bokamba

    I think it’s fine for students to relieve their stress like this; they’re not going to look at those books again anyway. But they should clean up after themselves.

    The NetEase commenter “hongsenmail” who claimed to know about the American educational system was only partly right. Chinese people were complaining about their own system, which they know from personal experience, and he comes in to criticize them using wrong information about America! How pathetic.

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  • Kevin

    Did all Chinese people take gaokao? Maybe we now understand why garbage bins are seldom used in China.

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  • Timtam

    Gasp! I hope China won’t mimicked Japan so much with the Entrance Examination Hell. If this goes on any longer, China will be second Japan(with Bubble Economy and all) and look at them Japanese now- they’re depleted of people and creativities, because the youths are killing themselves out of pressures in their society.

  • mide

    this is a annual tradition at my old high school,(Song Shan HS), in Taiwan. Huge event every year and I remembered it was sooooo relieving throwing all my books out.
    here’s a youtube clip of this year’s:

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  • qwerty

    better send the book to poor area ;-)

  • river

    the are just to mild and gentle. if i were them i would have destroyed the school.

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  • jay

    真的怀念高考。不是结果,而是过程。 我庆幸我是中国人有机会参加。真是一段很难忘的经历。你们是体验不了了。羡慕吧。

  • alan kok

    It’s being done in China where littering is common.
    Throwing papers, torn into tiny pieces from a higher
    ground to litter the ground below is a crime in most
    Asian countries. The entire group of students could face
    prosecution and be punished for community works (like sweeping the streets) and jail terms. After all they have controlled themselves for years, why couldn’t they
    release their tension at home or anywhere else in a subtle way.