It’s June 7th - 9th 2016 and some roads are blocked from through-traffic, there are knocks on doors of apartment blocks located near schools asking people to turn their tvs or music down, and there is a palpable general feeling of anxiety all over the country. It’s Gaokao time. Gaokao are China’s standardized national exams for high school graduates. They are the main determiner for what university a student can attend, if any, and thus play a major role in determining each student’s future. This year, more than nine million students are facing the enormous pressure of sitting the exams and this year, for the first time ever, any student caught cheating could end up being sent to jail for up to 7 years. The exam covers the subjects of Chinese, mathematics and English, and another science or humanities subject of their choice.
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