Getting 'Gaokao fever' - are these the world's toughest exams?


In China, young people hoping to go to university must excel in the notoriously tough entrance exam, or 'Gaokao'.

Ma Li, 18, is one of the 9.15 million Chinese high school students about to start studying for the exams.

For her, and many like her, the exams will be the culmination of an exhausting year of cramming and revision. The pressure is high, with some schools going to increasingly extreme lengths to boost exam performance.

During the two days of exams, China is gripped by 'Gaokao fever', with roads closed and construction sites falling silent to avoid distracting the students.

Schools World Service is a BBC British Council co-production. This film uses material from a BBC News report by John Sudworth.

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.