Exam Stress

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Script to introduce the film

This film follows young students in China as they prepare for their Gaokao exams.

Gaokao exams, as they are commonly known in China, are notoriously tough entrance exams that young people hoping to go to university must excel in.

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

Ma Li starts school at 7 o'clock in the morning and doesn't finish until half past 5 in the evening. She then studies for 6 hours at night as well as studying with a tutor at the weekend.

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.

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

Show the film and use the discussion prompts afterwards. Email worldclass@bbc.co.uk if you would like to download a copy of this film.

The students in the film are disciplined and concentrate on their schoolwork. Why do you think this is?

Ma Li mentions that she and her classmates study "really hard together" for the Gaokao. What do you think the advantages and disadvantages of studying in a group are?

How do you think families cope in China with the pressure of the Gaokao exams?

How do you think you would cope with the long hours of school and studying that Ma Li does?

Do you think the students in the film are under too much pressure? If so, why and if not, why not?

How do you think you would feel if you were competing with 9.15 million other students in an exam?

How do you think people would react where you live if roads and building work were both closed during exams?

Does technology help you or distract you when studying? How?

How do you deal with exam stress?

What is your top tip for revision?

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