Imagine this schooling situation:

You’re a high school senior in a rural area where you walk two miles to school each day. You have some friends but you are particularly focused on your studies because you have a chance to go to college so say your teachers. You’re lucky because half of your classmates won’t go to college. You spend the year preparing for the national standardized test. No, it’s not the SAT or the ACT or whatever. It’s a national test for college that everyone takes, with no exceptions. Part of that test is applying to college too. You have to rank your first and second schools. You hear that the University in the capital is THE place to go but you’re not sure your scores will get you in. Nevertheless, you put it as your first choice school because you want to go. You also list your second choice school in another city with a lower score cut-off. You get your score back and no school accepted you. Your scores weren’t high enough for the University in the capital city. Your scores were plenty high for your second choice but the school only took students that listed them as their first-choice.

This is the case in China; a stock-market game of score cut-offs and roulette of ranked choices determine where you go to college. Forget the two stacks of acceptances and rejections that make the American high school senior squirm in excitement and dispair. You get one shot in China and you go where the government tells you to go and you’ll like it because at least you’re going somewhere.

Hey, at least you have military training to look forward to upon your arrival on campus! Think of it as orientation…


One thought on “Imagine”

  1. This is a very stimulating dilemma. I will, however, save the topic for another conversation. Just to provide some local context: the residency process for med students is fairly similar and just as stressful (one of the few helpful pieces of information from my medical forum).

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