Confessions of a former gaokao champion

By Bai Ping ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-07-11 09:09:17

Confessions of a former <EM>gaokao</EM> champion
Zhang Jieye/China Daily

A top student has eschewed his dream of studying journalism in favor of business school. But Bai Ping says he has never regretted pursuing his passion career.

Teenager Wu Chengjie, who achieved one of the highest scores in the national college entrance examination or gaokao, in eastern Jiangsu province, has caused a stir after confessing that he has decided to give up journalism, his passion, to study business, as advised by many journalists who interviewed him. For days, Wu's revelations have become a hot topic among media practitioners who have speculated on what their colleagues may have said about the occupation to trigger his change of heart. Could it be the long hours? Low pay? Or the constant humiliation of having to "act like someone's grandchild", as an anchorwoman lamented on a television news show?

But most seemed to agree: A gaokao champion deserves better than a job in the news business. From a cost-benefit perspective, it will take many years for a journalism graduate to recover their parents' investment in his or her four years of tuition, room and board, besides the tens of thousands of yuan that have been spent grooming a top scorer.

The world is vastly different than it was decades ago when I took gaokao. Back then, the exam was much more competitive with a national enrollment rate of about 5 percent. For a shot at a place at a good university, the odds could be less than one in 10,000.

Yet I emerged as the top scorer in my city, which opened doors to all the top Chinese universities. Looking back, I think I triumphed mainly because of my self-discipline and ability to concentrate and to understand and command large amounts of information in various subjects within a limited time.

 Confessions of a former <EM>gaokao</EM> champion

Confessions of a former <EM>gaokao</EM> champion


Confessions of a former <EM>gaokao</EM> champion

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