Gaokao, the annual National College Entrance Examination in China, is considered the most demanding and important exam in a student’s education. Yet, many are dissatisfied with what students are required to write this year. 

What are the essay questions for 2022’s Gaokao?

According to Chinese media Da Ji Yuan, in National Paper B, the essay questions theme is the two Beijing Olympics. Providing a title, “Leap, leap again,” it required students to write about the prosperity and leapfrog development brought about by the Chinese Communist Party. 

About this topic, several critics said it is irrelevant and challenging for those not from Beijing. Here is one example.

Meanwhile, National Paper A cites the classic 18th-century Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber and the process of naming a pavilion in the saga. 

The composition question for Paper I asks candidates to develop strategies for the game of Go. 

The essay questions for Paper II wanted exam takers to produce an 800-word critique of a mini-documentary released by the state-owned CCTV for the 100th birthday of the Communist Youth League.

In Beijing and Tianjin, which set their own test questions, the essay questions are all about the pandemic and lives under the zero-COVID policy. In Zhejiang 浙江 province, candidates are asked about the achievements of local outstanding young people in all walks of life and to give thoughts on future development.

As Da Ji Yuan noted, some have commented that the questions in Beijing and Tianjin were easy. Several pointed out that it might signify discriminative treatment for those in the capital against those from the countryside.

Let’s hear how a retired teacher thinks about the questions. She has been involved in education for 33 years in China.

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