Today is the first day of gaokao, China’s national college entrance exam.
Cramming for the future
It will be two palm-sweating, hair-raising days for nearly 10 million high school students, who will be tested on nearly 12 years of studies.
Only 40% will score highly enough to enroll in China’s universities.
Every June, a massive ceremony in the rural town of Maotanchang, in the eastern province of Anhui, sends off busloads of students through cheering crowds, as they head to test centers.
The town is home to Asia’s largest cram school.
Here, teenagers have been studying 16 hours a day, seven days a week – and their families have been with them every step of the way.
We take you behind the scenes in this small rural town turned test-prep hub.