• Society
A Big Test
Text and photographs by Wu Fang


On the evening of May 31, 2013, Yueyue and her classmates studied in their classroom.  May 25, 2013: Yueyue texts her classmates while studying at home.   May 25, 2013: Yueyue studies at home. As the Gaokao (college entrance exam) approaches, she studies more and more ardently.

A total of 9.12 million Chinese students participated in this year’s national college entrance examination, commonly known as “Gaokao,” held from June 7 to 8. Results of the Gaokao determine which universities will admit a student. Therefore, the year before the Gaokao represents the culmination of over a decade of work for every student.

As a professional photographer, Wu Fang documented how his daughter, Yueyue, spent the school year prior to the Gaokao. In a letter to his daughter, Wu wrote:

Like many other parents, we feel a bit nervous for the upcoming Gaokao. After all, the exam will determine the reward for your efforts over the past 12 years. These days, we really hope to spend as much time as possible with you at home. All we can do now is try to make your life comfortable.

Talking about your future, like most parents, we only wish you a happy life. For now, it is too early to anticipate what big achievements you might make. If you’re admitted to a college, you’ll leave the family as if you were married off. We’ll spend less and less time together. You’ve grown up and will depend on yourself in your future life.


 Sometimes Yueyue tires of studying. On the afternoon of June 8, 2013, Yueyue left the examination room with relief all over her face. May 10, 2013: Yueyue hugs her classmates while taking graduation pictures. June 4, 2013: Yueyue takes a photo with her roommates in the dormitory they have shared for two years.





Copyright by China Pictorial © 2000-2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Add:33 Chegongzhuang Xilu, Haidian District, Beijing 100044, China
Questions, Comments, or Suggestions? Please send to: