Top gaokao scorers fail to live up to expectations

By Yan Weijue (
Updated: 2010-06-28 14:58
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Every June, they capture the nation's attention as they become the top scorers, or zhuangyuan, in the college entrance exam, or gaokao, across China. People take it for granted that these students are headed toward a bright future. But a recent survey revealed that reality shows otherwise.

The survey kept track of more than 1,000 top scorers from 1977 to 2008, and found that none of them stood out in the field of academics, business or politics, failing to fulfill people's expectations.

Experts criticized the media hype over the talents, pointing out that "top in exams" does not necessarily mean "top in career." The talents may not have too much advantage in college because the environment there is totally different from high schools.

Managing systems at some schools may also be lacking, as experts think school authorities put great pressures on those students, whose interests and enthusiasm may be dampened under the intensive training classes.