Students in Huizhou, South China’s Guangdong Province try to cheer up their peers who are going to take the gaokao. Photo: VCG

A Chinese high school dubbed “gaokao factory” urged that gaokao results not be hyped after a document allegedly showing its students’ excellent performance in this year’s exam was exposed on social media. 

Documents allegedly listing students from Hengshui High School in North China’s Hebei Province showed that the school continued to dominate gaokao this year. 

Among the top 20 highest scores in the province, 18 were made by students from the school, and 23 students from the school scored higher than 700/740, which covers about 85 percent of students with such a score in the province, the documents showed. 

However, the school on Tuesday denied on its website that they had ever released the students’ performance and said the spread of these documents “created trouble for their work.” 

The Chinese Ministry of Education issued a regulation in May to ban educational organizations and middle schools from publishing high school and college entrance exam results.

“We firmly oppose people or organizations that hype gaokao results,” the school said. 

A photo of the gate of Hengshui High School in North China’s Hebei Province Photo: IC

Hengshui High School has been famous for its strict regulations and extremely high rate of enrollment to China’s elite universities since the early 2000s. However, it is also been called a “gaokao factory,” which exposes its exam-oriented education style.

Gaokao, China’s national college entrance examinations held every June, is generally believed to decide ones’ destiny, especially for students from ordinary families who take the exam as one major chance of changing their fate. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the city of Hengshui’s GDP last year was the third-lowest among the 11 cities in Hebei Province.

“There are many stereotypes and malice toward the school,” Xia Yihui, a Hengshui High School alumnus, told the Global Times on Thursday. Xia said the key to the school’s success is that they can always attract the best students from the province who are not bookworms but intelligent and diligent.

“The school asked us to be efficient and fast, and we have rigid rules for meals and sleep,” Dong Chunhui, a former student at Hengshui High School told the Global Times on Tuesday.

“The school also stresses using fragmented time to learn, such as the time when you wait for lunch at the canteen or line up in the morning assembly,” Dong said. Dong feels comfortable with Hengshui’s discipline, which is used in many schools in China as well because of the intense competition in gaokao, especially in provinces with large populations.