Photos of Chinese Students Cramming for Exams Hooked to IVs Spark Controversy

It appears in China the saying “study till you drop” is taken quite literally by some, as photos show students receiving amino acid IV drips as they hit the books during late evening studying session for college exam.

You thought you were studying too hard? Well unless you’ve ever needed intravenous medication to keep you from passing out or collapsing due to excessive studying, you have it pretty good compared to these young students at a high school in Xiaogan, central China’s Hubei province. Photos taken late one evening, and posted on popular Chinese site Sina Weibo, show a brightly lit classroom full of students studying National College Entrance Exam, commonly known as “gao kao”. Students appear buried among piles of books, with dozens of IV bags hanging from lines traversing the classroom.

Uploaded only two days ago, the photos were shared by thousands of students and went viral on the Chinese interwebs. Asked about the situation,Mr. Xia, director of Office of Academic Affairs, said the IVs only delivered amino acids to restore students’ health. “The state grants a 10-yuan subsidy for amino acids to each graduating senior that will participate in the gao kao(National College Entrance Exam). Any student that feels not well can go to the infirmary and take amino acids on the IV drip,” Xia said. And because the school infirmary was already full of students in need of medical attention, the school thought they’d arrange IV drip sessions right in the classrooms , to help students save time, instead of having them run back and forth between infirmary and classrooms.

The National College Entrance Examination, or gao kao, is viewed as a life-and-death turning point in the lives of senior high-school students,  as it determines if they can be accepted by into their dream schools and if they can go to college at all, regardless of their previous academic performances in high-school. The test includes three compulsory subjects (Mathematics, Chinese and English), plus a few optional, and takes place on the 7th, 8th and 9th of June. It’s basically the Chinese version of the SAT, only students apparently take it way more seriously there.

I definitely agree studying hard is important as a student, but doing it to the point where your body actually needs amino acids to cope with exhaustion seems a bit extreme.

via Ministry of Tofu

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