Study Culture in Chinese High School

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"Who is No.1 in this test throughout the school?" "Is it the genius from class No.4?" "You bet. Also, You know, No.2 is a new guy in class No.3. I haven't seen him before. Shall we take a look?" "Sure. I know him and I can point him to you" Three students then stand near the classroom door, looking through the windows. A boy with a thick reference in his hand is asking a teacher questions after class. "You see, he is there". "Oh, it is him. I did not know that the guy is so gifted!" Three all looks admired. Here is my schoolmate's admiration for an academically well-performed student. Studying is the priority in many Chinese high schools. Studying hard is a common phenomenon in many competitive schools. Because of the pressure of college entrance exam, although study culture varies from schools, academic performance is always regarded as priority. My high school is regarded the best school in Suzhou, China. Top students filter into the school through tough exams. Being popular in that scenario is simple: you behave well academically. It is the prevailing culture in my high school that popularity is determined by your academic performance, not sports or artist achievements. Our school day is mainly devoted to studying. In the morning before 8 am, we arrive at school, reading textbooks aloud. Then we will have a day’s class in the same classroom, because a class of students has the exact same schedule, saving the cost to move from one place to another. Finally, we head back home without much hesitation, hoping to finish homework as early as possible, saving time to review the notes and do extra practice. The study culture in my high school provides challenge for normal students to become popular because the culture cultivates an admiration for top-score students. Yi, for example, is a transfer student from an ordinary class to my class, the all-star class with high-score students and good teachers, because he performs extraordinarily well. But he used to be an...
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