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The CURIOOKids Malaysia Blog
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The CURIOOKids Malaysia Blog

Gaokao, Start Planning Now…..


The world’s largest high-stakes examination by number of test-takers, the Gaokao, is taking place today across China. Nearly 10 million high school students are now making their final preparations, cramming and last-minute studying and the level of anxiety and nerves increasing by the minute for many of their parents. The exam is an important moment in the lives of all young people, as the score derived from the examinations, provides a placement into university and is the final step in 12 years of intensive schooling for most young students.


Increasing Education Choices

The reality is that in 2020, students preparing for the Gaokao have more educational opportunities than at any time in history. In 2019, approximately 80% of all students who sat the exam received placement into a university. This is a remarkably high number given the percentage able to go to university was only 6% back in 1979.


As China accelerates the development of a knowledge economy where entrepreneurial, problem-solving, creativity, design and technology skills are highly sort after, a key policy initiative is to develop the Vocational and Technical training system and provide technical skills training to support important skills gaps in the economy. In addition, increasing number of Parents are deciding that a local international or dual language/curriculum school or overseas education is the best fit for their child as the child can benefit from exposure to global cultures and language. In 2019, over 600,000 Chinese students were studying in overseas education institutions.


Preparing and Planning for Gaokao Results

While the Gaokao exam itself is standardized, it is especially important to remember that every child is unique, has their own potential and responds to different subjects and ways of learning. Preparing students for the Gaokao is a marathon that requires careful planning and must start many years in advance of the actual examination. The first step in the process is to understand where we are heading.


Decisions need to be made relatively early in the child’s education on the subjects the child will choose in Middle School with Math, Chinese Literature and English compulsory, the child needs to decide if they will go down the Humanities or Science pathway. This is a critically important decision and it should be made based on the actual strengths and aptitude of the child.


Significant academic research shows that when a child is interested and curious in what they are learning, learning is accelerated, knowledge is retained, and results are improved as the student is motivated to learn. So, we need to find out early the child’s personality, interest and aptitude and match that with the subject areas they will study at school. To capture the data required to find their aptitude, we want the child to explore different subjects and experiences and assess their responses. Behavioural software such as CURIOO’s CBAS system can support the identification of the child’s aptitude accurately.

Once we know the general direction, we are able to set a plan that maximizes the child’s academic scoring potential, we then need to do 2 things:

1) learn the foundational skills in that area and

2) develop the appropriate behavioural (life) skills of the child.


Developing a Child’s Behaviour and Character

With a solid foundation in behavioural skills, the child is able to demonstrate initiative, set their own goals, be determined and resilient, overcome obstacles, solve problems, find opportunities and use creativity to generate new ideas. All skills that are critical for Gaokao (and life) success.


Planning for Gaokao Success:




Lets Prepare Students (and Parents!) Early

At CURIOOkids, our education system provides an excellent platform that develops both the practical and behavioural skills that support academic achievement and excellent life outcomes. Our education methodology is structured according to the following 5 principles:


1. Use sophisticated behavioural science to understand what makes your child unique

2. Match your child’s interest, personality, and aptitude to the academic curriculum at school

3. Build a strong social-emotional foundation to develop a confident, empathetic, and self-aware person

4. Rapidly develop behavioural skills to enable resilience, determination, problem solving capabilities, set their own goals, demonstrate initiative, and use creative thinking

5. Prepare the child well with the practical future skills required to generate strong academic results and maximize their life opportunities in technology, design and/or entrepreneurship


The final objective of the Gaokao preparation process should be to ensure the student attends the higher education institution that has the best curriculum and course structure aligned with the aptitude, interest and talent of the child and provides a clear pathway to a lucrative and enjoyable career.

With carefully planning, this whole process can be managed systematically, removing the cramming, panicking and anxiety that many students and Parents are feeling right now.