In tests given to students worldwide to evaluate their performances, the world was surprised when results showed American students ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math. The tests administered by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the top scorers were the Shanghai pupils.
The students’ scores shocked the world when they topped the charts across the board in math, science and reading. Shanghai was the only site in China where the tests were administered according to msnbs.com.
“If you are a hard-working, diligent student you will succeed,” said Qiu Ying Li, who has been teaching English for 20 years. “This is the secret for all Chinese students.”
Kids receive homework seven days a week and attend school for 12 hours a day – 9 before dinner and 3 more after – students are even expected to study during school breaks to prepare for the tests required to get in to college.
“It’s a test-oriented education system, which means students are taught from a very early age how to beat tests,” said Jiang Xueqin, deputy principal of Peking University High School.
To fight the stress which may accompany these activities, students take time for workouts and eye massages.
Students start learning English at the early age of six and it appears to be paying off. In one English class, a young man said his life revolves around school. “It’s all about studying,” he said, laughing. “I got to make money; I got to make a living.”
Another student said he pushes himself to work hard in school so he can achieve his goal of working in an organization that protects ocean creatures.