An “unconventional measure of blowing off steam before the exam has prevailed in recent years, with students tearing their textbooks into pieces and throwing them off the school building. Some choose to yell in the school buildings to cheer themselves up as well.”
The exams have been criticised for leading to a culture of cramming and rote learning.
At its most extreme the stress from the Gaokao is thought to lead to clinical depression and even suicide.
China’s number two leader Li Keqiang once used the Gaokao to springboard himeself from poor Anhui Province into China’s most prestigious academic establishment Peking University.