‘Work hard to pay their tuition’: woe of red-faced Chinese daughter delights social media after parents pass key exams which she flops

‘Work hard to pay their tuition’: woe of red-faced Chinese daughter delights social media after parents pass key exams which she flops
  • Parents who took key Chinese exams with daughter to ‘boost her confidence’ pass tests while she fails
  • Mainland social media reacts with humour as one online commenter says: ‘Keep working hard and earn money to pay for your parents’ tuition’

A Chinese postgraduate candidate has experienced what could be one of the most awkward moments of her life after her parents – who accompanied her to sit key exams to “boost her confidence” – both passed while she failed.

The woman, surnamed Chen, 24, broke the news on the Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu, adding: “I might need to work now to afford my parents’ education.”

Chen said her 48-year-old father scored 386 points out of 500 in the preliminary tests for China’s graduate school entrance exams that took place last December while her 46-year-old mother scored more than 390 points.

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They both applied for Chongqing University, one of the most prestigious universities in China, and have qualified for the interview assessment.

Chen, however, only scored around 300 points and failed to meet the entrance requirements for her university of choice, the Chinese online media outlet Dumiao Caijing reported on March 3.

After working for two years following completion of undergraduate school, Chen said she began preparing for the postgraduate exams encouraged by her parents.

She invited them to prepare for and sit the exams with her: “To show them young people are facing more study pressures nowadays than before.”

To do so and to “boost her confidence”, the parents decided to take the challenge.

Chen said that her parents – both of whom are straight-A students and who have been pressuring her since she was young – told her to “let it go” after learning the results.

Chinese social media reacted with hilarity over Chen’s predicament.

“Keep working hard and earn money to pay for your parents’ tuition,” one joked.

Another said: “This is your parents telling you ‘Don’t blame us for not passing your exams’.”

Postgraduate exams in China are very competitive, this year 4.74 million people are battling for just 760,000 places, according to the 2023 postgraduate enrollment data interpretation report released by New Oriental Education & Technology Group.

In 2021, a 51-year-old mother and her 25-year-old daughter in southwestern China’s Chongqing Municipality prepared for the postgraduate exams together, and both began their graduate school studies last year, winning many people’s admiration.

In February, a young Chinese woman fainted from excitement and was taken to hospital after learning that she achieved high scores in her postgraduate admission exams.

She had worked hard far away from home for a year to prepare for the tests, her mother said.

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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

Copyright (c) 2023. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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