Wish cards

College Admission in China

Visit our Facebook page to follow coauthor Robin Mamlet's five-city book tour of China. In today's pictures, Robin visits the Nanjing Confucian Temple. She writes: Confucius promoted education and the temple in Nanjing is famous for having been the largest test site in all of China. An incredibly taxing exam was given nationally and the best in each province were selected to come to Nanjing for another even more difficult test. The test site at the Nanjing Temple accommodated 10,000 -- selected from all of China to take the highest level of exam. Only men were allowed to take the exam! And only 30 to 50 could be chosen from the 10,000 to go on and become a government official,a position considered the most prestigious in the land. Talk about selective! Within the temple, there is a "wishing wall.". On the wall, people hang their "wish cards," or jin bang ti ming ka. You can wish for whatever you like, for yourself or - more often - your son or daughter: high scores on gao kao, the Chinese national exam that determines placement in the top Chinese universities,  or to get into a top college, for example. Last night there were thousands of jin bang ti ming ka up because at 10p.m. the Nanjing gao kao results were being released. Above is a wish card. See more at our Facebook page here.