130 — End of College Entrance Examination!
The difficulty of the English exam in the College Entrance Examination was quite high this time, as not only was the listening section hard, the same was true for both the multiple choices and written answers.
There were all sorts of uncommon words and unfamiliar phrases in the question paper.
Even Qin Yanran couldn’t help but frown when answering the questions. Many words outside of the syllabus were the key to solving the reading questions. It also tested their grasp on the English grammar, its semantics, and the ability to guess the meaning of uncommon words.
[1: you have to guess the meaning of a word from the context in which it is used.]
The other candidates in the Examination Rooms also frowned when they dared to read through the reading questions, and then half-guessed the answers and wrote down whatever came to mind.
Su Lin had long expected such an outcome.
Yesterday, when Su Lin took out the English test paper he got his hands on, he encountered a similar situation as everyone else. It wasn’t easy for him to guess the meaning of the key words. As long as he guessed one word wrong, the entire answer would fall apart.
Fortunately, Su Lin already went through it once yesterday with the help of a dictionary and a vocabulary book. Anything he couldn’t understand, he looked up the dictionary for it, so he breezed through today’s exam.
He had wanted to hand in his answer sheet ahead of time, but after thinking about it, he decided to keep a low profile. He closed his answer sheet, and then looked at the candidates in his Examination Room who were hard at work.
Li Hao, who was in another Examination Room, deserved to be Su Lin’s good bro. After answering everything, he did the same as Su Lin and didn’t hand in his answer sheet, and instead, started to observe the students in his surroundings.
The one he gave his most attention to was none other than Li Yan, the cousin he held great prejudice towards. Seeing Li Yan in a daze brought great joy to Li Hao’s face, and he said in his heart, ‘Weren’t you always so high and mighty, as if you already knew everything? See how embarrassed you look right now!’
‘Why are there so many unfamiliar words? This— How is anyone supposed to answer these questions? I don’t know the meaning of a sentence, let alone a paragraph…’
Li Yan panicked in his heart as he couldn’t answer any question as he read through the top three questions; he only penned down an answer for two questions after half-guessing the answers. The questions he couldn’t do were worth 20 points just here, while there were other places on the exam where he couldn’t solve anything. All-in-all, he was going to lose some thirty to forty points just from questions he didn’t know any answer for.
Li Yan panicked further, and sweat poured down his forehead like rain. When Li Hao saw the sweat going down Li Yan’s face, and his trembling hands, he knew that Li Yan was probably going to fail the English subject.
‘What’s going on? Is Li Hao, this fat brat, done with the exam already? Why is he looking at me with such a wicked smile, as if he’s watching a good show? Don’t tell me he finished all the answers for such a difficult exam?’
They were in the same Examination Room, so how could Li Yan not throw occasional glances at Li Hao when Li Hao was observing him with keen interest? Yesterday, during the mathematics exam, Li Yan felt that there was something wrong with Li Hao. He stopped writing barely after an hour, and then sat there with an expression that said: ‘I’mma get a perfect score!’
And now, when they were taking such a fearful English exam that terrified even Li Yan, that Li Hao— Li Yan didn’t believe that Li Hao could get a good score after finishing the exam in such a short span of time.
‘Li Hao, this fat brat, must have lost his mind. He barely gets 50-60 marks in English, so I don’t believe he will get a high score even if he did everything seriously; I could probably score more than him just by making guesses. I am sure he’s just trying to disturb me after blindly filling in the answers…’
Li Yan felt breathless and nervous, so he comforted himself with those words in his mind, and then stopped thinking about Li Hao. He focused all of his attention on the English paper in front of him, and went at it.
Alas! He still couldn’t ignore the prousmile on Li Hao’s face that made him seem as if he wasn’t pretending just to mess with his head.
Could it be that he really answered all those questions?
That was impossible!
Wild thoughts ravaged Li Yan’s mind and hindered his ability to answer the questions even more; he couldn’t help but feel dizzy as he looked at all the English letters in front of him.
The time for the exam passed in the blink of an eye, and only ten minutes were left, yet Li Yan was still not done with the answers.
‘What should I do? What should I do? I don’t know the answers…I don’t have time either! I have to fill something in…’
Li Yan blindly filled in the answers and then handed it over to the invigilator.
When the invigilator took away his answer sheet, Li Yan sneaked a glance at the answer sheet submitted by Li Hao and saw it full of scribbles! What’s more? There was a neat and clean composition, even. There wasn’t a single point where he erased something or modified his words.
‘How is this possible?! How can Li Hao answer the exams so well?’
Li Yan couldn’t accept it. He messed up hard in the exam, so how could Li Hao, who was always the last in the class, do it so fast and so well?
“Wassup Li Yan, my bro! How was the English exam? If you fail to score better than me, your li’l bro, you will embarrass my uncle in front of everyone in the family!”
Li Hao smiled and said to Li Yan once they left the Examination Room.
“Humph! Li Hao, you fat brat, don’t think you can score higher than me just by memorizing a little composition from some template and messing around with the answer sheet. And even if your luck is through the roof in English, so what? Even if you get a high score in English, will you be able to match me in the other subjects? With your grades, going to a University is nothing but a pipe-dream!”
Li Yan’s rage soared as he witnessed Li Hao’s expression, and he barked at him. In the mock exam, he was ranked third in class, second only to Qin Yanran and Su Lin, but now, he made repeated mistakes in the mathematics and English exam. However, he believed that even if he failed an exam or two, he would still do better than Li Hao.
“Oh? Is that so? Hehe…let’s wait and watch! Anyway, everyone in the family will gather in a few days, when the College Entrance Examination’s results come out, so I will make sure to humiliate you in front of them all.”
It was the first time Li Hao could stand tall in front of Li Yan and compete with him and speak such words, and all of this was thanks to his good brother Su Lin’s help. Li Hao had worked hard, and lost count of all the brain cells he lost while trying to engrave those answers in his heart. If he still couldn’t surpass Li Yan in the College Entrance Examination, then he ought to smack his head into a brick wall.
The final comprehensive examination of the science subjects was going to be held in the afternoon. Only when they finished that exam would all the senior high-school students would be truly relieved.
Su Lin and Li Hao casually found a restaurant at noon and solved a few questions, and then returned for the College Entrance Examination in time. Of course, they who got the question papers in advance breezed through the exam without a hitch, unlike the other candidates, and answered the thick stack of comprehensive exam.
[Ding! Ding! Ding!]
The bell signifying the end of the examination sounded, and the huge weight holding down everyone’s hearts finally disappeared.
As the invigilator took away all the answer sheets, Su Lin realized that his high-school career was completely over now.
All the candidates poured out of the Examination Rooms like a swarm. Su Lin was among the crowd, too. He didn’t know who it was, but someone suddenly roared in the crowd, and ignited everyone’s emotions at once.
That’s right! They were finally free from the ten cold, hard years of study!
Some couldn’t help but cry out, even. No matter what the result of the College Entrance Examination might be, their bitterness had finally come to an end. After all, the closer they got to the College Entrance Examination, the stronger the pressure weighing down on them became. They had to review everything as much as possible, and then endure the pressure from their family’s expectations and their own dreams.
But now, all of that stress went up in smoke. The result of the College Entrance Examination didn’t matter as it was something they couldn’t change now. Finally, they were not little birds imprisoned in a cage who were forced to learn. Now, it was their time to fly out of the cage and soar through the sky.
Some couldn’t help but laugh out loud; they were laughing at themselves. Before the College Entrance Examinations, they regarded it as something extremely scary and stressful, and dared not to face it, but now that the College Entrance Examination was over, they realized that it wasn’t all that difficult — it was just a more important exam.
Some people were confused. Now that the College Entrance Examination was over, they couldn’t help but feel a sense of loss in their hearts. They were looking forward to this day, yet now that it was here, they couldn’t help but feel an inexplicable emptiness in their hearts. They wondered why that was?
They had studied for years just for the College Entrance Examination. Over the years, the warnings of their parents and teachers had branded their very souls with the imprint of the College Entrance Examination, so now that the College Entrance Examination was over, they felt as if their lives lost their meaning and direction, and that’s why they fell into confusion.
Su Lin felt like a boat among a bunch of boats going through a sea of hardship right now. There was strong wind and heavy rain before, and now, there was the unknown sea in front of them, waiting for them to explore it. There were infinite treasures and happiness under the sea, waiting for them to dig them out.
‘No matter what, the College Entrance Examination…it’s finally over!’
Su Lin felt the urge to cry in his heart and clenched his fists.
‘Men do not cry easily, even if they might be sad.’
Still, Su Lin wanted to cry — not because he was sad — but because he wanted to pay homage to his learning career from elementary school to high school over the past ten years.
After the College Entrance Examination came to an end, all the students of Jian’an First High rushed to the assembly field. Before the College Entrance Examination, their Principal had told them to come to the assembly field after they were done, for an important announcement.
‘What’s the important announcement going to be about?’
Su Lin didn’t believe there was anything more important than the College Entrance Examination left, but that didn’t prevent him from joining in on the fun.
“Yay! We are free…”
“Awesome! The College Entrance Examination is finally over…”
All kinds of paper planes — big and small — flew through the sky above them. After the College Entrance Examinations, the students couldn’t wait to rip apart their books and blow them away or make origami out of them. Some of them didn’t even think about doing something that fancy, and just straight out ripped their books apart and scattered the pages from the school’s roof.
By doing so, they vented all of the grievances bottled up in their hearts because of those books! It was their time to retaliate.
Su Lin looked at the scattered paper that resembled snowflakes and couldn’t help but smile; he, too, took out a book from his bag and decided to join in on the ‘scatter the books and ashes’ festival.
Of course, the school had no problem with such behavior from the students — to be precise, they expected it already. After all, the students were suppressed under the weight of the books for so long, so how could they not vent now? As long as they don’t bother the school’s principal and director, the school couldn’t be bothered about them.
“Li’l Lin, watch me celebrate victory! I specially brought a bunch of books from my home just to celebrate! Do you have enough books on you? See how I rip these apart! This Daddy Fatty won’t touch a single one of these books in his life again!”
As Li Hao watched Su Lin happily rip apart a book, he opened his bag and took out a bunch of books to join in on the celebration as well.