To enter university in China, students must meet a certain target in the nation-wide university entrance exam called the gaokao. Rural families in particular make enormous sacrifices to send their children to ‘cram schools’ that apply eye-watering pressure to achieve:

Yang had spent the previous three years, weekends included, stumbling to his first class at 6:20 in the morning and returning to his room only after the end of his last class at 10:50 at night. Yang and I met at this precise moment, after his Sunday-morning practice test, because it was the only free time he had all week — a single three-hour reprieve.

From Inside a Chinese Test-Prep Factory