Catch Phrase | 考研倒流 (kǎoyán dǎoliú)

Writer: Li Dan   |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2022-10-13


“考研” literally means “to take the national graduate program entrance exam,” and “倒流” means “back flow.” This term, coined by Chinese netizens, refer to the scenario where a student who graduated from a top Chinese university has chosen to enroll at a graduate program with a less prestigious university than their undergraduate school. The term “back flow” is used because traditionally, students often choose to enroll at a graduate program with famous universities, often with a higher rating than their original school. This reverse phenomenon occurs because of the difficulty in finding a decent job and excessive competition with the graduate entrance exams.


A: 你哥考研上岸了吗?

Nǐgē kǎoyán shàng’àn le ma?

Did your elder brother succeed in getting enrolled at a graduate program?

B: 他选择了一所家乡的普通大学读研。

Tā xuǎnzé le yīsuǒ jiāxiāng de pǔtōng dàxué dúyán。

He has chosen to take a graduate program at a run-of-the-mill university in my hometown.

A: 现在竞争激烈,考研倒流很普遍。

Xiànzài jìngzhēng jīliè,kǎoyán dǎoliú hěn pǔbiàn。

With the fierce competition, it’s common to go to a not-so-famous university for graduate study.