The fathers of a class of schoolchildren in southeast China were given a taste of test pressure last week when they sat an exam designed for their offspring. The test for the fathers of the 50 grade-three pupils was organised in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Friday by Xigua Video, a short-form video platform that makes a popular reality show about improving relations between parents and children. The exam was designed to give the parents a better understanding of the difficulties the children faced in their studies, and included questions on metric conversions and pinyin, China Youth Daily reported on Tuesday. It also quizzed parents on just how well they knew their children, asking them what their sons and daughters wanted to do when they grew up and the word they most often used with their children. The fathers’ scores ranged up to 93 per cent, with the average 66.8 per cent, the report said. How China’s fearsome Tiger Dads found their way back into fashion Many of the test-takers said the experience left them feeling incompetent and gave them cause for reflection, the report said. “As parents of millennial children, we all had very simple wishes for our kids [when they were born], but we can’t help being anxious when it comes to education,” Yuan Han, one of the fathers, was quoted as saying. As competition grows for places in China’s elite school, the country’s increasingly wealthy families are pouring more resources into their children’s education and piling more pressure on the pupils to build more impressive resumes through extracurricular activities. The anxiety has given rise to the phenomena of “tiger mothers” and “eagle dads”, parents who pressure their children to perform. Why China’s Tiger Mums (and dads) are resisting its ‘less homework’ policy Xiong Bingqi, a researcher from the 21st Century Education Research Institute, said that anxiety was accurately reflected in the reality show. “However, I don’t think such programmes can help reduce such pressure, just like all those stories about easing students’ burden years ago that went nowhere ultimately,” Xiong said. “Parent’s anxiety over tests are driven by the method of assessment. It wouldn’t change if the test-oriented system isn’t changed.” Xigua Video has collected about 100,000 test questions from Chinese primary schools, and plans to invite about 250 families from various backgrounds to try the role reversal.