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China MoE urges int’l acceptance of gaokao exam

The Chinese Ministry of Education is calling for more foreign universities to accept the Chinese gaokao exam, after more than nine million students took the test this month.

"The preparation for the gaokao is so incredibly intensive, it’s pretty hard for a student to prepare for more than one system"

The gaokao, which is sat by Chinese students wanting to pursue higher education, is taken over the course of two days, and plays a part in determining the students’ acceptance into a university.

“How does an institution determine what results they should be using?”

According to Chinese news site Global Times, Yu Jihai, deputy director of the division of international education at China’s Ministry of Education said at a conference last month that they “are currently working on having foreign countries recognise the grades of China’s gaokao”.

Some institutions around the world are accepting the gaokao test results in admissions, including almost 60% of Australian universities, as well as all universities in France.

Last month the University of San Francisco announced a pilot programme that will admit Chinese students based on their gaokao results and a face-to-face interview.

However, the results are not recognised universally.

Kim Morrison, CEO of Grok Education Services, said she has been working with foreign institutions for a year to help them understand what the results mean.

“It’s not straightforward,” she told The PIE News. “Because the gaokao results can vary based upon province for example, and even the scale of the results can be different.”

She added: “And then how does an institution determine what results they should be using?”

Another advantage of universal gaokao usage, as cited by the University of San Francisco, is to cut down on study time for other admission exams.

“USF wants to give excellent Chinese students the opportunity to start their education in the USA, immediately – without spending an extra year preparing for IELTS, TOEFL or SAT test,” it said in a statement.

“The preparation for the gaokao is so incredibly intensive, it’s pretty hard for a student to prepare for more than one system,” confirmed Morrison.

She went on to say that ideally, by taking just the gaokao, Chinese students would have an international credential that they can take to a foreign university. “That’s the rationale.”

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