Are there similarities between US college admissions and the Chinese domestic college entrance exam?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

Are there similarities between US college admissions and the Chinese domestic college entrance exam?

Ellen erichards@ellened.com
Owner Ellen Richards Admissions Consulting

China's college entry test an ordeal for many

Once every year, students who hope to attend college in China take the gao kao – the high test. This test is the sole determinant of whether or not a student will be admitted into college. About 3 out of 5 students generally achieve the necessary score. The pressure weighs on students and their families. Students spend up to 16 hours a day for three weeks without a break at boarding schools to prepare for the test. Parents aid their children in cheating using high-tech equipment. Lavish prizes are used as incentives for students to do well. When a student doesn’t do well enough on the test to gain entry to a top-tier school, his family doesn’t speak to him for a week. Critics assert that the test reflects flaws in the education system in China. Rather than educating students to be free thinking, creative and resourceful, students are pressured to memorize. Education is less about the quality than the quantity. It's difficult to determine which country does a great job educating their students. In my article "Is the United States preparing students for higher education and future jobs as world leaders?" (http://tinyurl.com/oso6vn), I make note of the differences in teaching methods between the United States and Asian countries (who seem to do a better job educating their students), but the pressure that students endure in those high academically achieving countries seems to outweigh the benefits of their education system.

Nina Berler
Founder unCommon Apps

U.S. and Chinese Admissions: How Similar?

The Chinese entrance exam, known as gaokao, is administered each June. The exam contains includes Chinese, math, and English along with history, geography, biology and chemistry and lasts nine hours over two days. It is the only criterion used for entrance to Chinese universities, generating much anxiety. In contrast, the SAT and ACT are shorter exams that, while important, are looked at along with many other requirements such as the transcript, recommendations and essays. While in a sense the SAT and ACT are similar with their emphasis on English and Math, U.S. applicants can select which SAT Subject Tests they want to take, allowing them to shine in their favorite subject areas.

Dr. Skarlis
Owner/President The College Advisor of New York

Chinese domestic college entrance exam and US admissions

There are very few similarities between US college admissions and the Chinese domestic college entrance exam.

Tyler Burton
President Burton College Tours

Apples and Oranges

In the USA standardized testing is only a portion of the admissions process. Some schools do not even require standardized testing and are called "test optional" schools. Many of these schools do require some admissions testing for international students and that may range from the SAT to the TOFEL. When I work with international students I like to begin by showing students and their families an American college application. I show them the many different sections on a college application that students will need fill in to show a complete picture. I show them that there is a small space to list test scores. Test scores are an important part of an admissions application, but they are a part and not the whole part of a complete application. When Burton College Tours takes international students to visit schools I teach students about the elements of a good fit. "Fit" means is the school the best school for that student. The above question asked me to address the differences between the US and Chinese exams. There are differences in the testing approach, the length of each exam and the level of reasoning that the testing measures are different. I chose to address how each exam plays a role in the admissions process. In the US, at most schools the test scores are a part and not the sum total of the admissions process.

David Allen
Managing Director Global College Counselors Ltd

No idea

I am sorry I have no idea about this one.

Don Tamminga

Are there similarities between US college admissions and the Chinese domestic college entrance exam?

I have no idea but I am sure you can look it up on line.

Tony Bankston
Dean of Admissions Illinois Wesleyan University

No Answer

No Answer

Saroj Jagernauth

Are there similarities between US college admissions and the Chinese domestic college entrance exam?

yes

Pamela Hampton-Garland
Owner Scholar Bound

Chinese vs. US Entrance Exams

There are similarities but the Chinese domestic exam is the sole exam used for entry into college while in the USA the standardized exams are only one fraction of a greater pie.

Claire Law

Are there similarities between US college admissions and the Chinese domestic college entrance exam?

There are no similarities between US college admissions and the Chinese domestic college entrance exam. US colleges evaluate the performance of a student over 4 years of high school and standardized test scores. The results of the Chinese domestic entrance exams determine whether the student will be able to continue their education at the university level in China.