China’s Ultra Hard Version of the ‘SAT’ to Be Accepted for the First Time at an American University

Results of China’s National Higher Education Entrance Examination, also known as the gaokao, will now be accepted in application procedures to the University of New Hampshire (UNH).

The university is the first public academic institution to make the move, and it aims to attract Chinese students for a more multicultural community.

“We wanted to find a way that would give us a unique pipeline to students that not every other American and international university was utilizing,” VP for Enrollment Management Victoria Dutcher told CGTN America.

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“China is a dominating force in the global economy. It’s important for American students and other international students to get to know students from China.”

Examinees line up for the 2018 Gaokao at a test center in Xi’an city, Shaanxi province. Image via Xinhua

Essentially a national event, the gaokao is considered the most important exam a Chinese student will ever take in life. For what it’s worth, it’s also said to be one of the world’s most difficult standardized tests.

The exam, which lasts about nine hours over a period of two days, is administered annually in June. It covers mandatory subjects such as Chinese, mathematics, and English and several minor courses specific to a student’s chosen academic track.

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Examinees study in the evening at No. 1 and No. 11 Middle Schools of Nanchong for the 2018 Gaokao. Image via People’s Daily

Below are three sample questions from previous exams :

Question #1 (via People’s Daily):

If x + y ≥ a, x – y ≤ -1, and the minimum value of z = x + ay = 7, what is a?

A. -5

B. -5 or 3

C. 3

D. 5 or -3

Answer: B

Question #2 (via China Daily):

In a letter to James Madison in March 1787, George Washington wrote: “That a thorough reform of the present system is indispensable, none who have capacities to judge will deny — and with hand and heart I hope the business will be essayed in a full Convention.” What does the “thorough reform” refer to?

A. Eradicating the defects of the federal system

B. Establishing a republican system with checks and balances of three powers

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C. Abolish constitutional monarchy

D. Change the loose federal system

Answer: D.

Question #3 (via China Daily):

President Xi has said that while art can release the wings of imagination, it should still be down-to-earth. There may be hundreds of ways to create art, but the best way is to have it take root in people’s daily lives, and create something based off of that. From a materialist point of view, this is because (pick two of the statements below):

I. Art originates from people’s daily lives.

II. Art depends on innovation.

III. The way art reflects on society and its style is unified.

IV. Art is a form of ideology that reflects people’s lives while serving the people at the same time.

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A. I and II.

B. I and IV.

C. II and III.

D. III and IV.

Answer: B

A student poses for photos after the 2018 Gaokao in Hefei city, Anhui province. Image via Xinhua

UNH’s new policy means Chinese students will no longer need to spend more time, effort and resources for standardized tests typically required for an international study. It also allows for enrollment for the Fall term beginning in late August.

The University of San Francisco, a private and Jesuit university, is the first U.S. school to accept gaokao scores in its admission process, along with high school grades and an English interview. There are no other requirements.

Image via YouTube / CGTN America

Critics have long slammed the gaokao for its emphasis on rote learning over creativity, but Dutcher pointed out that it’s only a part of the university’s admission criteria.

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“There is no one perfect predictor of academic performance. The Gaokao is an important component of the application process for these students, it’s not the only thing we consider.”

Examinees study in the evening at No. 1 and No. 11 Middle Schools of Nanchong for the 2018 gaokao. Image via People’s Daily

While the new policy is directed at Chinese students, the university believes that the rest of the student body will benefit from the healthy multicultural interaction.

Featured Image via Xinhua

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