China’s National College Entrance Exam | Better than the US college admission System?

China’s National College Entrance Exam | Better than the US college admission System?

August 19, 2019 71 By Stanley Isaacs


What’s going on guys, this is Simon from
Shanghai again. The last weekend, from June 6th to June 8th,
is very important to many Chinese students. It is the Chinese national college entrance
examination, commonly known as GaoKao, which takes place only once a year. Each year, there are roughly 10 million high
school graduates taking the exam. If you want to go to college in China, you
will have to take it. Of course, nowadays, there are some exceptions:
if you got special talents, like winning the Olympic math medal, you probably don’t need
to take the exam, and some university will hold independent tests for a small number
of candidates. However, for the majority of the Chinese students,
taking the National College Entrance Examination is still the only way for them to get into
colleges. So today, let’s just briefly talk about the
Chinese National College Entrance Exam. For most regions, the exams last about 9 hours
over a period of three days. In those three days, all students will take
Chinese, Math and English tests. In addition, students need to choose between
two concentrations, either the social-science-oriented area or the natural-science-oriented area. Students who choose social sciences receive
further testing in history, politics, and geography, while those who choose natural
sciences are tested in physics, chemistry, and biology. After the exam, students will fill one application
form. The form and application process will be slightly
different depending on the region, but generally speaking, students will be able to write down
about 10 programs from different schools to which they want to apply. the order you write these programs
is very important. Unlike The United States, where you can apply
multiple schools and receive offers from multiple Colleges at the same time, In China, if you
get accepted by the program on your first spot of the list, then you will be automatically
enrolled into the school, Other programs will not receive your application at all. Therefore, normally students will put their
most favorite program on the top of the list, and put their least favorite one at the bottom. After that, the admission process begins. Students with higher overall scores will be
able to select their program earlier than other students. The whole process is done by computers and
it is probably like this: The system will start reviewing students application
1 by 1, from the top to the bottom based on the overall score. the system picks a student, and check the
no 1 program on his list, and see whether the program is full. If it is not full, it will put him into the
program. Then the system moves on and starts reviewing
the next student. If the program is full, then it will check
the no 2 programs on his list, then no 3, until it finds an open spot for him. The higher the score you get, the better the
chances you will have getting into your most favorable program. For instance, the top 100 students will probably
be able to get into their No 1 program on their application because by the time system
reviews their application, their most favorite program is not full yet. Nevertheless, for the students with lower
scores, they probably won’t be able to get accepted by their most favorite program, since
a lot of students have already enrolled and if the program is very popular, it may have
reached to its maximum number of enrollment. Anyway, if you still don’t understand how
it works, you just need to remember that if you want to get into a better college in China
you need to study really hard, and the score is the only factor which determines whether
you can go to that college. For most average Chinese people, Gaokao is
the most important exam in their entire lives. It not only decides which college you will
go to but also has a huge impact on your career and your life. In China, after you graduate from college,
society will categorize you by the college you have attended. If you graduated from a 985-college, then
you are a 985 guy. if you graduated from a 211-college, then you are a 211 guy. A lot of big companies only hire students
graduating from those two kinds of college. It doesn’t matter how good you are, if you
don’t graduate from one of these colleges, you won’t even be able to get an interview. Oh, by the way, tuition for Chinese colleges
is more affordable compared to the US, the tuition for 4-year’s study usually cost around
4000 USD to 5000 USD. Therefore, for many students coming from a
low-income family, getting into a good college is the only way to change not only him but
his entire family’s future. When I was a college student in Shanghai,
some of my classmates from other province are 2 years or even 4 years older than me. They told me that in their small cities, going
to college is their only hope, so a lot of them will attend gaokao again and again until
they get accepted by a college. In their cities, they would rather spend three
more years in the classroom studying the same subject over and over again instead of being
a farmer or making minimum wage in the factory like their parents. For many students, attending gaokao is the
most nerve-wracking experience they have ever had in their lives. The sole goal of more than 12 years hard study
from preschool to high school, is to get you ready for Gaokao. If you fail the test, either you study for
1 more year from day to night and go through the nerve-wracking test again, or you can
choose to quit and all your 12 years efforts go to waste. Personally, I don’t like the experience at
all, and I will never want to do it again. However, I think Gaokao is probably one of
the fairest systems in China’s society. Personally, in terms of fairness, I would
say it is better than the American college admissions system. Let me explain to you. I know in the United States, students also
need to take the standardized tests, SAT or ACT, before applying for colleges. Nevertheless, except for the standardized
test, there are also many other factors that will influence admission decisions, such as
GPA, personal statement, Recommendation letter, and extracurricular activities. Personally, I don’t think they are good references,
Let’s talk about the first factor, GPA. let’s say we have two students, Bucky and Mike. Bucky has a 4.0 perfect GPA, and Mike has
a 3.5. If they are from the same high school and
they were taught by the same teacher and took the same exam, then we can safely say Bucky
is better than Mike, right? But, what if they are from different schools,
what if Bucky is taught by a bunch of very friendly teachers who tend to give their students
higher grades and Mike is taught by some strict grumpy old dudes who barely give good grades
to any of their students. Under that circumstance, how do the reviewers
tell who is better than who? Other than that, You know when I was in high
school, a lot of my friends who planned to study in the United States will just ask our
teachers to write higher grades on their transcripts, and I don’t think any schools from the US
will spend time to check the validity of each student’s GPA. The second one, Personal statement. I have no idea how reviewers are able to tell
who is more suitable for the program by reading those letters. First of all, how do you know who actually
write the statement? Did the student write himself or did he ask
someone else write for him? Second of all, how do you know whether the
statement the student write down is true or not? Bucky says that he wants to save the world
and make it a better place, so he decides to become a doctor, While Mike says that doctor
is a very lucrative career, that’s why he wants to be a doctor. If you are the reviewer, which one would prefer,
are you sure Bucky is telling the truth? and what do you think about Mike, is making money
an inferior reason for being a doctor than saving the world? You know in China, we have a lot of agencies
who help students write personal statements when they apply for American colleges, and
a lot of them don’t even read it after the agencies wrote it for them. The third one, recommendation letters. So basically, it means the more successful
people you know, the more likely you are to succeed. Damn, I wish my parents know the president,
I could go to Harvard as well. Last one, extracurricular activities, this
one is also very subjective. Let’s say, Bucky is from a rich family, he
has a ton of extracurricular activities during the weekend, horse riding, playing golf, skiing. He also went to East Africa with his family
to help out the poor kids over there. While our little Mike is from a single parent
family, he has to work in the fast food restaurant during the weekend to support his Mom and
siblings. His only extracurricular is flipping burgers
in the McDonald. So who do you think has better extracurricular
activities? Bucky or Mike? When there are so many subjective metrics
in the admission process, it gives too much power to the admission committee. We all know that when someone gets too much
power without any public supervision, he will inevitably become corrupted, and people from
the US are no exception. Let’s look back to Gaokao, It has long been
criticized for putting students under tremendous stress and denying students of getting a well-round
education. However, it excludes subjective metrics from
the admission process, which minimize human error and bias. For students from less privileged backgrounds,
gaokao is probably the only place where they can compete evenly with their rich friends
and it is the only chance for them to make it to the top. If we adopt the US’s admission system, I don’t
think those poor kids will have any chance. Of course, Gaokao is far from being a perfect
system. It still has several issues, like regional
discrimination. It is much harder for kids from less developed
areas to get into college than students from big cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, because
most top universities are in those big cities and they enroll more students from their own
cities than those rural villages. Gaokao also only takes place once a year,
if you missed it, you have to study hard for another whole year to attend the next one. And for rich kids, they don’t even bother
to attend Gaokao, there are so many outstanding universities in the West waiting for their
money, so at the end of the day, gaokao may gradually become poor man’s game. Okay, I think that’s pretty much it for today
video, what do you think about Gaokao, and do you think it is better than the US admission
system in terms of fairness? Please leave your thoughts under the comments
section below. And as always, if you like my video, please
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