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An Evaluation of China's "Gaokao" System

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Tommy Maynard

on 9 April 2014

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Transcript of An Evaluation of China's "Gaokao" System

Currently, the education system in China is all about scores... No matter the evaluation system or the way we select talents. That’s the key problem of the education system, as far as many people are concerned.
"Survival of the fittest, not of the best"

Recent reforms and the future
Benefits of the system
Future and further solutions:

More emphasis should be placed on a holistic education - critical thinking, problem solving, communication and extra curricular activities
Regional disparity must be addressed
China only spends 4% of GDP on education, Malawi 6% of GDP, USA 5.7% of GDP
Multi-evaluation system
Provides relatively equal opportunities for Chinese students to enter higher education
Good "GaoKao" result = Good University = Good Job = 'Good standard of living
Businesses adopting marketing strategies targeting "Gaokao" - eg. English teaching market value now at estimated 30 billion yuan; brain food and lucky charms increasing in popularity
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Will Harvey & Tommy Maynard
¥ 10
Overview of "Gaokao" System
Created in 1952
Gao (high) Kao (exam) represents the University entrance exam in China
High emphasis on test scores, sacrificing social and practical skills and applicable knowledge skills
"GaoKao" focuses on memorization in short time on wide range of subjects
Standardized exam for entire nation, that shapes their entire life
Colleges and Universities arranged by tier to which the "Gaokao" is linked
Around 10 million Chinese students took the "Gaokao" exam in 2013 (bigger than population of Sweden)
Challenges of the system
China's education system placed emphasis on copying rather than critical thinking
The "Gaokao" is more focused on teaching people to follow rather than lead
Stifling Innovation and creativity
Overarching structure - systematic, centralised system focusing on precision
Jing Lin, Professor of International Education Policy at University of Maryland says "can stifle creativity and leaves little time to for free thinking"
Cheating becoming common because of importance
Doesn't work for different learning types
Intense pressure on students (test only once a year)
Regional disparity
An Evaluation of China's "Gaokao" System
Vice Minister of Education Liu Limin
Current Reforms:

Ministry of Education is set to reduce the number of subjects, and has reduced the weighting of English
Students given second chances for certain exams
Introduction of two-track system
"Integrated plan of examination and enrollment reform in 2014 and publicize to whole country in 2017 and by 2020 create a more well rounded education system" Liu
Custer, C. (2012) The Gaokao: China's national college entrance exam. About Chinese Culture [Online] 9th April 2014, Available at: http://chineseculture.about.com/od/historyofchina/fl/The-Gaokao.htm - Economist (2012) University Entrance Exams: Testing times. The Economist [Online] 9th April 2014, Available at: http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2012/06/university-entrance-exams - English News CN (2013) Businesses benefit from "gaokao economy". English News CN [Online] 9th April 2014, Available at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/business/2013-06/07/c_132437687.htm - Goldstick, W. (2010) The Gaokao Examination: A shadow behind China's educational system. Unspecified [Online] 9th April 2014, Available at: http://www.academia.edu/3692103/The_Gaokao_Examination_A_shadow_behind_Chinas_educational_system - ICEF (2013) China announces plans to refom national college entrance exam. ICEF Monitor [Online] 9th April 2014, Available at: http://monitor.icef.com/2013/12/china-announces-plans-to-reform-national-college-entrance-exam/ - Levy, M. (2011) What I Learned from China's Schools. Huffington Post [Online] 9th April 2014, Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-levy/what-i-learned-from-china_b_872126.html - Li, H. (2013) Gaokao system needs re-examining in China. The Straits Times Asia News Network [Online] 9th April 2014, Available at: http://www.asianewsnet.net/Gaokao-system-needs-re-examining-in-China-42909.html - Martin, O. (2012) China's Gaokao: A New Phenomenon or Heritage of Ancient China? NSHSS [Online] 9th April 2014, Available at: https://www.nshss.org/media/19587/Martin.pdf - Shi, T. (2013) High-stakes hysteria: The bizarre insanity of China's college entrance exams. Vocativ [Online] 9th April 2014, Available at: http://www.vocativ.com/world/china/chinese-college-exam/ - Zhang, S. (2013) On the Allopatry of National College Entrance Exam in China: The Root, Policy and Strategy. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology International Journal of Social, Human Science and Engineering Vol:7 No:12. pp. 212-215 - Zhao, S. (2013) English learning and reform of the Gaokao. China Policy Institute Blog [Online] 9th April 2014, Available at: https://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/chinapolicyinstitute/2013/12/22/english-and-reform-of-the-gaokao/

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