“Gaokao”, China’s Version of the ACT/SAT, Gaining Acceptance in U.S.

CHINA COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMS
Officials from the Ministry of Education monitor examination halls through security cameras installed at the Wuhan No.2 Middle School in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province on Thursday, June 7 2007. Some 9.5 million students throughout China are taking part in the annual college entrance exam from a record 10.1 million students who signed up for the exam, scheduled for June 7-8, vying for about 5.67 million university places. Color China Photo / AP Photo
CHINA COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMS
Officials from the Ministry of Education monitor examination halls through security cameras installed at the Wuhan No.2 Middle School in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province on Thursday, June 7 2007. Some 9.5 million students throughout China are taking part in the annual college entrance exam from a record 10.1 million students who signed up for the exam, scheduled for June 7-8, vying for about 5.67 million university places. Color China Photo / AP Photo

“Gaokao”, China’s Version of the ACT/SAT, Gaining Acceptance in U.S.

If you grew up in the United States, you probably spent your senior year of high school preparing for the ACT or SAT. In China, a similar, more demanding test exists. The gaokao (which means ‘high exam’ in Chinese) is an intense nine-hour exam that’s taken over two days. Chinese students spend their high school careers focused on taking this test. It determines what college or vocational school they will attend. This year, the University of New Hampshire became the first U.S. public university to accept gaokao scores for admission. This has led to concerns about the legitimacy of the gaokao. There are some problematic questions on the exam relating to political orthodoxy. Joining us to discuss the gaokao exam is Natalie Young, a Ph.D Candidate within the University of Pennsylvania’s department of Sociology, and Wen Huang, journalist and author of the books The Little Red Guard and A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel: Murder, Money and an Epic Power Struggle in China.