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September 5, 2013

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Home » Metro » Education

Confusion over new college rules

The Shanghai Education Commission said yesterday high school graduates can skip pre-admission exams conducted by different colleges and universities if they did well in their academic tests in the high school.

But local universities have yet to decide if the unified tests were good enough to replace their own exams.

Under the commission’s new rule, colleges and universities will select candidates for pre-admission interviews based on the scores of the tests, Su Ming, the commission director, said.

Shanghai has piloted pre-admission exams for years so that students have more channels to enter college and universities other than taking the college entrance exam.

The pre-admission exam usually consists of two parts — a written exam and an interview. Students have to prepare for many written exams if they want to apply for more universities.

Su said the new rule will help students avoid repeated pre-admission written exams and, to some extent, reduce the pressure from them.

But universities are not ready to give up their rights to recruit freshmen by their own criteria.

Two local universities, Fudan and Shanghai Jiao Tong, said yesterday they supported the commission’s resolution for education reform and will study the new rule without saying whether they will accept the results from high school academic tests.

Other universities have yet to come out with a statement.

All universities in Shanghai  doing the pre-admission exams are administrated by Ministry of Education, meaning the city commission can not decide how they recruit students.

Some parents and students claim it only makes it more difficult for them. “Aren’t these tests just an earlier college entrance exam?” asked Zhang Meilian, the mother of a 16-year-old boy who is in the 12th grade.

Zhang said college pre-admission exams should be diversified rather than become a unified test.

The academic achievement tests cover 10 subjects such as Chinese, mathematics, English, physics and geography. Students can take the tests over a period of three years. All the results for the additional Chinese and mathematics tests will be presented as reference to colleges.

Zhang fears that students will have to start preparing for the tests from their summer vacation as all the tests should be completed before the first semester of the last year of their high school.



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