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August 12th, 2008
China Prep
Poll: Should a standardized test like China's gaokao exclusively determine who gets into college?
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  • Suoyang hou

    I voted No…but only as an ideal hope for the future…as of right now…I guess I would vote YES because there are no other ways to determine students on such a mass scale than standardized test.

  • John Hellacko

    Of course there are other ways to decide whether a student is college worthy. Grades, what teachers say about them, specific tests for certain subject areas.
    For example, if a student is bad at test taking, but good at learning, they will have bad tests, mediocre grades, and the teachers will love them.
    Standardized tests are a test of how well students studied for that test, not what they know, or how inteligent they are.

  • sharon

    At present time’s Gaokao has too many problems. I just paid 10,000 Chines yuan for my relatives kid to get in to college. It happens too often.

  • The pookums

    What, then are the SAT’s and every other entrance exam for grad school in the US? How about the Regents in NYC? If you think that extracurriculars or teacher’s recs make that much of a difference in the US, think again.

  • American High School Teacher

    “For example, if a student is bad at test taking, but good at learning, they will have bad tests, mediocre grades, and the teachers will love them.”

    This is certainly NOT the case. At some point, learning needs to be demonstrated through an objective criterion. If test anxiety is a concern, this could take the form of a creative project with a rubric; either way, a student who learns the material should receive good grades. How else does one quantify learning?

  • Dave S

    I love what “American High School Teacher” says: “How else does one quantify learning?”

    Well…why quantify it at all?

    Grades are exactly what AHST says they are: quantifed coercion.

    As a high school teacher myself (also American) I have no interest in quantifying learning. I am, however, forced to do it. I would much rather describe learning that has occurred for a student in more descriptive terms. I’d like the student’s input and the parent’s input as well.

    Okay, I know we work with far too many students for such a system to be workable…but what makes grades either valid or reliable? I believe any evaluative system is unavoidably arbitrary and subjective, whether we speak of the ACT, the gaokao or any other standardized tool.

    I feel nothing but sympathy for Chinese students caught up in an abusive system.

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