Score: Increasingly Difficult to Measure

The MoE has recently issued an official notice to remove a number of Gaokao policies of awarding additional scores (at the provincial level) in sports, Olympic mathematics and science & technology competitions and for “outstanding students”. The stated purposes behind these changes are to ensure “fair competition” amongst students from different regions (developed and under-developed regions) and schools (state key schools, experimental schools and ordinary schools) and to eliminate some of the selling of prizes/awards “trade” by competition organizers. This is also seen as one of the tactics to reduce students’ pressures and burden, many of whom regular attend multiple training courses to compete in these competitions.


Either through Gaokao or through independent recruitment (up to 5% of the total recruitment), Chinese universities are struggling to discover the talent buried by “score only” selection processes. Many arguments and empirical studies have demonstrated that the total Gaokao score doesn’t directly correlate with academic results at tertiary level or achievements later in life.


Despite the MoE’s policy, many Chinese universities still recognize these additional “measuring points” as part of their own “independent recruitment”, as there seems to be no other alternative.

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