China’s education ministry to adjust bonus points in national college exams

Society & Culture

Following a notice from the Chinese Ministry of Education regarding the admissions procedures for the 2018 gaokao (高考 gāokǎo) — China’s national college entrance exam — the country’s top education authorities emphasized today that some students who had previously been beneficiaries of extra points would no longer enjoy that advantage in future exams.

The national cancellation of the policy is expected to affect student-athletes, medal winners of International Science Olympiads and other competitions in science subjects, provincial-level “excellent” students, and those who are honored for demonstrating outstanding deeds of morality. According to China Daily, students with these achievements were granted up to 20 bonus points in the past exams.

The ministry also told the press that special actions would be taken to improve the examination environment, including employing new security measures to reduce cheating, making better plans to secure the tests from leaks, and constructing policies to help students in rural areas to promote education equality.

However, many internet users argued that the drastic reform wouldn’t necessarily ensure fairness in the gaokao, given that students from ethnic minority groups can still get extra “merit points” in the exam. “For students subject to the new cancellation policy, they actually work hard to earn these bonus points. But these ethnic minority students did nothing yet still get the bonus points,” one commenter wrote.

Some other internet users saw the decision as unfair to students with a talent in sports, who usually sacrifice their study time for training. “We suffered a lot during trainings,” a student-athlete wrote. “These points are earned through our sweat. Why did you announce the policy with such short notice?”