On August 23, 2018, the Beijing Municipal Education Commission released its plan to reform the national college entrance examination (gaokao).
On August 23, 2018, the Beijing Municipal Education Commission released its plan to reform the national college entrance examination (gaokao). This will enable students to choose three test subjects they like or are good at from chemistry, physics, biology, politics, history and geography, in addition to the three compulsory subjects – math, Chinese and a foreign language. The reform is aimed at boosting education quality and giving full play to students’ personal interests. In 2014, Shanghai and Zhejiang Province started the first round of pilot gaokao reform and to date it remains mired in controversies over the extent of students’ personal choice. The pilot reform was scheduled to be applied to 18 municipalities and provinces this fall, but the number was reduced to only eight at a time when gaokao examination scores remain the most important thing for a student’s future. Some high schools failed to empower students and parents, causing them great anxiety. What’s more, a growing number of students rushed to select subjects in which they believe they can obtain a high score, resulting in a new set of problems and wasted educational resources.