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The College Post -- Covering Higher Education in America

American Universities Accepting Chinese Gaokao Test Score on Rise

Despite heightened diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China, the number of American universities accepting gaokao, a Chinese standardized test, is on the rise.

Last week Initialview, a Chinese interview services company, announced the acceptance of gaokao scores by the University of Oregon, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the University of Tulsa.

Starting in fall 2019, Chinese students who wish to apply to these universities will only need to provide their gaokao scores and participate in an InitialView interview.

Gaokao, the tough national standardized test that takes place over two days in June each year, helps Chinese students get accepted into elite higher education institutions across China and various universities in countries including the U.S., the UK, Italy, Australia, and Canada.

The announcement follows a warning from China’s Ministry of Education to its citizens about problems they may encounter when studying and traveling in the U.S. The government warned its students about possible visa delays and denials.

This was followed by another warning from China’s foreign ministry, cautioning Chinese citizens traveling to the U.S. to raise their safety awareness in regards to heightened scrutiny from U.S. law enforcement such as immigration checks and home interviews.

Last year in June, the University of New Hampshire became the first state university in the country to accept the gaokao score for enrolling students. Later, the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, St. Thomas University in Miami, Adelphi University in New York, the University of San Francisco, Louisiana State University and Suffolk University in Boston also began accepting gaokao scores.

“Many studies have shown that the SAT is not a very good predictor of how well students will do at university,” USF President Paul J. Fitzgerald said. “We are aware of the many criticisms that have been made of the Gaokao, but it has the advantage of being what educational experts call a ‘criterion-referenced’ exam: It tests whether students are able to master a given body of knowledge, as well as their ability to work hard and consistently.”

Lately, many universities in the country are going test-optional by making the submission of SAT or ACT scores non-compulsory and putting more weight on students’ individual high school performance.

According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, in recent years more than 1,000 four-year colleges and universities have made the submission of SAT or ACT scores optional, including the University of New Hampshire, University of San Francisco, University of Chicago, American University, Ball State University, and Wake Forest University.

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