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American Gaokao - The Pursuit of High Scores

Popularity 1Viewed 3308 times 2019-6-6 04:51 |System category:News

It is that season again when students almost go insane with anxiety as they go headlong into the most important exam they'll ever take.

America has its own version of the college entrance exam, or, as I've heard many call it, the Meiguo Gaokao. In fact, there are two exams that are quite popular, but, the SAT is the one that is most well-known. As opposed to the Chinese Gaokao, it is only about a 3.5 hour exam (the length varies depending on whether a student chooses to take subject tests and write the essay).

The SAT consists of two parts: Math and English. The English part is further divided into 'reading and writing.' Chinese students who opt to take the SAT discover that the English half of the exam is the most difficult for them. Whereas, TOEFL and IELTS (both of which are English assessment exams) are both geared for international students, the SAT English section is written for native speakers. The level of English required is far higher than the English part of the Chinese Gaokao. Again, it is written for those who have spoken English all of their lives.

In the 8 years since I came to China, I have been able to give students a huge advantage in getting them prepared for high scores on the SAT English portion of the exam. I require all of my students to write the optional essay as it gives them an advantage in getting accepted into more and higher ranked colleges. I've been able to prepare them for acceptance into programs at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Chicago, University of Southern California and more. All of the students who have studied with me have received offers of acceptance to top 120 schools in America.

My students consistently score above 1500 out of a possible 1600 for the exam. Chinese students almost always get a near perfect score for math. The only challenge with math is also an English challenge. They need to know all mathematical terms/words in English in order to understand the questions. Not a difficult task, but, an essential one.

So, I must primarily keep them focused on the English portion which is far more daunting for international students.

I see the greatest results from students who have studied with me for 6 years or longer. These are students who started with me when they were in primary school. Most them started when they were either in the 5th or 6th grade. I can help them achieve English proficiency in about 4 years. I can help them to achieve near fluency in about 5.5 years.

Today, more than 350,000 Chinese students are attending American colleges and universities. It is expensive and can be quite difficult for them and their families. It is not an option for a lot of students due to the cost and difficulty. However, it is a worthwhile dream.

As Chinese students who choose to stay and study in China, students who desire to go abroad find that high scores on the SAT (Meiguo Gaokao) is the most important advantage to going to world-class universities. I love helping them reach for and achieve their dreams.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Reply Report GVTCC 2019-6-6 09:41
American students are happier than Chinese boys and girls, they have only two subjects to deal with. Chinese students live in endless nightmare after leaving the primary school, if they are responsible children who do not let their parents down. Would you post some sample tests of SAT so that we can make a self-assessment?

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Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.


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