To Li Xiaolan, an employee of a foreign company in Beijing, the news that a warning letter had been sent from the US-based Education Testing Centre (ETS) to the deans of American universities was bad news. In the letter, ETS - the organisation which conducts the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) exams worldwide - asked those in charge of admitting graduate students in American universities to pay special attention to the 'abnormally' high test scores of Chinese and use other credentials to check consistency. After two years of intensive studying for TOEFL and GRE and spending most of her savings in the process, Ms Li was confident that with her good background and excellent test results, she would secure at least two or three admissions. But Ms Li is seriously concerned now. 'I do not know if this letter will affect my chance of getting admitted,' said Ms Li. 'Just because of this letter, I became suspected of cheating for no reason. It is an insult.' For most Chinese students who want to go to the US or Canada to study, ETS holds the key to their future. Extremely high scores on TOEFL and GRE exams are not unusual on the mainland. Students from Beijing University and Qinghua University are famous for their high, sometimes abnormally high, marks. This was largely attributed in the past to the excellent examination skills of Chinese students and to the effective exam practice methods used by experienced training schools.