More tries at big exam welcomed

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 February, 2011, 12:00am

The news that high school graduates on the mainland may have more than one chance to take the college entrance exam has stirred debate.

Yuan Guiren, the minister of education, recently wrote an article in Study Times on proposed improvements to the examination. He said high school graduates might be able to take the exam more than once a year in future.

Many students and teachers have long thought the exam puts too heavy a pressure on them.

Hong Simin, a student at Shihua High School, said this change could help her.

'It means I can hope to enter the university I want even if I don't do well the first time,' she said.

Simin suggested what she said would be a fair way to judge a student's ability.

She said only the best results in each subject, from exams taken at different times, should be looked at.

'As students may take the college entrance examination more than once, it is fairest to take the best scores for every subject into account,' she said.

'If I have a good score for some subjects, then I can pay less attention to them and concentrate on the subjects I'm not good at.'

Gao Haiyan, a retired teacher who taught in a high school for 18 years, also backed Yuan's proposal.

'I once taught an excellent student who always ranked in the top three in every test, but unfortunately he failed the college entrance examination,' she said.

'The student missed the chance to go to the university he liked. I think the proposed change can help avoid such a tragedy.'

Liu Jiaxin, a high school graduate, thought the change would not reduce the pressure on students but would increase their burden instead.

'We now take the college entrance examination only once,' Liu said. 'If we have to take it many times a year, it will make us more tired and nervous, as we must work harder to prepare for every exam.'