Your monthly intake of education news from all around China. 
April 2022

More Changes, Again?

Hi everyone,

At the time of writing for last month’s newsletter, MIT announced they would return to requiring SAT and ACT scores for applicants, while Shanghai started going into lockdown. This month, let’s look deeper at the ongoing effects.


To Test or Not to Test

MIT’s announcement sparked discussions on the benefits and disadvantages of standardized tests again and opinions are divided.

MIT’s dean of admissions argues that standardized test results help predict student success, though he does mention that this may be due to the quantitative orientation of the school.

Other findings show that SAT scores may actually be better at predicting student success after controlling for family backgrounds because the advantages of privileged students affect more than just standardized test scores. When Michigan state required every high-school student to take a standardized test, the number of low-income students in colleges actually increased.

Those against standardized testing cite the sharp uptick in international applications due to test-blind admissions. According to Common App, the number of international applicants has increased by 34% since 2020. Removing the test requirement may also increase domestic application numbers in the US.

Many schools are still collecting data to see how the test-optional class fares. What’s your take?

Lockdown Effects

Much is up in the air in China as well. 

The Shanghai lockdown situation has disrupted all aspects of life. In terms of the education world, there are concerns for the fates of international schools as teachers are opting to go on summer vacation early or leaving altogether. Similarly, a survey found that about half of foreigners in Shanghai surveyed plan on leaving China within the year due to the current situation.

A handful of other cities are also in various states of lockdown, as COVID cases pop up across the country. Most university campuses have been in lockdown on and off since 2020. TOEFL and IELTS tests will likely be delayed too. The long-term effects of all this on study abroad is still to be seen.

Our Top 5 Articles

A survey of the expat community in Shanghai shows some insight into the effects of the lockdown situation.
Read about the immediate concerns that may be looming for students in Chinese international schools.
What are the effects of test-optional admissions and what can this mean for international applicants?
The MIT dean of admissions answers what caused them to bring back the standardized test requirement.
Contrary to popular views, this article argues that standardized tests aren't what's unfair.
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