The number of students going abroad from China has been ever increasing over the past few years, and parents are making plans very early on for their children to study abroad, resulting in a drop in the average Chinese study abroad student’s age.
Reporters conducted a spot interview with a Beijing family whose child is in the third year of elementary school. They said that they want to wait until he has graduated from middle school to send him abroad. Still, as soon as he had entered the first grade, they were already asking all over the place about how to apply to US high schools and what tests their son would need to take. Through three years of efforts, including training classes, summer camps, private tutors, and so forth, their child achieved good scores on the TOEFL and SAT.[pullquote=”left”]The children are already growing up in a testing-focused educational system, so getting high scores on tests isn’t anything new to them.[/pullquote]
Still, many parents are worried that with the increased number of high school applicants from China, the competition is especially strong. The children are already growing up in a testing-focused educational system, so getting high scores on tests isn’t anything new to them. “Many of the students who attended training courses with our child got TOEFL scores over 100 points, but their real levels weren’t as high as his, actually,” one of the parents told reporters.
Due to the ever-increasing number of Chinese applicants, US high schools have no choice but to rely on test scores to filter applicants. However, there are vast differences between the educational systems of the US and China. It’s not that US schools don’t want to find students with high test scores, but they are looking for students with truly strong abilities, students who will fit in at their schools and make real contributions. For this reason, schools are in great need of something more than scores, a more comprehensive standard for evaluating students.
Reporters found that a kind of third-part interview organizations is slowly emerging to address this situation, becoming a crucial platform for interviewing Chinese students preparing to study abroad in the US.
Cooperating mainly with numerous boarding schools in the US, Vericant is just this type of organization. Reporters quickly got in touch with a manager at Vericant, who said that thirty seven US high schools already use the organization’s video interview and written testing services for their applicants. Students taking part in Vericant interviews go to testing centers located in Beijing, Shanghai, or Shenzhen to complete the video interviews. About one week after the recording is completed, Vericant provides the student’s short interview video and on-site written test materials to the school. Reporters understand that many parents and students also approve of this interview process.[pullquote=”right”]Many parents said that sending students off to study abroad early, giving them more resources to compete with foreign students, is a great help to the children in preparing for university.[/pullquote]
Reporters visited Vericant’s main offices and found a mother and daughter who came to complete the interview. They said they had made the appointment three days before, coming to the interview after preparing related materials and documents. According to the daughter, the interviewer behaved in a friendly manner, and the interview environment was calm and peaceful. She said she did alright, the interviewer was kind and warm, and the questions asked weren’t too difficult. She wasn’t anywhere near as nervous and scared as she thought she’d be.
Before leaving, reporters saw pairs of parents and students come in one after another to interview. Many parents said that sending students off to study abroad early, giving them more resources to compete with foreign students, is a great help to the children in preparing for university.