The extra points policy is becoming stricter

Students from Dongmeng High School in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, prepare for the gaokao. (Photo by Yu Xiangquan/For China Daily)

Stricter requirements make it more difficult for students to earn bonus points on gaokao

The policy of giving extra points to students from ethnic minority groups during gaokao, the national university entrance exams, has been canceled or adjusted by provinces in recent years to promote exam parity and more precise protection for candidates in remote areas, experts said.

Chen Zhiwen, member of the China Society of Education Development Strategy, said the stricter requirements imposed on minority students who want to benefit from the policy are the result of the improving educational situation of such students and efforts to prevent potential cheating in the prevent the world. admission process.

Earlier this month, the Henan provincial government released its latest policy on awarding additional scores during this year’s gaokao, stipulating that candidates from ethnic minority groups will not receive such points.

Meanwhile, groups such as children of martyrs, self-employed veterans and returned overseas Chinese can still qualify for the extra points, which range from 5 to 20.

Fujian, Guizhou and Hunan provinces have also gradually adjusted their version of the policy for minority students in recent years.

Fujian reduced the additional points awarded from 10 to 5 in 2021 and limited qualified applicants to those in remote villages, mountains or islands. The province will end its policy starting from the 2026 gaokao, according to a notice released in 2020.

The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has divided its 103 provincial-level regions into two categories and will implement more precise policies for the areas, according to a 2021 announcement.

Minority students from the 36 Category A regions, mainly border and pastoral areas, will continue to receive five additional points after 2026, while gaokao candidates from the remaining Category B regions will no longer be eligible to receive them, the release said .

“The educational rights of ethnic students are still protected, but in a more targeted and precise way,” Chen said.

Students taking the gaokao are given the option of taking liberal arts exams or science exams, depending on the major they wish to pursue.

In 2009, it was reported that He Chuanyang, the top liberal arts Gaokao scorer in Chongqing, falsely claimed to be a member of an ethnic minority group, and his admission to Beijing University was revoked.

It turned out that He’s father, concerned that his child might be at a disadvantage because he was a member of the majority Han ethnic group, lied about He’s ethnic identity so that the young man would get bonus points even though He would still have been the leader. top scorer without them.

A similar incident that occurred in Guizhou in 2018 appeared to prompt efforts to adjust the extra points policy, Chen said.

The top three gaokao scorers in the liberal arts field in Guizhou that year were all Han students, but they almost missed a chance to enter Peking University because a group of students from other ethnic groups received a 20-point bonus received, which gave them higher grades than the Han students.

“The policy has been thoroughly adjusted since then. After a two-year transition period, the ethnic bonus points will be managed more closely,” Chen said.

Eligibility requirements for the ethnic bonus points have become increasingly strict, with eligibility limited to certain regions, including pastoral areas where candidates have completed three years of continuous study.

“Those who grew up in urban areas are basically ineligible,” he said.

The scope of extra points has been greatly reduced. The maximum someone can receive is 10 points, and more often 5 points or even 3 points depending on the region.

“After 2026, ethnic minority candidates will no longer receive bonus points in many regions,” he added.

Zhang Mou, an official at the National Ethnic Affairs Commission, said at a 2022 press conference that the bonus points for ethnic minority students were initially intended to help people from less developed regions gain better access to educational opportunities.

One of the reasons for adjusting this policy is that primary education in China has become more balanced and the educational resources available to ethnic minority students are constantly improving, he said.