How Are Grades Assigned in Chinese Schools?

Chinese educational institutions adopt a grading system that evaluates the overall performance of students. This method aggregates numerical scores with descriptive feedback that mirrors students' course success and potential for applying learning in practical settings.

Numerical and Letter Grading

Primary and Secondary Levels: In the majority of main- and high-schools throughout China, grades will be rated on a scale from, with 60 being the minimal passing grade. Essentially, this is a very simple numerical system, i.e. grades of tests or assignments add directly to final score of a student in the subject.

Higher Education: Colleges in China tend to use both the 100-point scale and letter grading system at a university level, which is common among American schools. For instance, an 'A' here could represent scores from 90-100, a 'B' from 80 to 89 etc. While this range can vary slightly between institutions, it typically falls within this pattern.

Performance Evaluation

Tests: In Chinese schools, the majority of scores for a student are determined by tests. This seems to be long term and tuff study battle in my head that began yesterday, the consequence of my biannual midterm final exams. These exams are important because they determine how well a student can understand the concepts taught in a semester.

CA (Continuous Assessment) - Grades can be influenced by quizzes, class participation, homework, and projects in addition to exams. Lastly, in some programs class participation and projects, like dissertations and projects are given a high importance, so as to encourage active engagement on the curriculum of the course.

Special Considerations

Standardized Tests The Average Chinese student will also write several standardized tests, which like SATS and LSATES in the States, play a big part in where they go from there - economically, professionally, educationally. The most well-known of these is the Gaokao, which is a high-profile, standardized test that completely evaluates the potential students for further study at different colleges and in various disciplines.

Relative Grading: A few Chinese schools follow a relative grading method, where the students are marked in comparison to their classmates. This approach has the potential to create a game-theoretical atmosphere where students are not just graded on their performance on an absolute scale, but also relative to one another.

Global Context

In an international context, such as the case of MIT's international students' acceptance rate, knowing about home grading systems like China's enables institutions to assess applicants appropriately. The competitive nature of the Chinese education system makes students who test well more suitable for top-tier universities around the world


Chinese schools lay out to grade a student with the hardest possible benchmarks and help them excel in academics and intellectual life. By offering a well-rounded assessment system Chinese students are constantly pushed for academic excellence, equipping them with the skills that not only allow them to meet national educational standards, but also global ones.

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