Policy Forum 3 (July 2018)

Students of economics and business learn the fundamentals of game theory that enable them to make rational decisions in complex situations with strategic interaction. However, for most Chinese students this introduction comes too late. When they enter college, they have already participated in the complex high-stakes game of college admission.

Every year about 10 million Chinese high school students take the National Higher Education Entrance Examination, the so-called gaokao. The Chinese colleges and universities have the capacity to accept about 6 million of them. In 1952, the very first gaokao exam took place. In addition, college admission was centralized and this was already a great improvement compared to the previous system of decentralized admission by individual colleges.

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