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China to stop organizing the most popular English exams
Published on: 2021-04-01
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China's Ministry of Education announced on Wednesday that it decided to stop organizing the Main Suite Exams (MSE), a worldwide recognized English qualification designed by Cambridge Assessment English, a non-teaching department of the University of Cambridge.
 

Cambridge Assessment English said that it will adopt new measures to serve test applicants in an announcement released on Wednesday. It also confirmed that there will be testing this year.
 

The fact that the Ministry of Education is no longer organizing the MSE may be a sign from the Chinese government to discourage students and their parents from giving too much importance to off-campus examinations, according to some education experts.
 

The MSE has been widely recognized in higher education institutions around the world and is dubbed as the "little IELTS" in China. It includes five levels of exams, from basic English skills to full proficiency.
 

Among them, the Cambridge Key English Test (KET) and the Cambridge Preliminary English Test (PET) are especially popular in China and have attracted numerous young learners, particularly Chinese primary and secondary school students. Many students and parents view the tests as a useful proof on English proficiency and a stepping stone for primary school students to enter junior high school.
 

However, Xiong Bingqi, director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute in Beijing, noted that KET and PET tests, though very popular among Chinese primary and secondary school students, actually have little to do with students' performance to enter a higher school.
 

"Chinese laws and regulations ban public schools from hooking up scores of off-campus examinations or competitions to candidates' performances," Xiong said.
 

一位难求的剑桥英语考试要凉?教育部不再承办KET/PET考试

3月31日,教育部直属单位、教育部考试中心官网中国教育考试网发布公告称,从即日起,教育部考试中心不再承办剑桥通用英语五级考试(MSE),家长们熟悉的KET/PET考试正是MSE的初级考试系列。随后,“剑桥英语官方平台”微信公众号也发布消息称,在疫情防控常态化的形势下,经与中国教育部考试中心友好协商,剑桥通用英语五级考试将采取新的服务模式,为广大剑桥通用英语五级考生提供服务。
 

教育专家表示,曾经“一位难求”的剑桥通用英语考试停止合作,能让日趋功利化、拔苗助长的英语学习“降温”,也有利于给孩子“减负”。

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