FAQ: Is there a Chinese university entrance exam for foreigners?

If you are trying to apply for a Chinese university or Chinese language program, you might be wondering: Do you need to take a test to get into the program? Do Chinese universities require an entrance exam for foreign and international students?

The answer is no. There is no universal test that international students take to get into a Chinese university/language program. But there are some exceptions and other things you should know before you go ahead and apply.

Chinese National Students Must Take the Gaokao

If you are a Chinese national student, you do need a test to get into Chinese universities. That test is called the Gaokao 高考 and it is the most important admissions standard for Chinese students. To get into China’s top universities, you will need an extremely high score on the gaokao. However, international students do not take this test.

If you are a former Chinese national, read more information about the admissions process for your situation here.

Some Universities Offer Their Own Private Exams

Some top universities, such as Tsinghua University, PKU, ZJU, and Fudan have their own entrance exams that students must take after applying for Chinese-taught Bachelor’s (not for Master and PhD). CUHK-Shenzhen and SUSTech have exams for their English-taught Bachelor’s. The tests cover English, Math, and Chinese (SUSTech has Physics but no Chinese).

The application decision will also depend on these test scores. To find out if the university has an entrance exam, you can apply through China Admissions and we will notify you, or else check the university’s website.

Non-Native Speakers May Need an English Exam

If you are from a country where English is not an official language, there is a high probability you will need to take an English language exam. The three most popular English tests accepted by Chinese universities are the IELTS, and TOEFL, plus our own IET test and Duoling English Test.

Read more: What is the difference between IELTS, TOEFL, and IET?

There are limited exceptions to this rule. If you are from a non-native English-speaking country, but you studied your entire secondary school, Bachelor’s, or Master’s in English, you might not need to submit an English exam since you have previously studied a degree in English.

To check if you need an English exam, you can make an account on China Admissions, find and apply for your program here, and our admissions officers will let you know if you need to submit an English exam based on the requirements of the university.

Take the HSK Test for Advanced Chinese Programs

If you have very good Chinese and want to take a Bachelor’s or Master’s program taught entirely in Chinese, or you want to take an advanced Chinese language course, you will probably need to take the HSK. The HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) is the definitive test for foreign students of the Chinese language taken on mainland China. Universities may require a score of HSK 4 or 5 (minimum score 180) to prove that you have an advanced level. Business Chinese courses usually require a score of HSK 3.

If you are studying a beginner-level Chinese program or an English-taught program, you do not need the HSK.

Read more: 5 Top Reasons To Take The HSK Test (Chinese Proficiency Test)

chinese university HSK entrance exam for foreigners

MBA Programs May Require the GMAT

If you want to study for an MBA at a Chinese university, you may have to take the GMAT and submit your score as part of your application. Some MBA programs, like Fudan University, offer scholarships to students with high scores on the GMAT test.

Read more: 11 Chinese MBAs with Scholarship

National Test Scores may still be reviewed

Perhaps you have taken a national exam in your home country like the SAT, GRE, IB exam, GCE A-Levels, AP exams, NEET, EXANI–I, UTME, etc. Though Chinese universities do not require that you take these tests, getting a high score on them can make your application look more impressive.

Do Chinese MBBS Programs have an entrance exam?

There is no entrance exam for Chinese MBBS programs. You will need to have high scores in Biology, Chemistry, Maths, and other related fields in your high school/undergraduate programs.

Read more: Study MBBS in China: Admissions for 2022!

Do Chinese scholarships have an exam?

You will need to read the specific guidelines for the scholarship you are applying for. But in the vast majority of cases, there is no exam required for Chinese scholarships, Chinese government scholarships (CSC), or scholarships offered by the university.

Read more: China Scholarships: The Guide for International Students

Read More: Common FAQs

FAQ: Can I Transfer to a Chinese University?
FAQ: Documents
FAQ: Application Process
FAQ: How Long Does It Take To Process My Chinese University Application in 2022?

Savannah Billman has a master's degree in Chinese Law and Society at the Yenching Academy of Peking University. She holds a B.A. from NYU Shanghai and has also written for The World of Chinese, TechNode, SupChina, and Sixth Tone.
Savannah Billman

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