China Uncensored: Is the SAT Controlling Your Mind?
I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news. According to China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, there are concerns in China that the United States is using the SAT to “impose the American values systems on [Chinese] students.” This is stirring “heated debates in China as to whether it will turn out to be a new form of imperialism, following the exporting of American culture and ideology through Hollywood and fast food.”
That’s right, not even college entrance exams are safe from the forces of American imperialism.
You see, the United States is taking advantage of the precarious position of Chinese students in U.S. universities. Just because the richest and most powerful Chinese are sending their children to study in the United States at a 20 percent annual growth rate for the past six years doesn’t mean that the United States can use this opportunity to indoctrinate these poor, defenseless lambs with insidious propaganda.
The U.S. College Board, which is clearly being controlled by the CIA in order to destabilize China, said by spring 2016 the SAT will have reading sections that include selections from the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
The College Board even issued a statement spelling out its master plan: “The vital issues central to these documents—freedom, justice, and human dignity among them—have motivated numerous people in the United States and around the globe.”
Chinese students shouldn’t be learning about these things! How will they feel when they go back to China?
Last year alone, almost a quarter of a million Chinese students were studying in U.S. universities, for both graduate and undergraduate degrees. Many high school students who want to study in the United States take the SAT to improve their chance of being accepted.
Now obviously, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has banned the SAT inside of China, or more accurately, you can only take the SAT in China if you go to an international school, and you can only go to an international school if you have a foreign passport. So the SAT is only banned for Chinese citizens in China.
The good news for them is that, once again, Hong Kong has undermined the social harmony of the nation by offering the test, and many just go there to take it. With travel expenses, that can come to over $500.
Better Indoctrination Through Testing
Now, even China’s Ministry of Education has to give some grudging respect to the forces of American imperialism on this one. After all, if it’s one thing that Chinese people take seriously, it’s studying for exams. Sneaking questions in there about freedom and justice is a great way to indoctrinate impressionable youth.
And Chinese authorities should know. After all, they’re the ones who implemented a national system of “patriotic education” that starts in the first grade. Yes, it’s important to get that communist ideology in early, with things like classes where all kids do is recite Party slogans for an hour a day.
And as for exam questions, well, the Ministry of Education is an old pro at that, too. After all, one of its main responsibilities is “To direct the work of ideology and political education.”
Take China’s notoriously difficult national college entrance exams, known as the gaokao, also known as, the reason why kids study hooked up to IV bags and Chinese parents try to buy Ritalin for their kids on the black market. No, seriously.
The gaokao routinely includes questions on Marxism, Maoism, and other parts of Communist ideology that students must answer. And it’s not just the gaokao, either. Many high schools and even elementary schools include similar questions in their exams as well. After all, it’s important to make sure that kids have the right “understandings” about issues.
What do these questions look like? Here’s one example from the mandatory National Entrance Examination for Postgraduates, China’s equivalent of the GRE. One-fifth of this test is based on political education topics. This was an actual question on the 2010 test, translated by the Asia Times.
Choose which describes China’s current system of government:
A. The CCP’s great creation of combining Marxism and China’s reality
B. The CCP’s achievement of leading Chinese people through a long struggle
C. A reflection of the common interests and aspirations of all ethnic groups in China
D. The inevitable choice in the social development of modern China
Do you have your answer? Well, it’s a trick question! All of the answers are correct! After all, we wouldn’t want to actually show anything incorrect about the Party, am I right? Here’s an essay question from the 2011 version of the exam:
“The Western political party system is like a football game. One team must defeat the other. Ours is like a singing chorus.”
Wow. Try writing 800 words on that topic. Even the professors who teach these political education classes admit that the purpose of these exams isn’t to get the students to identify facts, but to achieve the same “correct opinion” to express.
That includes correct opinions on current “political campaigns” like the Party’s persecution of Falun Gong. The 2010 application to get into the law school of the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, one of the most prestigious universities in China asked students to identify “their attitude toward Falun Gong,” the traditional Chinese spiritual practice banned in mainland China and welcomed everywhere else.
What do students think about these ideological litmus tests? One woman told the Asia Times that she hated the exams, and understood that people are “unconsciously learning to support the Party” but believed that having these questions was still necessary for the stability of the country. It’s like under the brainwashing, there’s a deeper level of brainwashing. It’s like the Party’s very own version of “Inception”!
Of course, not everyone feels that way. And there are signs that Chinese students are increasingly cynical about political education. On the SAT issue, some Weibo users cracked jokes about why the Party was the only one allowed to brainwash people, or how come they were scared of one American test, when they had been brainwashing kids for years.
So will showing the Declaration of Independence on the SATs single-handedly undo all of the Party’s efforts to indoctrinate children? Maybe Chinese authorities can find comfort in this statement, from a woman interviewed by Xinhua: Chinese students learn stuff for the test, but then forget about it completely.
For more China Uncensored, please visit ChinaUncensored.org.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.