English has long been a part of the national curriculum in Chinese schools. With over 300 million people in China currently learning the language, English is seen as integral for future job prospects and employability. Now a standardized English test for students of all ages is set to be introduced by 2020, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Education.
A new testing and rating system will replace the various tests which appear around the country currently. The new system will affect primary, secondary and even university students as the government seeks to improve the English skills of native Chinese speakers.
The new tests will be split into nine different levels. Primary school students will have level one and two tests, while at middle school, students will take third and fourth level tests. College students will receive the fifth and sixth level tests and English majors will take the seventh level tests. The eighth and ninth level tests will be reserved for people with the highest level of aptitude.