Most college students in China have to take part in CET-4 and CET-6 tests.
But in the near future, the tests will become history,
Since the Ministry of Education is now drafting a unified national English proficiency testing and *rating system and is preparing the corresponding exams.
This month, during a language testing conference held in Hangzhou, Lin Huiqing, vice-minister of education, announced that the draft of the rating system will be officially released next year, and the national tests will be carried out step by step before 2020.
The conference also introduced the new system’s grading level, which will range from a low to a high, with nine grades in total.
Each grade has its own requirements for language skills, including listening, speaking, reading, writing, translating and interpreting.
This new system, as well as the exam, will provide Chinese students with a much more clear vision throughout their process of learning English, as it provides a consistent standard for all English learners from primary school to university, according to Tang Jing, an English teacher from the domestic test preparation division of the New Oriental Education and Technology Group.
Tang explained that currently in China, there are numerous national English tests – including CET, TEM (Test for English Majors), PETS (Public English Test System), and NETEM (National Entrance Test of English for MA/MS Candidates).
唐静还进一步解释道，中国现今有多个全国英语考试 —— 如大学四六级 (CET)、英语专业考试 (TEM)、全国英语等级考试 (PETS) 以及全国硕士研究生入学英语考试 (NETEM) 等。
He added that without a *coherent and orderly standard, students sometimes have to take several different tests in order to meet various needs, whether for academic performance at school, a higher education application or for job hunting or promotion.
The system also means more opportunities for non-English major students.
Su Hengyao, 25, a graduate student majoring in law at Beijing Normal University, has passed the CET-6 and wants to take the TEM-8, but because of her non-English major, she hasn’t had the opportunity.
With this new system, I think I’ll be able to take the same level of tests as English major students, she said.
In addition, the system will also make it easier for teachers, employers and other English learners in China to judge their English levels, He Lianzhen, director of Zhejiang University’s School of International Studies, told Qianjiang Evening News.
Whenever people ask me about my English proficiency, I could only say ‘just so so’, said Lin Jialun, 24, an engineer at a State-owned enterprise.
But I think after this national rating system is *implemented, I could take the test of a certain level and tell others that my English language ability is at a specific level.
However, Tang also noted that for those who already have CET certificates or are now *cramming for next month’s CET-4 and CET-6, there’s no need to worry about the effectiveness of the tests’ results.
I believe that the certificates gained before the *unified rating system will still be acknowledged by the country for a long time, he said.