Academy of Educational Leadership Journal (Print ISSN: 1095-6328; Online ISSN: 1528-2643)

Research Article: 2019 Vol: 23 Issue: 2

Students Perspective Comparison of Higher Education Entrance Examination: A Tale of Two Countries; China and Nigeria Education System

Ogunniran Moses Oladele, Beijing Normal University

Hou Longlong, Beijing Normal University >

Abstract

The main objective of this study is to compare and contrast the students’ perspective of Higher Education Entrance Examination (HEEE) in China and Nigeria using GAOKAO and West Africa Examination Council/Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (WAEC/UTME) as a case study. The group age between the sample students surveyed at both China and Nigeria is between 18 to 26 year (undergraduate). A sample of 340 students in China and 350 students in Nigeria were the respondents used for the study. Three objectives and research questions generated are; the magnitude of student’s anxiety, perspective, similarities and differences among Chinese and Nigerian Students. Descriptive statistics of frequency counts was used to analyse the results. The findings revealed that students’ perspective on GAOKAO in China education is extremely tense and nervous which is the major cause of failing the examination. While Students’ perspective on WAEC/UTME in Nigeria education is that the score obtained from UTME should be used for admission in more than one year.

Keywords

University Entrance Examination, Students’ Perspective of Chinese GAOKAO, Nigeria WAEC/UTME, China and Nigeria Education System.

Introduction

Recent increase in the number of Nigerian students seeking admission into higher education of learning in developed countries (including China) calls for adequate information about higher education entrance examination (HEEE) on these developed countries. University education entrance examination is generally considered as the major pillar that enhances individual educational goals and development worldwide.

Therefore, trained students are to be critically involved in playing a higher role in effectively improving and developing a nation. The strategy involved in selection of the student into higher education is what is called admission or higher education entrance examination, which depends on every country context. This admission process into higher education is often done on students seeking admission to higher institutions after completing their secondary education. However, most countries government institutions are faced with the responsibility of conducting this entrance examination and then the result determines student placement into higher education. The process and strategy involves in the selection of students into higher education lead to an

“Unsurprisingly untidy world of tertiary admission practices, together with an array of concerns and challenges” (Robin, 2008).

As each country has its selection approaches for admitting students into the universities, the Chinese higher education entrance examination system for example, is categorized as a centrally coordinated exam while that of Nigeria is categorized under the individual institution for the selection process. GAOKAO, the high school test examination, is an achievement based test and national HEEE in the People’s Republic of China. It is also known as National Matriculation Examination (NME) or National College Entrance Examination (NCEE). In Nigeria, the West Africa Examination Council/Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (WAEC/UTME) is the higher education entrance examination. Both countries HEEE takes place annually. Candidates that write the examination in Nigeria is over one million while that of China is over nine million (Schroch, 2014).

Statement of the Problem

In Nigeria, one of the critical issues student’s encounters is the mode of assessment. Most of the Nigerian Universities used arithmetic mean of UTME and POST-UTME score in assessing candidates and this may not provide the right candidates into the system. According to Munkaila & Sikiru, (2017) the use of arithmetic mean in assessing candidate’s means we have attached equal importance to UTME and POST-UTME scores. Most of the students also complain that the exorbitant charges by the universities is higher than what has been approved by the federal government, inviting candidates more than the universities carrying capacity among other reasons. And most times student UTME results does not reflect their performance during the course of undergraduate programs.

Afemikhe (2008) noted that there was lack of coordination in the admission system into universities. Omodara (2010) observed educational imbalance by disparity of educational opportunities between the regions in which the universities were sited and differing admission standards by different universities. Umo & Ezeudu (2007) also stated numerous irregularities in the matriculation examination which were conducted by various universities.

Zhang & Yu, (2010) however submitted that proceedings in the admission process in China Gaokao are not entirely transparent. They found that after taking the Gaokao and listing preferences during the process of application for university entrance examination, students have to list preferences for colleges or universities as well as for majors they would like to study at the chosen institutions. The number of preferences available to each student varies from region to region. Government agencies therefore allocate students to different institutions and majors according to quota with students having no insight into the exact allocation mechanisms. Due to the fixed quota and of how a discrepancy between supply and demand is handled, students are often allocated to majors not listed in their preferences, another reason why potential university students among Chinese students are not very happy with their universities and courses they study (Fan, 2011).

Implication of these social aspirations connected with the HEEE and systemic problems as well as the pressure is that students are under a lot of psychological stress which requires coping. Psychological researchers in China had already addressed the issue of coping with university entrance examination they quantitatively examined the relation between students' mental health issues and their coping styles prior to taking the exam (Wu & Jiang, 2007). This is one of the major gaps that this study intends to fill by examining and comparing students’ perspective of university entrance examination in China and Nigeria education system using GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME as a case study.

However, competition is still fierce because students are not only competing for college entry, but also competing increasingly for places at the most prestigious universities providing good employment prospects (Zhu & Lou, 2011), students perspectives on admission into the most prestigious universities do not only provide good employment prospects but also go along with prospects of “the good life” according to middle-class standards (Liu, 2008). Only about 10 per cent of all candidates succeed to obtain places at one of these institutions (Tsang, 2013). Therefore, university entrance examination among students seeking admission into higher education in both China and Nigeria is still competitive. This could be one of the reasons why it requires an effective and just system of allocation (Zhu & Lou, 2011).

Chloe Xu, who studies at Guilin No. 7 high school, admits the exams are incredibly stressful. “I have been studying from the moment I woke up to past midnight”, she says. But, asked if she thinks the system is unfair, she replies that the exams allow everyone an equal opportunity as people without money or connections can still get places (www.theguardian.com).

Rationale for comparing China and Nigeria Higher Education Entrance Examination and its Relevance

Both China and Nigeria has a high population of higher education student as in Asian, China is the highest populous nation and in Africa, Nigeria is largest in population. In this regards, it is assume that both nation will share similar challenges involve in higher education entrance examination. However, as result of globalization, China/Africa cooperation, student mobility from Nigeria to China, this paper will help to serve as background information of both countries higher education system. Moreover, the political maps in Asian and Africa are constantly changing and this is affecting the educational systems and qualifications offered by potential applicants from one country to another (UCAS, 2015). Globalization is leading to a greater mobility of students not only going from one country to another but also from one continent to another, and each continent’s higher education (HE) is benefiting from the recruitment in this mobility of students (Fan, 2011). There is therefore need for HE admission officers, tutors, staff and students to be fully aware of the qualifications that may be offered by applicants from other countries. It is based on this premise that this paper is comparing the students’ perspective of university entrance examination in China and Nigeria education system using GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME.

Objective Of The Study

The study specifically sought to investigate the following objectives:

1. The magnitude of anxiety among students preparing for GAOKAO in China education system.

2. Students’ perspective of WAEC/UTME as university entrance examination in Nigeria education system.

3. Comparison between students’ perspective of GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME in China and Nigeria.

Research Questions

The following research questions were answered during the course of the study.

1. What is the magnitude of anxiety among students who prepare for GAOKAO in China education system?

2. What is the students’ perspective of WAEC/UTME as university entrance examination in Nigeria education system?

3. What are the similarities and differences between students’ perspective of GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME in China and Nigeria?

Significance of the Study

This research provides clear and up-to-date information that allows international students to be assessed fairly, and promotes an understanding of the value of their qualifications, giving higher education providers (HEPs) the ability to make realistic offers to international students. The findings of this study expatiated on the similarities and differences between university entrance examination in both GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME within China and Nigeria education system. This study will benefit students not only in China and Nigeria but also in the world at large by presenting the yardstick in university entrance examination in both China and Nigeria education system. This will be of benefit to other countries in case of accepting students for higher educations from these two countries (Hambleton & Jones, 1993).

The results from this study also guided stakeholders (administrators of the universities, policy makers and researchers) not only in both China and Nigeria but also across the continents at large. Finally, the findings of this study again benefited university and other institutions in both China and Nigeria on how to improve on university entrance examination (Traub, 1997).

Scope of the Study

Geographically, the scope of this study was limited to China and Nigeria education system. Conceptually, the scope of this study concentrated on students’ perspective of university entrance examination in China and Nigeria education system.

Literature Review

An Overview of Education System in China

Primary and secondary education in China comprises three stages: 6 years of primary school, 3 years of junior middle school and 3 years of senior middle school. Primary and junior middle school education commences at age 6 and it is compulsory. Students must pass the local organized entrance examination to progress from junior middle school. It is the entrance examination results that are used to stream students into a general academic route or a technical and vocational route (Fan, 1998).

The technical and vocational school offer the Vocational Secondary School Diploma which includes general knowledge, basic technology and a subject specialism. Senior Secondary School offers the Senior High School Entrance Examination, which is usually taken in five or six subjects. As it is taken across the country, though it is organized on a provincial basis yet curricula and standards could vary.

China Higher Education Entrance Examination

Before 1952, social background, academic qualification from school and family reputation played a vital role in the admission to higher education. After 1952, China set up the National University Entrance Examination which was abolished during the Great Cultural Revolution. By the year 1977, The Ministry of Education of the PRC, (2013) restore the National University Entrance Examination. Everyone less than 35 years of age had the opportunity to enter university after passing the required examination. The core subjects of university entrance examination were Mathematics, Chemistry, Chinese, Physics, Politics, English, History and Geography. Presently, China has 3 mandatory subjects (Mathematics, Chinese and English) with 1 extra subject for high school students to take in the National University Entrance Examination (Kurian, 1998).

Higher Education Entrance Examinations (HEEE) vary substantially in content, format, and score scales. For decades the common way in China to select students has been through a combination of quota and top down selection approaches. First, through the coordination of China’s NEEA, all colleges and universities determine their target number of examinees to be admitted from both within and outside of their home provinces and regions. On the basis of different score distributions from University entrance examinations in various provinces and regions, colleges and universities determine different University entrance examinations cut scores and select applicants based on those scores. This two-part process is often repeated two or three times starting from high to low cutoffs until target admission quotas are satisfied (Sina.com, 2006). In addition, universities and colleges also admit small numbers of students with outstanding national achievements in science, technology, liberal arts, and sports with or without the University entrance examinations process (Xiang, 2006).

Senior High School Entrance Examination (Chuzhong Huikao) is considered to be between the standard of General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) and General Certificate of Education Advance Level (GCE A Level) in the British education system. Students with high grades could be considered for admission to foundation level programmes.

Vocational Secondary School Diploma (Zhixiao) is compared to BTEC First Diploma or National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 2.

University entrance examination (GAOKAO) is considered to be between AS and A2 level standard. It is generally more advanced than the Senior High School Examination. Those students with high grades could be considered for admission to foundation level programme
Presently, China’s reform on higher entrance examination span through the following four reforms and promotions:

1. Reforming the content and form of the higher entrance examination through the promotion of multilevel tests.

2. Reforming the examination evaluation system through promotion of comprehensive evaluation measures.

3. Reforming the admission model through fostering diversified forms of admission.

4. Reforming the higher entrance examination management system through the support of Sunshine Project.

Generally, China will continue to abide by the higher entrance examination system in line with the reality and rules of the education system, in order to constantly improve the content and measures of the examination and the methods of enrolment and proceed with reforms in active and controlled manner (Jiao, 2012).

The Chinese Grading System of HEEE and Senior High School Examination

HEEE in China includes three core subjects, each of which is marked out of 150 points, and a comprehensive subject (which can be art or science) with 300 points maximum, adding up to a total score of 750 for the examination. While that of SHSE is nine subjects taken and graded from A to D. A 80 to 100, B 70 to 79, C 60 to 69, D Bellow 60, Fail.

Access to Higher Education in China

Graduation from Senior Secondary School is required before sitting for the University Entrance Examination. In the year 2001, the system abolished upper age limit of 25. The University Entrance Examination format can vary between provinces, but it is taken nationwide.
There are 3 compulsory subjects which are Chinese, Mathematics and one foreign language from English, German or Spanish, Japanese, French and Russian. Besides, students need to take a test on a comprehensive subject which is basically a combination of 3 courses for science and arts route students. While arts route students take Politics, Geography and History, science route students go for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. However, the student with the other the higher the score is mostly likely to be selected by the top ranking higher university. In China education system, Gaokao examination format is like: "3 + X". The "3" are the 3 compulsory subjects with 150 points each with total of 450 points distributed as follows: 150 marks for Chinese, 150 marks foreign language (mainly English) and 150 marks for maths. The "X" simply refers to the other 300 marks that are related to the area of higher education course/programme the student is interested in.

Local governments according to their existing policies often organize specific examination arrangement. Higher education is structured into 4 years bachelor’s programmes (Xueshii), 2 to 3 years master’s programmes (Shuoshi) and 3 to 5 years doctorates (Boshi) (UCAS, 2015).

Overview/Summary of Education System in Nigeria

The Nigeria education sector has the advantage of ample constitutional provisions and legislative support for the three tiers of government which are the Federal, State and Local government together with all other stakeholders to participate in the delivery of education at all levels. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria specifies the direction of national policy towards ensuring equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels of education and the provision of compulsory, free and universal primary education together with free university education and free literacy programme provided they are all practicable (Obioma, 2013).

It is the constitution that also provides the basic framework for the Federal, State and Local government in participating in the management and provision of education. Paragraphs 27 to 30 of part II in the second schedule of the constitution put education in the Concurrent List in which both the Federal and State governments participate. The provision and maintenance of primary, adult and vocational education is listed in paragraph 2(a) of the Fourth Schedule as one of the functions that Local governments can perform.

The Nigeria education system is structured in the following four stages:

1. Early Child Care and Development aged 0 to 4 years.

2. Basic Education aged 5 to 15 years. It encompasses Pre-Primary which is for 1 year, Primary Education which is for 6 years and Junior Secondary Education which is for 3 years.

3. Post-Basic Education which is 3 years for both Senior Secondary Schools and Technical Colleges.

4. Tertiary Education provided in Colleges of Education, Monotechnics, Polytechnics and the Universities (Obioma, 2013).

Nigeria Higher Education Entrance Examination

Senior School Certificate Education (SSCE) or West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) is regarded as General Certificate of Education Advance Level (GCE A Level) in the British education system. Students with high grades could be considered for admission to bridging programme. Candidate must record success in WASSCE/NECO, UTME and PUTME before securing admission. University candidates are offered admission based on the average scores of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (PUTME) according to department and faculty cut-off marks (UCAS, 2015).

Nigeria Grading System of WEAC/UTME

Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is the university entrance examination with 4 subjects that include English language (compulsory subject for all candidates) and a total score of 400. While the scores for Senior School Certificate Examination are; 1. 80 to 100 Excellent, 2. Very good 70 to 79, 3. Good 60-69, 4. Credit 50 to 59 or Minimum Acceptable Pass, 5. Poor or Repeat 40 to 49, 6. Fail 39 below.

Access to Higher Education in Nigeria

Credits in 5 relevant subjects in WASSCE or NECO for not more than 2 sittings are necessary but not sufficient for degree course that is not less than 4 years. The next condition after WASSCE or NECO is Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) organized by national examination body: Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and Post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (PUTME) organized by various universities.

A score of 200 from total score of 400 in the UTME is expected in most universities before taking part in the PUTME. Both UTME and PUTME are the entrance examinations needed for admission selection in universities (Department of Development Planning, 2010).

Theoretical Framework

Folkman and Moskowitz (2004) in their contribution to theory of coping under “Coping: Pitfalls and promise,” defined coping as

...constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person”.

Students that cope with important psychological functions deal with stress. Such students cope with particular relationship between themselves and the environment that is appraised by students as taxing or exceeding their resources and endangering their well-being. Succinctly, students coping with psychological disease occur in relation to the perceptions of threat, harm, loss, and challenge (Carver & Connor-Smith, 2010).

Schwarzer & Luszczynska (2008) differentiate coping strategies according to the time of coping with regard to the occurrence of a stressful event. Students coping with the stress of university entrance examination includes anticipatory, proactive and preventive coping, while coping with past or on-going stressors is called reactive coping. However, (Carver & Connor-Smith, 2010) distinguish between engagement or approach coping and disengagement or avoidance coping. Engagement or approach coping with the stress of university entrance examination focus on students’ efforts to deal with the problem and related emotions, while disengagement or avoidance coping with the stress of university entrance examination concentrate on students’ efforts directed at avoiding the problem or related emotions.

This study therefore makes use of a three-fold distinction among problem-focused, emotion-focused and meaning-focused coping with the stress of university entrance examination. Figure 1 shows the theoretical framework as explained above.

academy-educational-leadership-Source-Author

Figure 1:Source: Author (2018).

Methodology

Population, Sample and Sampling Strategy of the Study

The targeted population of this study consist of students in University of Ibadan in Nigeria and Beijing Normal University in China.

Purposive sampling technique was used to select University of Ibadan in Nigeria and Beijing Normal University in China while snowball sampling approach was used to select three hundred and forty (340) students in Beijing Normal University in China and three hundred and fifty (350) students in University of Ibadan in Nigeria making a total of six hundred and ninety (690) respondents (students) in both countries. The choice of snowball sampling is based on the nature of the study. This enables the research to administer questionnaire on available students in both universities. Respondents are likely to know others who share the characteristics that make them eligible for inclusion in the study. This sampling method involves primary data sources nominating another potential primary data sources to be used in the research.

Research Design

The research design that was used for this study is descriptive survey research design of the ex-post facto type. Descriptive survey research design was considered appropriate for this study because it provides the strategy for describing and obtaining existing conditions in the study without any manipulation from the researcher. This is so because it is based on events that occurred in the past. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used during the course of this study.

Research Instrument

The study made use of a combination of quantitative (questionnaires) and qualitative (interview) as the major source of data collection for this study. The quantitative data were collected through the use of questionnaires while the qualitative data were collected through the use of unstructured in-depth interview questions. The questionnaire was divided into two sections. The first section concentrates on the demographic data of the respondents. The second section focuses on the research questions of the study. Items in the questionnaire were rated on 5-point Likert scale type rated Strongly Agree (SA), Agree (A), Neutral (N), Disagree (D), and Strongly Disagree (SD).

These methods were judged adequate because they helped provide in depth information, knowledge and special insight into the topic examined.

The questionnaires underwent face validity by other experts in the field. After necessary corrections, edited questionnaires were presented for face and content validity. Hence, pilot study was conducted to determine the reliability of the instrument using Cronbach's Alpha and found the reliability to be 0.83. This was done by a test re-test reliability method by administering the questionnaire to respondents on the same population but different sample.

Analytical Strategy

Descriptive statistics of frequency counts, simple percentage were used to present perspectives of students on university entrance examination in China and Nigeria Education System.

Data Analysis And Presentation Of Result

Analysis of Research Questions

Research question 1

What is the magnitude of anxiety among students who prepare for GAOKAO in China education system?

Table 1 reveals students’ perspective of GAOKAO as university entrance examination in China education system. The table shows that 151 (44.4) of the respondents agreed that passing GAOKAO examination was a do or die affair for students, 223 (65.6) of the respondents agreed that GAOKAO examination was extremely tense and nervous for students, 156 (45.7) of the respondents agreed that GAOKAO examination should not have absolute right to university entrance examination, 78 (22.9) of the respondents agreed that the standard of GAOKAO was too high for entrance examination into universities in China, 173 (50.9) of the respondents agreed that there should be another screening exercise for students after passing GAOKAO. Based on the result from Table 1, the magnitude of anxiety among students who prepare for GAOKAO in China education system is extremely high. The situation is tensed and nervous which seems to be the major cause of failing the examination. This probably could lead to suicide mission of some students in the region.

Table 1: Students’ Perspective Of Gaokao
S/N Statements SA A N D SD
1 The standard of UTME is too high for entrance examination into universities in Nigeria 41 (11.7) 177 (50.6) 29 (8.3) 91 (26.0) 12 (3.4)
2 The presence of Post-UTME screening exercise for students after passing UTME is the best. 12 (3.4) 256 (73.1) 12 (3.4) 29 (8.3) 41 (11.7)
3 High score in Post-UTME does not determine the performance during undergraduate 29 (8.3) 200 (57.1) 18(5.1) 91 (26.0) 12 (3.4)
4 Half of the overall score in Post-UTME should be acceptable for admission into university 12 (3.4) 256 (73.1) 12 (3.4) 29 (8.3) 41 (11.7)
5 Score obtained from UTME examination should be used for admission for more than one year 194 (55.4) 91
(26.0)
18 (5.1) 35 (10.0) 12 (3.4)

Students’ perspective of GAOKAO as university entrance examination in China education system is that the GAOKAO is extremely tense and nervous. Being tense and nervous could probably be the major cause of failing the examination. This could eventually leads to psychological problems and suicide mission among some students in the region. This finding is in line with that of (Carver & Connor-Smith, 2010) who found that students that cope with important psychological functions deal with stress. The researchers concluded that students coping with psychological disease occur in relation to the perceptions of threat, harm, loss, and challenge.

Research question 2

What is the students’ perspective of WAEC/UTME as university entrance examination in Nigeria education system?

Table 2 reveals students’ perspective of WAEC/UTME as university entrance examination in Nigeria education system. The table shows that 218 (62.3) of the respondents agreed that the standard of UTME was too high for entrance examination into universities in Nigeria, 268 (76.5) of the respondents agreed that the presence of Post-UTME screening exercise for students after passing UTME was the best, 229 (65.4) of the respondents agreed that high score in Post-UTME did not determine the performance during undergraduate, 268 (76.5) of the respondents agreed that half of the overall score in Post-UTME should be acceptable for admission into university, 285 (81.4) of the respondents agreed that score obtained from UTME examination should be used for admission for more than one year. Based on the result from Table 2, students’ perspective of WAEC/UTME as university entrance examination in Nigeria education system is that score obtained from UTME examination should be used for admission for more than one year. This could be as a result of the case of WAEC or WASSCE which students do not need to retake after passing the exam (Omorogiuwa, 2009).

Table 2: Students’ Perspective Of Waec/Utme
S/N Statements SA A N D SD
1 The standard of UTME is too high for entrance examination into universities in Nigeria 41 (11.7) 177 (50.6) 29 (8.3) 91 (26.0) 12(3.4)
2 The presence of Post-UTME screening exercise for students after passing UTME is the best. 12 (3.4) 256 (73.1) 12 (3.4) 29 (8.3) 41 (11.7)
3 High score in Post-UTME does not determine the performance during undergraduate 29 (8.3) 200 (57.1) 18 (5.1) 91 (26.0) 12 (3.4)
4 Half of the overall score in Post-UTME should be acceptable for admission into university 12 (3.4) 256 (73.1) 12 (3.4) 29 (8.3) 41 (11.7)
5 Score obtained from UTME examination should be used for admission for more than one year 194 (55.4) 91 (26.0) 18 (5.1) 35 (10.0) 12 (3.4)

Students’ perspective of WAEC/UTME as university entrance examination in Nigeria education system was that the university entrance examinations which comprise UTME and presence of Post-UTME screening exercise for students after passing UTME was fair. This is in agreement with the finding of (Owie, 2007) who found that major reason for further screening Post-University Matriculation Examination (PUME) is lack of confidence in the validity of high scores paraded by many candidates in JAMB examination.

Research question 3

What are the similarities and differences between students’ perspective of GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME in China and Nigeria?

Below are few responses in answering research question three:

Question: What is your view about GAOKAO examination as universities entrance examination?

Student A

It's relatively fair for every student especially for poor families. But on the other hand, they are so much pressure and most students feel so nervous during the examination.

Student B

It very important to us because we have no any other Choice or option and it is a very strict examination.

Student C

It’s a good way to test students’ knowledge but cannot test the general knowledge/hand work/skills/ ability of students.

Student D

Because it’s a policy in China’s so we have no choice since it’s only the way for student to gain admission into the University.

Student E

I think it is unreasonable to decide which university to enter the university only by relying on a college entrance examination. The examinee is influenced by many factors such as psychology, test paper difficulty, and environment and so on. The grades of examinee in the examination room are not necessarily the true level of the examinee. The college entrance examination should be a comprehensive quality test.

Below are few responses from Nigerian students during interview:

Student A

WAEC/UTME is one of the most important examinations of my life. As so many people said, it can decide our destiny. Only you are admitted into famous and excellent university that you can be closer to a bright future. And it is a chance for some students in poor to family to change their life.

Student B

I am not satisfied with UTME allocation of student because they do not give preference to our choice of studies and the UTME is very difficult for some student to pass.

Student C

UTME is not sufficient as universities entrance examination, but the addition of PUTME which is conducted independently by various universities. I believed because of errors in the Scores, there should be a different test after the UTME examination.

Students’ perspective of GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME as university entrance examination in China and Nigeria respectively is that both GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME were tough and not easy to pass. While UTME requires PUTME before admission into Nigerian universities, GAOKAO does not require additional exam before admission into Chinese universities.

Students’ perspective of GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME as university entrance examination in China and Nigeria respectively is that GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME made students nervous and anxious which lead to failure in both examinations but failure in GAOKAO can go to the extreme of psychological disease.

GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME had benchmarks for entering universities. These benchmarks seemed high according to the students’ perspective. The benchmark in GAOKAO allows students to enter universities in China while the benchmark in WAEC/UTME only qualified students to take another examination in the chosen universities in Nigeria.

These findings are in agreement with that of (Zhu & Lou, 2011) who found that competition is still fierce because students are not only competing for college entry, but also competing increasingly for places at the most prestigious universities providing good employment prospects. Tsang (2013) also found that only about 10 per cent of all candidates succeed to obtain places at one of these institutions.

Below are few responses to question: Do you think there should be a different test about GAOKAO? If yes/no please explain.

Student A

Yes I think so, because there should be some other way to test the standard of student apart from knowledge test from books.

Student B

Yes, because it gives no spare time for other activities and if you fail there is no admission for that year.

Student C

Yes, because of the different courses offer or subject in different provinces e.g. the Ethnic minority/national minority called “shaoshuminzu”.

Student D

I think the college entrance examination system is very good now, because it's relatively fair. No matter what a person's family condition is their education at school is the same. They're doing the same roll.

Student E

Yes. It is unreasonable to decide the admission of colleges and universities by the result of one exam. It is more ideal for colleges and universities to decide the admission of candidates by weighting the exams many times. If the content of the examination is too much emphasis on the memory of knowledge, it is not good for the cultivation of talents in Colleges and universities. Perhaps it is more reasonable to increase the examination of divergent thinking.

Student F

Of course, there should be. It is not proper to evaluate students only by the marks. We should check some other abilities, and evaluate in some different ways.

Nigerian students’ perspectives on question: “Do you think there should be a different test about (UTME/PUTME)? If yes/no please explain” were negative. Virtually all the Nigeria students interviewed thought that there should not be any other test after UTME/PUTME. The findings summary from Nigeria student shows that students are contented with the current university entrance examinations UTME and PUTME while their Chinese counterparts still want an additional screening exercise.

Discussion

This study compared students’ perspective of university entrance examination using GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME in China and Nigeria education system as a case study. This study reviewed literatures that are relevant to university entrance examination in China and Nigeria education system. The study also concentrated on adopted research method of the study. A sample of three hundred and forty (340) students in Beijing Normal University in China and three hundred and fifty (350) students in University of Ibadan in Nigeria making a total of six hundred and ninety (690) respondents (students) in both countries were used for the study. Three objectives with three research questions were generated for this study. Descriptive statistics of frequency counts, simple percentage were used.

The findings from the study showed that students’ perspective of GAOKAO as university entrance examination in China education system is that the examination is extremely tense and nervous which is the major cause of failing the examination. The findings equally indicated that students’ perspective of WAEC/UTME as university entrance examination in Nigeria education system is that score obtained from UTME examination should be used for admission for more than one year. Lastly the findings indicated that students’ perspective of GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME as university entrance examination in China and Nigeria respectively is that both examinations were tough and not easy to pass. While UTME requires PUTME before admission into Nigerian universities, GAOKAO does not require additional exam before admission into Chinese universities.

Conclusion

Based on the data collected and analyzed, the literature reviewed and the findings of the study, this study arrived at the following conclusions about the study. Students in China universities regarded GAOKAO as university entrance examination to be extremely tense and nervous and this is not only the major cause of failing the examination but also lead to high rate of psychological disease among students. Students in Nigeria universities wished that score obtained in the UTME examination should be used for admission for more than one year.

Students in both China and Nigeria perceived GAOKAO and WAEC/UTME respectively as university entrance examination to be tough and not easy to pass. UTME required PUTME before admission into Nigerian universities while GAOKAO did not require additional exam before admission into Chinese universities.

Recommendations

Based on the findings and conclusion drawn from this study, the following recommendations were made:

Chinese government should embark on programmes that will reorientate Chinese students on all examinations especially university entrance examination GAOKAO. Students should see exam as a text of knowledge and not a do or die affair. This will make them to be less nervous and reduce high rate of psychological disease.

Chinese government should embark on reforming university entrance examination GAOKAO. This reform is long overdue because of the long existence of GAOKAO examination. When examination has been in existence for decades, there is tendency to be examination malpractice. Nigerian government should allow score obtained in the UTME to be used for admission for more than one year. This will reduce the high rate of students enrolling for the examination every year. Students and lecturers will also believe that UTME examination is not mere extortion from the populace.

Reference