Assessment And Examination System Education Essay


This paper aspires to compare the public assessment system and the school evaluation system in both countries. It also explores different emphasis and the possible factors of higher mathematics performance of Chinese students as compared to Malaysian students. These possible factors might include: a) cultural and politics factor; b) emphasis of the 'Two Basics' process of mathematics education in China; c) the grade of mathematics educators; d) higher level of teaching content; and e) societal and parental goals.

Keywords: Comparative research, assessment, evaluation, China, Malaysia


Assessment and examinations are viewed as highly important in most Asian countries such as China and Malaysia. Often, general population examination email address details are considered as important countrywide measures of college accountability. Colleges are positioned and classified regarding to their students' performance in major public examinations.

However, assessment is supposed to indicate the designed curriculum (Wong, 2002) also to show what is valued. Very often, assessment 'defines in detail what is thought to be acceptable and what options for fixing problems are preferred' (Kaye Stacey, 2002, p. 11). Yet, too much focus on assessment and assessment may constraint or distort the implemented curriculum. For instance, assessment that focuses on skills will encourage "the teachers to utilize the 'explain and practice' strategy and the students will holiday resort to 'practice and memorization'" (Wong, 2002, p. 3). On the other hand, assessment that stresses on problem handling and proofing may force teachers to use teaching strategies that stress conceptual understanding. Therefore, the sort of diagnosis may determine the kind of mathematics educating strategy and so result in the sort of mathematics learning result of students.

Why Do a Comparative Research Between Malaysia and China?

Malaysia and China are both Asian countries. To some extent, both share an identical cultural qualifications that emphasizes on mathematics education and examination. However, in international assessments, for example, THE 3RD International Mathematics and Knowledge Study-Repeat (1997-2001), Chinese language students (from Hong Kong [positioned 3rd] and Taiwan [ranked 4th]) performed much better than Malaysian students [rated 16th]. What exactly are the possible factors? Are Chinese students more well prepared for international assessment? Or are Chinese language students more prepared with basic numerical knowledge and skills? Are Chinese parents and modern culture look more highly after evaluation than their Malaysian counterparts? Really is endless a comparative research on both countries analysis and evaluation systems may provide us with some understanding as well as become a mirror to reflect on our own systems.

In short, this paper aims to discuss and compare the many levels of public assessment system and the school examination conducted in both countries. In addition, this paper also explores the possible factors of higher mathematics performance of Chinese language students as compared to Malaysian students, such as a) ethnic and politics factor; b) emphasis of the "Two Basic principles" principle of mathematics education in China; c) the grade of mathematics educators; d) more impressive range of coaching content; and e) societal and parental expectation.

A Evaluation of Public Evaluation System in Malaysia and China

In Malaysia, the institution system is divided into key level (6 years), lower extra level (3-4 years), top secondary level (2 years) and Form Six or matriculation (24 months). You will discover four major open public examinations conducted at each level. At principal level, there exists the Primary Institution Assessment Test (UPSR); at lower supplementary level, the low Secondary Examination (PMR); at higher extra, the Malaysian Qualification of Education Exam (SPM) with Form Six, the Malaysian Higher Education Certificate Assessment (STPM). Nevertheless, the most decisive exam is the SPM. Predicated on the SPM results, students might want to enter in Form Six or matriculation; polytechnic or tutor training colleges, private colleges or universities, or to further his/her analysis in an international institution. However, nowadays the pattern has modified to using the STPM results as an access yardstick to both local and abroad college or university. Anyhow, all the assessment results are taken very seriously by both classes and parents as a way of measuring institution accountability and individual pride. It really is a common trend for the media to publicize greatly the evaluation results league desk with the titles of schools and specific student's exceptional performance.

In China, the institution system is somewhat different in different places. For most places, the practice is 6 years of key school, 3 years of middle university and 3 years of senior high school. The Education Laws in China claims that the first 9 many years of education are compulsory and usually no tuition is billed. You will find three important entry examinations conducted at the end of: primary institution (Class 6); middle school (Level 9) and senior high school (Class 12). However, in Shanghai, the school system is 5 years primary, 4 years middle institution and three years high school. The primary evaluation has been abolished (the main reason of the abolition of primary examination in the middle 90s is to reduce the children's learning burden so that their physical and mental health is increased). Thus, there are only two major consumer entrance examinations conducted in Shanghai. An example may be conducted at the end of middle college to be able to be able to enter high school and a different one is conducted by the end of high school to be able to have the ability to enter university. Although the rate of enrollment [] to senior high school or school for Shanghai students is really as high as above 70%, but most students contend to enter key colleges or colleges[ -]. Comparatively, these schools tend to have better school facilities and better teacher quality. Consequently, to be able to better differentiate the ability of the students, the entrance examination questions are receiving more and more difficult, thus increasing the strain on the students, instructors and parents.

Besides both access examinations, there are three more large-scale consumer examinations to be studied by Shanghai students. They are graduation examinations, which provide to certify students' qualification/graduation at each level: most important, middle and high school (similar examinations also exist in other parts of China). These examinations are summative in mother nature, thus the test items are placed based on instructing goals at each level. Almost all students will get through these examinations. Therefore these examinations are less threatening for some students.

In Malaysia, the Evaluation Syndicate under the Malaysian Ministry of Education handles all the general public examinations whereas in Shanghai, the Shanghai Municipal Educational Examinations Authority manages all the entrance examinations and the center & senior high school graduation examinations. In China, the access examination of colleges is definitely the most important and rigorous assessment, and before the Examination Middle of the Ministry of Education got the sole charge of its question formulation, corporation and management. However, for the last 20 years, based on the education reform, the exam system is also having reformation. By the entire year 2004, a complete of 11 provinces have obtained the to formulate their own assessment questions, among which Shanghai was the first one. Hence, the Shanghai Municipal Educational Examinations Expert manages the organization and question formulation of most public examinations, starting from middle university. However, the principal school graduation exam is arranged by the many District Education Departments.

A Assessment of School Examination for Mathematics in Malaysia and China

Besides public examinations, college assessments constitute the major parts of mathematics teaching and learning generally in most Malaysian schools and at virtually all levels. Mathematics assessments are usually given in the form of formative tests such as brief tests or monthly lab tests, as well as summative assessment given at the end of every semester or the end of every yr. Perhaps this testing phenomenon has been overemphasized. There are a few schools that established as much as six assessments per year. Since twelve months has two semesters and each semester is approximately 20 to 22 weeks, this means that for every 6-7 weeks there's a test. In addition, each test is planned for about a week for revision, weekly for screening and a week for discussing the results. Thus, just how many weeks are kept for teaching? This is a worrying landscape. This sort of 'show to test' happening is becoming wide-spread in many Malaysian classes now.

Similar to Malaysian classes, there are various assessment testing in Chinese schools. For instance, there are mid-semester exam (usually on the tenth week), semester-end exam as well as formative evaluation after doing every chapter. Furthermore, for students who are finding your way through their university entrance examination, tests receive weekly and regular. Chinese teachers always utilize examination and diagnosis tests to analyze their students' learning final result. They also prefer to use the evaluation results to list students. They believe that this type of ranking will encourage the better-performed students to do even better while pressing the poorer-performed students to work harder. Nonetheless, just lately, under the slogan of "reducing students' learning burden" [], the training administration departments of Shanghai have constrained the amount of examinations given in universities. For non-graduation time students, they are to remain for only four examinations per semester, i. e. the mid-semester and end of semester examinations, or more to two more examination tests. These testing are only allowed to be conducted during university hours.

What Are the Possible Factors for Higher Mathematics Performance of Chinese language Students As Compared to Malaysian Students?

From the above mentioned comparisons, we observe that there are a lot of similarities in the general public examination and institution assessment composition of both China and Malaysia. There is a strong focus on examinations and assessment as a way to diagnose and keep an eye on students' improvement. Most examinations are centrally manipulated and the examination results are highly recognized as individual accomplishment and school accountability.

However, overview of related literature and further research into other related factors such as the learning environment and the teaching techniques led us to suggest the following as the possible factors that attributed to higher mathematics performance of Chinese language students when compared with Malaysian students. These factors might include: a) social and politics factor; b) emphasis of the 'Two Essentials' basic principle of mathematics education in China; c) quality of mathematics teachers; d) higher-level of coaching content; and e) societal and parental expectation

a) Cultural and political factor

Malaysia is a multi-cultural and multi-racial country that consisting of three main races, specifically Malays and indigenous (65. 8%), Chinese (25. 4%), Indians (7. 5%) while others (1. 3%) [Source: The Superstar publication, 12 November 2004]. To ensure equal opportunity in education and also to reduce the economical difference between races, general public examinations are established predicated on a national syllabus. To appeal to weaker students, this content levels are establish at achieving minimum competency. Therefore, comparatively, the content degree of the Malaysian mathematics curriculum is lower than the Chinese curriculum. Furthermore, the Malaysian mathematics diagnosis is dependant on norm-reference alternatively than criterion reference point. As a result, the passing mark for every open public examination is set based on the performance of typical and not the average person students. The passing class is set based on the cohort students who arranged for the exam. Therefore, the assessment results published have a tendency to reflect the norm as opposed to the real capability and genuine performance of specific students.

Whereas in China, though general public evaluation is also norm-referenced, students' performance is rated from the highest mark to the cheapest. There is equivalent competition and identical opportunity. This ensures only the best college student will gain entrance into the best colleges or corporations. Perhaps this takes its motivating factor that pushes every student to review hard and shoot for the best.

Besides, the Confucian culture, which had been the dominant culture in China for thousands of years, states that"  "˜‡‡»"˜"˜ »-"˜" †»˜ †»", which means, respectively, "Learning is the noblest profession", "Those who study well can become government officers (brainworkers)", "Brainworkers deal with others, manual workers (those who do not research well) are supervised by others". Influenced by such traditional principles, Chinese people, whether the students themselves, the parents, the classes or the modern culture as a whole, put great emphasis in learning and devoting to education as if it is just a religion. Chinese people desire to change their lives through education.

In addition, Chinese language people value highly public accomplishment and group glory. Any university student, school and the area education department involved that are chosen to signify China in virtually any international assessment assessment take great tasks after themselves. They thought that this isn't just about individual or college glory, but it is also the honor of the nation. Thus, they strive their absolute best to prepare also to work very hard during the evaluation. This might make clear Chinese language students' better accomplishment in many international evaluations.

b) Emphasis of the 'Two Principles' basic principle of mathematics education in China

Mathematics education in China highly stresses the "two principles", i. e. basic knowledge and basic skills. Because the majority of the test components of the international examination aims and then test the essential knowledge or skills of students, these things are not problematic for most Chinese language students. This is because they are being used to practice these kind of questions during their normal classes in classes.

In truth, 'the high regard of basic skills is definitely a custom of mathematics education in Mainland China. ' (Wong, Han & Lee, 2004, p. 41). Consequently, the basic principle of Two Basic principles and 'three expertise' (computation, reasonable thinking and spatial visualization) were mentioned explicitly as the goals in the 1992 mathematics curriculum. Thus, it is among the most responsibility of every mathematics educator to ensure that his/her students grasp these 'Two Essentials' as the least requirement. With their abundance experience, most Chinese language mathematics teachers haven't any problem in training their students, even those students who are less numerical able, to rating high marks in these areas.

In conjunction with the focus on the 'Two Fundamentals', Chinese teachers tend to put together massive amount exercises because of their students to practice. Above all, in addition they make a variety of comprehensive test questions, with different difficulty levels, that permit the student to identify his/her own competency in the" Two Basics". For example, "function" is one important mathematical concept in high school mathematics curriculum. It really is taught in Level 10 in Shanghai ("Sets and Propositions" and "Inequalities" are the two other items taught in that semester). Why don't we make reference to some test questions of the 2002-2003 first semester examinations to show how the questions represent the focus on"two basics". Detailed analysis is displayed in Stand 1.

Table 1: An examination of test questions on the topic"function"


Test Objective


Sets and propositions, inequalities, calculator usage


29 points


2. The website of the function is

The site of functions, coupled with calculations affecting inequalities containing absolute values.

3 points

5. If ˜˜then

Operations on functions. It really is implied that in the domain name of.

3 points

6. The inverse of the function.

Inverse functions and their domains.

3 points

7. If an unusual function f(x) is described on the group of all real volumes R, which is monotonously lowering on, then your ordering of, which is

Montonicity of functions.

3 points

8. In case the function identified on [-2, 2] is even, then its bare minimum value is

The parity and the minima of functions.

3 points

9. It really is known any particular one gram of iodine-131 deteriorates to grams after x days and nights. A medical center bought 20g of iodine-131, and 8. 4g remains upon usage, then the iodine-131 has been stored in the hospital for days and nights before use.

Model real-world problems with functions, determine the worthiness of the varying according compared to that of the function.

3 points

10. In case the even function y=f(x) is monotonously decreasing on the period, and 1

Monotonicity, parity, website and range of functions. Open-ended.

3 points

12. The quadrants passed by the graph of the function (a, b are constants, ) are˜ ˜



Graph of functions. Two parameters are participating.

4 points

13. Given that, the graphs of both functions andcan only possibly be˜ ˜.

Each of the choices˜ A˜˜ B˜˜ C˜˜ D˜ is a number (omitted here).

Graph of functions. Two parameters are participating.

4 points

14. If function y=f(x) satisfies for any within its domain name, then this function is a () function within the website.

Monotonously increasing;

Monotonously decreasing;


Neither monotonously increasing nor reducing.

The description of the monotonicity of functions, where in fact the difficulty is increased by utilizing a different representation.

4 points

16. Solve the equation

The request of logarithmic functions and the transform guidelines of logarithms.

8 points

18. Given ˜˜ 1˜Determine the parity of the function ;˜ 2˜For, determine the monotonic intervals of f(x) and give the proofs.

Proofs predicated on the parity and monotonicity of the function f(x).

10 points

19. Given a trapezoid-shaped little bit of material whose sizing is given in the physique below (unit: cm), we will cut a rectangular part EBFP from it, where P sits on segment CD and |FP|=x. (1) Represent the length l of EP using x; (2) Represent the area y of the rectangle EBFP as a function of x; (3) What's the worthiness of x when the region of the rectangle EBFP is maximized?

Model real-world problems using functions, combined with planar geometry knowledge and the extreme of quadratic functions.

10 points

20. When graphing a piecewise function on the computer or calculator, the function can be used. For instance, the piecewise function can be symbolized as.


˜ 1˜Represent f(x) as a piecewise function;

˜ 2˜Approximately sketch the graph of f(x);

˜ 3˜Let, does there exist a genuine quantity k so that F(x) is an unusual function? If so, determine all possible values of k, often give a substantiation.

Tests the blended ability of reading, understanding and request; piecewise functions and their graphs; transformation of functions and the consequences on the graphs (this surpasses the coaching requirements).

10 points

From Desk 1, we observe that almost every facet of the topic on 'function' is tested, often other recently learned knowledge must be used in addition to the idea of functions, and one theory or property is often portrayed in several ways, so the difficulty of the questions are increased, sometimes even exceeding the coaching requirements. Perhaps there is no surprise that the Chinese students are well trained to be very competent in finding your way through examinations.

c) Quality of mathematics teachers

Quality teaching originates from quality professors. The better mathematics educator professional development program in China might be another factor that ensures better professor quality and therefore better coaching and better pupil performance in mathematics. In Malaysia, there may be hardly much educator professional development program for mathematics teachers. Teachers are kept to fend for themselves also to improve on their own both in pedagogy and content knowledge after they have completed their training in teachers' colleges or more institutions. There is not much motivation for teachers to further their study or even to up grade their professional level. This is because the tutor salary scheme is set and mainly based on the number of years of coaching and the essential teaching qualifications. There's also not much chances of promotion in most of mathematics teachers. For example, a mathematics teacher who have obtained a professional or perhaps a doctorate degree but choose to stay in coaching in university, will have the same salary level as his/her counterpart who does not need a postgraduate level.

Unlike Malaysia, in China, especially in the more economically developed parts, all degrees of education supervision departments pay great attention on educator quality and instructors' professional development. A reasonably complete lifelong education program for teachers has been set up, the following

˜ 1˜Pre-service training

There are 30~40 normal colleges in China that are immediately administrated by the countrywide or provincial Ministry of Education, and these colleges are accountable for the pre-service professor training. In Shanghai, most up to date mathematics instructors in middle and high classes are first-degree mathematics graduates from universities. In universities, they obtain education on not only mathematics content but also pedagogy, psychology, and undergo coaching practice in classes teacher for several weeks. In this way, they have a fairly solid base on mathematics and pedagogy.

˜ 2˜Initial-service training

After graduating from university, through the first year of a fresh teacher's career, the employing college usually assigns an experienced instructor as his/her supervisor, who helps the new teacher on both coaching and management of students.

˜ 3˜In-service training

A new professor usually become a "second-grade educator" after one year's teaching, and with sufficient competency he/she can be marketed to a "first-grade instructor" after 3~5 years, during which he/she must acquire 240 hours of in-service training. For further promotion to a "advanced teacher", another 540 hours of in-service training are required. These classes cover numerous aspects such as class room management, educational psychology, communicative English, three-dimensional animated software and curriculum design. These training are conducted for 3 to 4 4 hours per week and run from a period of half to 1 semester. Many teachers found these lessons have kept them up-to-date with the latest pedagogy as well as increased their teaching competency. These in-service teacher-training training are sorted out by the many cities and state owned education colleges as well as the educator training schools. Finishing these classes is a necessary condition for the continuation and advertising of your teacher's career, thus it can be an obligation for each teacher.

˜ 4˜Key teacher training

In practice, there are always some educators who love teaching and also have good encounters. These "key professors" are the mainstay of the professor population, and they are representative of the country's level of coaching. In the late 1990s, the national Ministry of Education initiated a Key Teacher Training Program, and similar programs by local government authorities followed soon after. The objective of this training program is ideal for these key professors, who usually relied seriously on practice and experience, to broaden their horizon, revise their coaching ideas, their mathematical knowledge and teaching skills (e. g. teaching using multimedia system), in order to play an improved role in education.

˜ 5˜Master of Education

Starting from 1997, teachers with a bachelor degree with least 3 years of teaching experience in female, middle or senior high school can be enrolled as a get good at university student on education (EDM) after assessment. After taking courses and doing research, they will receive a Expert of Education level if they cross thesis protection. Such training is usually in-service, thus the educators keep their job after getting the amount. Master education helps these educators to obtain a composite knowledge framework relating both mathematics and pedagogy and a technique that combines theory and practice.

˜ 6˜Combined coaching and research

In Shanghai's midsection and high institutions, management is performed both per-grade (each grade has a group of teachers) and per-course (each course has a course coaching & research group). The teaching & research band of each course is the essential business for the professors to discuss their coaching and research efforts. For example, the mathematics teaching & research group contains a meeting once a week, where the course agenda and requirements of the mathematics classes of each grade are suggested and monitored, important and difficult problems in the school's numerical education are reviewed, and studies are suggested and structured. Each level of education administration department has its teaching research branch, which organizes and handles the study on teaching in the administrated region. For example, most places in China maintain "open classes " every once in awhile, where one instructor teaches while his/her co-workers observe and comment, this gives great chance for teachers to share and to study from each other. This is especially helpful for those young and recently recruited colleagues. The research done by a educator performs an important role in deciding who'll get an honor or campaign.

Under these programs, every instructor is required to continuously enroll in and participate in a number of professor professional development classes organized either at institution, district or point out level.

Furthermore, Shanghai instructors' salary is paid on two strategies. One of them is the essential salary given by the government. Another one is paid off their school fund and it is calculated in line with the amount of workload (like the number of coaching hours or mind of section) and the grade of coaching and research (e. g. the student's accomplishments, colleagues' opinions of open up classes, published research paperwork). This sort of salary structure could become exterior motivators for professors to work harder also to involve themselves positively in a variety of professional development training as well as the numerous coaching contests. Indirectly, this might lead to raised professor quality and better teaching outcome.

d) Higher-level of teaching content

Other than these factors, from informal interviews with Shanghai mathematics educators, we observed that there are variations between Malaysian and Chinese language teachers in how the mathematics curriculum is adopted. Matching to them, in China, mathematics educators tend to coach more than what the curriculum content required. Actually, this is the expectation of school and parents that the mathematics professors show higher content level than the stated syllabus. Similarly, it is because the access examinations, especially the university or college entrance assessment, are highly competitive. Every make issues if the student wants to get into a key college or university. Therefore, the educators must not only complete the parts specified by the curriculum, but they also believe that higher requirements for the students in day-to-day teaching lead to raised ratings in examinations. Alternatively, presently it is prompted to cultivate the students' capacity of innovation and exploration during mathematics education, and because of this the university entrance examination in Shanghai includes a "composite" part, where the content of six classes, namely Politics, History, Geography, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, are blended. Most teachers hold the opinion that this content on the text e book and the course requirements given by the curriculum only protects the fundamentals, thus it is not sufficient to cultivate the students' capacity of technology and exploration, therefore they tend to look for extra material to fulfill this objective. Due to the above two reasons, the actual content educated by educators is often more challenging than that in the institution textbooks and the planned curriculum, both in breadth and in depth.

In distinction, Malaysian educators never instruct beyond the expected numerical content even although mentioned content was targeted at achieving minimum competency. Actually, some professors might choose to sacrifice some numerical details/topics such as possibility that they felt is too problematic for their students. Instead they focus only on the few limited topics to be able to ensure that their students could excel at these topics and so pass the exam.

e) Societal and parental expectation

Science and technology are evolving at an unbelievable rate nowadays, and every occupation requires visitors to have good ability. Achieving an increased level of education, especially a diploma or a qualification from a prestigious university, takes on an important role in signifying one's ability. Both Malaysian and Shanghai parents put great hope on their children' education and their mathematics academics achievement. They are willing to invest big money by mailing their children for private tuition classes and buying extra workbooks for their children to apply. Even though the education supervision departments of Shanghai highly oppose anything that may further increase the students' burden, the 'single child' plan of China pushes the Shanghai parents to exert even more expectation and demand on the child's education. A couple of more and more parents sending the youngster to private or personal schools. Consequently, they also put very high expectation upon the school and teachers. Within the positive side, this kind of higher expectation demand higher commitment and better quality of instructors.


Mathematics teaching is usually affected by diagnosis. We acknowledge that too much emphasis on examination might defeat the real reason for examination. A culture that is too examination focused might create unwanted effects on students' success. However, until now, exam remains the best assessment way of measuring students' achievement and perhaps the most objective and fairest of all.

A comparison of the two countries' evaluation and assessment system show that both show similarities in terms of institution and examination composition. Perhaps it is the differences in conditions of mathematics professor quality and the focus on 'the two principles' that contribute to the bigger mathematics performance of the Chinese language students in international diagnosis. To up grade the mathematics performance of the Malaysian students, it could be timely for the Malaysian Ministry of Education to put more attention on mathematics instructor quality through promoting its tutor professional development program.

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