China: SAT ban brings good business to travel agencies
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China: SAT ban brings good business to travel agencies

China: SAT ban brings good business to travel agencies

Chinese tour companies are capitalising from the ban on SAT – an entrance exam applicants have to take to apply to US universities – in China, Beijing Youth Daily (via South China Morning Post) reported.

Travel agencies now offer packages for Chinese students to travel overseas to take the test instead, taking care of matters such as flight tickets, hotel accommodation, food as well as tutoring classes.

An agency based in China’s mainland said they had arranged tours for SAT candidates test in May and June, with others planned for the August and October sittings.

Packages vary in terms of duration and location. The report notes Hong Kong is the top favourite and costs students about CNY6,000 (US$900). Trips to Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, South Korea and Singapore are about CNY8,000 per person.

Some agencies even team up with Chinese high schools to attract more customers.

New York-based College Board, which owns the SAT, cancelled its exams held in China early last year over concerns of cheating allegations. The company has long been plagued by cheating incidents in Asia, where many test preparation centres help students gather past SAT exam papers to practise on. Students who have seen the questions beforehand get an unfair advantage.

The College Board announced early this year it will be reducing the number of its test centres overseas and increasing audits of the centres, but fell short of saying it will not reuse test forms used in the US in its exams overseas, Reuters reported.

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