The art of admission

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-3-29 17:48:02

Students circle around a young female model in a portrait exam. Photo: CFP

The entrance exams to top-flight art schools, often the road to stardom in the world of art and culture, have traditionally been in the national spotlight in China. At the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, thousands of students have just finished a three-day exam to enter the prestigious art academy.

To gain entry into an art school in China, applicants have to pass the individual art school exams in February and March, as well as the standard national college entry exams in June. However, if they pass the art school exam, the scores needed in the June exam are much lower. Thus, many students regard applying for art schools as a shortcut to university.

Still, the competition is intense. This year, for example, 58,000 students will be competing for 1,520 openings at the China Academy of Art, a 2.6 percent admission rate. At Tsinghua University's Academy of Arts and Design, the admission rate is just 1.4 percent, with 16,792 applicants fighting for 240 places.

Students need to travel from city to city for the individual art school exams, while also preparing for the college entrance exams in June, which test language and math abilities.

Most art schools have seen a dip in the number of applicants this year, after the Ministry of Education raised the minimum score required to enter art colleges and canceled some individual art school exams in 2014, in an effort to regulate the overheated art exams.

Global Times

Hundreds of student sketches, depicting the same model, cover the floor of a stadium in Hangzhou, waiting to be marked. Photo: CFP

Two models sit back-to-back. Photo: CFP


Students waiting to register for exams form a long queue snaking around the campus of the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. Photo: CFP


A student paints the background of a portrait. Photo: CFP


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