Meta title: Major Difference in Chinese and American Education System

Major Difference in Chinese and American Education System

Chinese Education System Vs American Education System

Education between American and China differs in terms of cultural norms, resources and population. Each region and culture follow different ways of education. Each country’s education system has unique features. Both of the countries have an extreme influence to international society and they have received universal attention.

Chinese parents prefer the Chinese education system for elementary, middle and high school levels. However, a massive number of students at the college level are choosing to study abroad. Educators and parents believe that Chinese education is important for the foundation, while American education helps cultivate students’ creativity. But to understand why it actually happens, it is very important to understand the main differences between the Chinese and American approach to education?  

 1. Basic foundation in education

Chinese students are trained to be more precise, which eventually improves their retention. Like in maths, Chinese students are not allowed to use calculators. They must master basic calculation skills so they can remember the entire concept.

On the other hand, American students are encouraged to be independent learner, improve self-determination, and assuredness which develops comprehensive thinking. While Chinese students continue winning gold medals in Math Olympics Competitions, Americans continue winning Nobel Prizes.

2. Classrooms

Chinese teachers have responsible for 30 to 50 numbers of students. But American students focus on the individual needs of the students. In the Chinese education system, they prefer to focus on the collective group of students as a whole. They receive homework on a daily basis, even during the holidays and breaks. They receive huge pressure for performing well for the end of year exams. They prefer focusing on how they can improve the learning of students as a whole.

But in this American education system works completely different as compared to Chinese education. American teachers concentrate on the individual needs of students. They keep a close eye on each student’s progress or academic performance, and accordingly, they create Individual Education plans to structure lessons that meet the needs of the specific student. American students do not have such homework, and it can be either due to schools not believing students requiring any extra practice or because schools mostly don’t bother doing them. Their end of year exams is often looked at as just another test to pass.

3. Teacher

After each passing grade, American students get a different teacher in their education journey. But that’s not the same in the education culture of the Chinese. Chinese students mostly have the same teacher or just two to three teachers throughout the whole education journey. However, what remains the same is teachers in both America and Chinese are required to meet specific teaching qualifications.

3. Societal expectations

Chinese students’ puts learning and education on the highest pedestal, which is why they barely get any time for extra-curricular activities. Their school days are longer than the Chinese schools, and after that, they get busy with completing homework. The education system in China mostly focuses on memorisation and test scores. They do not get enough time for sports, art or creativity. However, a few institutions are showing slight changes in terms of innovation and creativity. The change is happening slowly, but we can only hope that it continues to grow.

American students are highly encouraged to participate in the arts and sports at a very young age. These activities are an important part of their education. It plays a great role in getting admission to colleges. American parents take education to be just another part of the lives of their children. The majority of American students tend to play sports, take part in a cheerleading team, learn an instrument or take part in something else. Unlike the Chinese culture, they are not just focused on high grades; their education system is focused on any achievement. An American child does not start school until five years, and they are not required to strive in a competitive academic race until late high school and college.

4. Testing

Students in China go through tremendous pressure for doing well on their exam as their grades hold substantial weight. On the basis of their final test scores, teachers evaluate their students. Along with monthly exams, students also have to deal with mid-term and final exams also.9th-grade students who intend to enter senior high school have to go through High School Entry Exam (HSEE) or Zhongkao. If they fail to do well on this exam, they will not be able to get into academic senior high school and must attend a vocational or technical school or else they have to drop out of school. Probably this is why so many Chinese students nowadays are looking for essay  help service. Not attending an academic/college preparatory senior high will mean not eligible to attend bachelor’s degree program. And in the college entrance exam, also called Gaokao, are held once a year. These exams are completely separate from classroom grades. This exam will determine which college/universities the students can attend and what major they can have, but it is quite the opposite in the US.

Exam scores in America and Canada are evaluated as part of the admissions process. American students are evaluated on the basis of their final scores. Unlike Chinese students, homework class participation and essays help with calculating overall grades. GPA is created by averaging together the grades of assignments throughout the semester and the final exam results. Students who failed to score well in GPA are given chances for earning extra credits.  

5. Teamwork

The Chinese culture follows just taking notes and not participating in the classroom. They do not get the opportunity with forming groups and participating in added learning activities. The reason must be because they follow a test-centric teaching style. Instead of focusing on helping students understand the subject, they mostly focused on numerical grades.

American classrooms often assign group projects that are essential team-building skills and prepare for working in teams in the future. They are asking to do group projects like models, posters, creating short films or building something. The hands-on experience gets a practical understanding of their theoretical knowledge. They learn how to apply the knowledge in practical life. They also participate in surveys and field trips.


Education is itself a culture, and due to different societal cultures, each country follows different teaching and learning methods. I feel both students have room for improvement. While the American education industry is a little reliant on perfection and proper discipline, the Chinese education industry does not encourage any extra curriculum activities or group activities. Both Chinese and American students perceive education differently.

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