Changes in the 2024 Art Entrance Examination Higher Requirements for Cultural Courses and a Significant Reduction in School Examination Scale

The provincial-level unified examinations for art majors in 2024 have started one after another What are the changes in the new round of art exams? Firstly, the threshold for the college entrance examination cultural performance has been raised Some art majors no longer organize professional exams and will directly admit students based on their college entrance examination cultural performance and comprehensive quality evaluation Secondly, the scale of school examinations has been significantly reduced, and passing the provincial-level unified examination is the basic requirement for obtaining the qualification for relevant school examinations Thirdly, efforts are being made to achieve a national unified approach, establish relatively unified examination standards and rules, and set the full score for each category to 300 (CCTV News) In the first year of the implementation of the art examination reform, what new features are worthy of attention?

The Impact and Issues of the New Art Exam in the College Entrance Examination Reform

In the past, those who participated in the art exam, also known as the “art subject,” would often rent a house near the exam school to prepare for the exam. These houses were often shared, much like short-term rental houses near large hospitals. It is said that some students once rented a house near a school in downtown Guangzhou to prepare for the exam. The landlord showed them around and coincidentally, one of the rooms was unlocked. When they pushed the door open, they unexpectedly found a man and a woman making love on the bed, forgetting to lock the door.

The art exam can be seen as an alternative path with a gambling nature. At times, it is also seen as a gathering place and safe haven for students with poor academic performance. Of course, such views are biased, just like categorizing individual businesses and freelancers as a black market.

In reality, it is rather belated to discuss the changes brought about by the new art exam compared to the past. Candidates should have prepared for the new art exam according to its requirements early on. What is truly worth paying attention to is the direction reflected by the new art exam and the potential unintended consequences it may have.

What direction does the new art exam reflect? It’s simple—it aims to cultivate a more cultured mindset in those involved in the arts.

The general public does not pay attention to how many artistic treasures are uncovered when corrupt officials are searched, nor do they understand how “unsightly script” has become popular in calligraphy. Even many entertainers with worrying cultural levels still receive public acclaim based on their looks and acting skills. However, the focus of the authorities is to hope that those engaged in artistic creation can return to the right track that aligns with mainstream values.

In the current educational evaluation system, the only measure that can be taken is still exam scores. Reducing the scale of school-based exams essentially echoes raising the threshold for academic scores—meaning that the admissions process becomes more restricted by standardized exams.

While such measures naturally aim to select more artistic talents who possess both moral, intellectual, physical, artistic, and labor capabilities, are there really no other effects besides these goals? Are the effects truly all positive?

It is foreseeable that:

It will become increasingly difficult for children from poor families to choose the path of the art exam. In addition to the high requirements for academic subjects, strict standardized exams and fewer school-based exams mean that the judgment criteria become more concentrated, and the information gap between exams and learning becomes wider. The scores and admission distribution in the art exam will become more similar to the regular college entrance examination.

It will become increasingly challenging for regular high schools to enhance the training of art exam candidates. On one hand, the requirements for the art exam are becoming higher, but on the other hand, due to factors such as information asymmetry and admission rates, high schools will become less supportive of students participating in the art exam when making streaming decisions.

Using the art exam, which significantly emphasizes the weight of academic subjects, to admit and cultivate artistic talents may further undermine artistic creativity. In the field of artistic creation, many knowledge areas may not be taught at the high school level. This is not to say that cultural knowledge in the basic education stage is unimportant, but the baton of the college entrance examination fosters an increasingly rigid mindset, which may not truly benefit the development of art. In the past, the Peking opera actress Zhao Lirong didn’t even know how to read, but she honed her artistic accomplishment by persistently performing for the people. Many actors with a higher cultural level nowadays may not even be able to achieve this, and their demeanor in daily conversations may not be easily comparable to those of the people of her time.

If this kind of recruiting and examination model can persist for several years and become the norm, it may not necessarily be a bad thing. What is feared is that there will be college entrance examination reforms every year, leaving each cohort at a loss.

Reform of Art College Entrance Examination: Specialized examinations for directing and broadcasting majors are cancelled, admission is based on academic performance.

I don’t know much about other art majors, but let’s talk about directing and broadcasting majors. Due to the nature of these majors, I have taught several courses for training students in these art majors in the past. However, looking at the changes in the industry over the years, many places have already begun to explore the elimination of professional exams for these majors, as mentioned in the news about Shanghai:

Originally, the art college entrance examination in Shanghai consisted of five categories, including fine arts and design, music, broadcasting and hosting, directing, and performance. According to the new regulations, the directing category has been cancelled and two new subjects have been added: calligraphy and dance. At the same time, the director role has been expanded within the performance category. Starting from 2024, the art college entrance examination in Shanghai will also achieve full coverage of all six categories in accordance with the unified requirements of the country.

This year, there are even bigger changes:

One important change in this round of art college entrance examination reform is that some art majors will no longer organize professional exams, including art history and theory, art management, intangible cultural heritage protection, drama studies, film studies, dramatic literature for film and television, broadcasting and television directing, and film and television technology. Admission will be based directly on candidates' high school academic scores and comprehensive qualities, through a comprehensive evaluation of their performance.

For the directing major exam, the main content examined is knowledge of literature and art, film and television criticism, and other related subjects. Although these subjects have certain professional requirements, they also have a lot of overlap with the knowledge learned in middle and high school. As for writing film and television criticism, although it does require time to learn, it is highly likely that those who are interested and have a good foundation in cultural subjects will perform better.

Therefore, at least for the directing major exam, changing from a specialized exam to admission based solely on academic performance may have some small drawbacks, but overall it will not have a significant impact, and it is highly likely to improve the overall level of specialized students.

On the other hand, in the past, art college exams were also notorious for being prone to favoritism. Since art college exams are mostly organized by individual schools, the content and standards of the exams are not as strictly regulated. Although some schools can record the entire exam process with audio and video, it is still difficult to inspect with so many candidates applying each year. In addition, many art exam questions are impromptu, and the personal biases of examiners can also affect candidates' performance. These factors contribute to the complexity of art college entrance examinations.

Of course, objectively speaking, there are indeed people in fields such as film and television directing who have good professional abilities but average exam performances, and good high school exam scores do not necessarily indicate talent in these areas. Instead of completely cancelling professional exams, a more feasible approach would be to set a higher threshold, similar to what was done by Beijing Film Academy and other institutions in the past. I remember for majors like drama and sound engineering at Beijing Film Academy, in addition to passing the specialized courses, candidates were also required to achieve a score of 80% or 90% of the highest score in the province for the academic subjects. This can be considered a compromise that takes both aspects into account.

However, the reason why art college entrance examinations are undergoing such reforms is probably due to the many underlying issues, and I will refrain from commenting on them. Looking at the overall trend, no matter how the reforms are carried out, the increasing emphasis on academic subjects is a major trend, which can greatly increase the transparency of art college admissions. For candidates who want to study art majors, in addition to their professional abilities, they should also pay more attention to their academic subjects.

Higher Threshold for Art College Entrance Exams

In recent years, there has been an upward trend in the threshold for art college entrance exams. Students who wish to pursue their artistic dreams are finding it increasingly difficult to pass the exams and gain admission to these prestigious institutions.

The main reason behind this rising threshold is the growing competition in the field of art. With more and more students showing interest in arts-related careers, the number of applicants for art colleges keeps increasing. Therefore, colleges have to set higher standards to filter out the most talented and dedicated students.

Another factor contributing to the higher threshold is the overall improvement in art education. Art schools are now providing better training programs and resources to cultivate the artistic skills of their students. This has led to a significant increase in the level of knowledge and proficiency expected from applicants.

Moreover, art colleges are focusing more on comprehensive evaluations, taking into account not only the students' artistic abilities but also their creativity, critical thinking, and cultural awareness. This holistic approach ensures that successful candidates possess a well-rounded set of skills that goes beyond just technical expertise.

While the higher threshold for art college entrance exams may seem challenging for aspiring artists, it ultimately benefits the industry by ensuring that only the most talented and committed individuals are admitted into these institutions. It also encourages students to strive for excellence and constantly improve their artistic abilities.

In conclusion, as the field of art becomes more competitive, the threshold for art college entrance exams continues to rise. This trend reflects the growing demand for artistic talent and the need to select the most qualified candidates.

The meaning of raising the threshold is: Both academic courses and art courses must be grasped, and both must be strong.

Having artistic talent is the focus of cultivation, and this is correct. However, academic courses determine the lower limit, and learning general knowledge is more conducive to promoting the comprehensive development of talents.

It’s just that the children taking the art exam will work even harder.

In the past, the college entrance examination did not categorize all students with poor grades and require them to participate in the art exam. However, in reality, there were indeed many students with poor academic performance who took a shortcut to good universities through the art exam. Two years ago, a colleague’s child had always had poor academic performance, and they had enrolled in numerous extracurricular tutoring classes since middle school. The parents have spent a lot of money, but the child’s grades did not improve. Later, when they had no choice, they let the child learn art in the first semester of the second year of high school. Despite still having poor academic performance, the child was admitted to a provincial key university in the college entrance examination.

Whenever colleagues discuss children’s education, when it comes to high school students with poor academic performance, they always say that if conditions permit, it would be fine to attend a good art school.

In 2024, the threshold for the art exam’s academic performance will be raised, and the scale of school examinations will be greatly reduced. With art exam students busy preparing for the art exam in the first semester of their senior year and having to work hard to make up for their academic courses in the second semester, it will be even more difficult to improve their academic scores and the overall trend will be more challenging.

This will filter out many opportunists who have entered high school but have no hope of going to university due to poor academic performance, and have chosen to learn painting, music, sports, and many other art exams.

Many children who have been trained since childhood, starting from the first grade of primary school with art training and exams, continue studying until high school. They have discovered that many of their classmates in the art class suddenly switched to studying art along the way, even in the second or third year of high school, there are still newcomers who suddenly join the class and say they want to switch to studying art. In the two years before the college entrance examination, the number of competitors has increased significantly. Raising the threshold for academic performance is gradually changing the old idea of “wanting to take a shortcut through the art exam” and increasing the importance of academic courses for art exam students.

Speaking of something unrelated, celebrities can get into the Beijing Film Academy or Central Academy of Drama with only two or three hundred points. After entering university, they are busy with their careers, and most of their studies adopt the concentrated class format, as long as they have accumulated enough credits. This is also one of the reasons why many celebrities are criticized for their low cultural level.

Returning to the essence of academic courses, art exam students need to work harder.

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The Role of Cultural Courses on Art Students

As long as the atmosphere in the entertainment industry can be adjusted, the grades of cultural courses can be high. However, if one is ignorant of basic knowledge and has no understanding of humanities and history, what positive social impact can such an art student bring?

Cultural Accomplishment of Art Students and Fairness of Examinations

In essence, there are two goals:

  1. To change the misconception that one can pass by simply being “attractive” and having a lower emphasis on cultural subjects after a period of training. Overall, it aims to enhance the cultural level of art students so that they are not just successful based on their appearance but have substance.
  2. To enhance the fairness of examinations and minimize the possibility of hidden manipulation. After all, the larger and more prestigious the examination, the less likely it is for any underhanded actions to occur.

In the end, the entertainment industry, being a big melting pot, has had too many incidents and needs to be corrected from its roots. Starting from students' early years, it is necessary to strengthen the guidance of “life values, world views, and ethical values” for artists in order to prevent any future mishaps.

Realizing My Dream of Going to University Thanks to the Art Exam

I would like to express my gratitude to the art exam which has allowed me to fulfill my dream of going to university.

Raising the Bar for the Cultural Courses in Art Exams

The bar for the cultural courses in art exams needs to be raised, as the disparity between art and non-art students cannot be too extreme. After all, these individuals will be the carriers of disseminating cultural products to the public. It is unacceptable to turn war dramas into magical idol love stories, or historical dramas into fantasy idol dramas. We hope to avoid situations where phrases like “My grandfather was killed by the Japanese invaders when he was only nine years old,” “Bullets can gain acceleration by flicking the wrist,” “Bringing a leather sofa to the battlefield,” or “Being well-groomed and beaming with confidence amidst the rain of gunshots” occur.

Bringing out the Picture

At this moment,

I have no choice but to bring out this picture. (;´д`)ゞ

Partial Changes in Art Exam Content

There have been some changes in the content of the art exams as well. For example, the previous major of “Directing and Production” has been changed to “Drama Directing,” and the unified written test has been replaced by a combination of interview and written test.

Two Key Points of Art Exam Reform: Unified Requirements and Equal Emphasis on Specialization and Cultural Education

The reform of art exams actually reflects the changes in the overall demand for art students.

Previously, it might have been sufficient to excel in professional courses, while passing or barely passing basic courses.

There are several key points:

  1. The exam reform strives for “a unified strategy throughout the country”

Formerly, Shanghai’s art exams covered five categories, including fine arts and design, music, broadcasting and hosting, directing, and performing arts. According to the new regulations, the directing category has been abolished, and two new subjects have been added: calligraphy and dance. At the same time, within the performing arts category, the director role has been expanded, now called performance (direction) category. Starting in 2024, Shanghai’s art exams will also achieve full coverage of the six categories in accordance with the national unified requirements.

In reality, the phenomenon of individualism in the college entrance exam is quite obvious. One major problem is that some provinces do not have an English listening section, which results in a deficiency in English listening ability in subsequent studies.

Art exams are similar in this regard. The industry has fixed requirements for the kind of talent it needs, or rather, unified standards, but there are significant policy differences between provinces.

  1. This art exam reform also reflects an important direction, regardless of whether enrollment is conducted through provincial exams or school exams. The threshold for high school cultural exam scores has been raised, highlighting equal emphasis on specialization and cultural education.

Starting in 2024, for majors using provincial exam scores as a basis for professional exam results, it is explicitly stipulated that the proportion of high school cultural exam scores should generally not be lower than 50%. At the same time, universities using school exams are encouraged to further raise the admission requirements for high school cultural exam scores in accordance with the requirements of professional development.

This is also a very significant message.

In the past, when people talked about art students, they were mostly focused on their specialization in art but lacking in cultural education.

Now, emphasizing cultural education means a much more demanding schedule. Students have to spend their days painting and playing musical instruments, while also studying subjects like mathematics and science. Those who go all in on math and science still don’t end up learning much, let alone those who already have a weak foundation.

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