The AST (Aptitude Scholastic Test) is the gateway to elite universities. This unique test, a collaboration between experienced Gaokao test paper writers and senior University of Cambridge academics from relevant disciplines, has enabled exceptional students with a background in the Chinese national curriculum to be considered for direct admission to Cambridge without a foundation year. What is more, abundant data indicate that high-calibre students admitted via this route have gone on to excel even in the most exacting academic environment.
The results speak for themselves. Students admitted by Cambridge after pre-screening via the ASTs have consistently achieved first or upper second class honours across a broad range of undergraduate subjects, and have frequently out-performed their subject-based cohort.
The AST draws on the talent and experience of a dedicated group of education experts who design exam papers at the AST Centre. These seasoned specialists have each – on average – been engaged in educational research work for over two decades.
With their rich testing experience and international insight, members of our AST team work on the steady development of the test to ensure that it exactly mirrors the academic level and comprehensive study ability of test participants under international criteria.
In addition, the exam markers’ group comprises senior teachers from various disciplines. The AST Centre randomly assigns the exam marking to group members, which helps guarantee the fairness and transparency of the exam paper and testing procedure.
A fusion of aptitude and proficiency tests, the AST reflects and respects cultural diversity: it is currently the only test available worldwide, to the best of our knowledge, that balances international assessment standards with the ability to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of candidates with a background in the Chinese national curriculum.
The AST has a rigorous test design, development and validation process. These processes ensure that every version of the test is of a comparable level of difficulty.
The security of AST material and test results is critical; numerous mechanisms are in place to safeguard the test and test results. All AST tests and test centres are subject to the highest quality controls, security procedures and integrity management practices.