China has for the first time set a Chinese language proficiency test for non-language majors as part of the second round of entrance examinations for postgraduate studies.
The Psychology Department of the Beijing Normal University held the test on Sunday morning for students who have registered for master's courses.
Che Hongsheng, dean of the department, says that the test mainly examines the student's ability to use the Chinese language, as opposed to merely mechanical recitation:
"It is important for students to have a good command of the Chinese language in terms of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Graduate students must be competent in Chinese to write their theses, give lectures and do scientific research."
As a pilot college for the test, Beijing Normal University will decide on the basis of its results whether the test should be extended to other departments and universities.
The results will be used as reference for registered students.
(Xinhua News Agency April 4, 2005)