The AST is a unique proficiency test that fuses input from experienced Gaokao test designers with that of senior academics at the University of Cambridge, who work on these rigorous exams in an individual capacity. Created as the ideal testing platform for Chinese students by incorporating aspects of the Gaokao, arguably the most stringent entrance exam in the world, the AST is designed to bridge elite students from China with top-tier international universities.
Launched in 2002, the AST is now accepted by 15 elite Western universities in lieu of conventional testing methods at the interview pre-selection stage to seek out top Chinese students and ensure they are prepared to excel and flourish at the highest levels of academia.
For universities aiming to widen access and to attract students of the highest calibre who have not taken international curricula such as A levels or IB, the AST is the ideal testing solution, with rigorous exams taken every August at 38 locations across China.
Since its launch in 2002, the AST has established a strong track record of helping identify top-performing Chinese students for admission to undergraduate study in a range of academic subjects. The AST has been developed in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and has been in use by the University of Cambridge and by 14 other colleges and universities since 2007.
“Students who have taken the AST … have performed significantly better than the overall student cohort, and it is clear that the test has proved extremely useful in helping to identify students who are best qualified for admission. These students have consistently achieved first-class honours results in their Cambridge Tripos examinations, and have been an excellent addition to the University of Cambridge.
I am very satisfied with the use of the AST within the University of Cambridge, and we intend to continue using the test in our admissions process for the foreseeable future.”
- Prof David Cardwell, fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering, world-renowned expert on superconductivity