Chinese Students Struggle to Get Seats for English-Language Exam, Suggesting Rise in Interest in Studying Abroad

Chinese students recently rushed to snap up spots to take an English-language test, suggesting a heightened interest in studying in the United States and other English-speaking countries. This comes despite the deteriorating relationship between Beijing and Washington. The Educational Testing Service (ETS), the U.S. organization that administers the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), on Oct. 14 opened registration for 2021 TOEFL tests in China. Within five minutes of opening, all test spots in Beijing and Shanghai for the first eight months of 2021 had booked out. Test places in other Chinese cities, such as Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Xi’an, Wuhan, Changsha, Nanjing, Xiamen, and Changchun, similarly booked out quickly. ETS released more 2012 TOEFL test seats two days later. But several minutes after the release, Chinese students started complaining that those spots had been booked out too. In response to the soaring demand, ETS said on its official …