Do they take SATs in China??

Ryan vs. Math: Translating my SAT Math workbook into Chinese


Just yesterday I was emailed by a Chinese publishing company about my SAT math workbook. They’d seen it on Amazon’s new release page and were interested in translating it (well parts of it at least) and releasing it to the Chinese market (via But that got me thinking, do they even take  SATs in China?

After searching through Google, I finally found an answer.  Yes, they do take SATs, although for Chinese students the English portion is by far the harder section. The Chinese education system is light years (actually more like two but who’s counting) ahead when it comes to mathematics, so while I wouldn’t go as far as saying the SAT math portion of the test is easy, it’s generally not considered as difficult for them as it is for an American student. The only exception is when it comes to long word problems.

This takes us to the logical question, why are Chinese students so good at math? The most logical reason seems to be that their number system and the names of numbers are simpler, so children are able to grasp complex math concepts earlier. Malcolm Gladwell explores possible ramifications of this difference in language in this book Outliers, which you can find more info on here.

Perhaps a 17-year-old taking the SAT doesn’t need my book, but maybe a 14-year-old will use it before he or she enters advanced calculus class. Either way in about 3 months, that option will be available to them! The process of translations is quite simple on my end. It’s a good deal for me, and within hours of uploading the book a project manager accepted the book and will now oversee the whole translation. Now I can sit back and see my workbook in a different language and alphabet. It’s a good day for world domination…  cough cough I mean globalization!


Ryan Ofman Chinese numbers
Ryan Ofman Chinese numbers

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