Academic Competition and Cram Schooling

  • Ying-Hwa ChangEmail author
Part of the Quality of Life in Asia book series (QLAS, volume 2)


Using the 2KJ1 panel data of Taiwan Youth Project, this chapter first presents a profile of cram schooling in Taiwan. It detects a high attendance rate in the junior high stage for our student sample admitted to the academic track in the senior high stage. In the senior secondary stage, students in the most prestigious senior highs had the highest attendance rate. There was also an intensification pattern of cram schooling from the first to the third year in both junior and senior secondary stages in terms of the number of subjects taken and hours and cost spent in cram schooling. In general, cram schooling has been highly oriented toward the competition for better schools of higher levels. Second, we regard cram schooling as a family strategy related to students’ family SES, urbanization level, and SES of their residential setting and their academic performance. We explore the implications of cram schooling in contrast with after-school class attendance within junior high and their effect on the outcome in the entrance examination for senior secondary educational institutions. Cram schooling is indeed a more effective measure than after-school classes and a strategy for the strong to be stronger. It perhaps maintains or even exacerbates social inequality. After-school classes seem to be less efficacious but are more a strategy for lower SES families to pursue a better outcome of their children in academic competition.


Senior High School Entrance Examination Taipei City Vocational High School Vocational Track 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of SociologyAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan

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