About 50,000 local high school students in Shanghai will sit this year's college entrance examination, also known as gaokao, from today to Friday.
This is the first year for students to take the exam under a pilot program started in Shanghai and Zhejiang Province. Examiners said the students were ready though some of their parents were more anxious than their offspring.
"Last-minute rush is hopeless, and you can never predict what will happen in the examinations, so I have been trying my best during the whole three years (of preparation) and ready to take the exams one by one," said Qian Yihui, a student from No. 2 High School Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
As there are no classes for the exam candidates this week, she has been doing model test papers to prepare for the exams.
Qian Tong, her father, took a week-long leave to be with his daughter as she prepares for the key exams.
"I am more anxious now than I was when I took my own college entrance exam nearly three decades ago," said Qian Tong. "They are the first batch of students to take the new gaokao."
From this year, students will no longer use only their gaokao scores of four subjects in applying for colleges. As well as taking tests of Chinese, math and English in June of their final year, they also need to choose three minors, instead of one, from politics, history, physics, chemistry, geography and biology. The tests in the minor subjects are taken in May during the second and third high school years.
There are also two opportunities, in January and June, for students to take the English tests and they can use the better score in their final applications. And for the first time, oral English test has been included in the college entrance exam.