Getting an education in China is not easy as the entrance exams are grueling and highly competitive. This year, approximately 10.1 million students signed up to write the National College Entrance exams.
Although 9.5 million students wrote the exams, called “gaokao” in Chinese, only 5.67 million will be accepted into the schools of higher learning. Both the number of applicants and the number of students that wrote the exams set new records in the history of the examinations.
It was reported that testing commenced on the morning of June 7 and lasted for two days for students in 26 provincial areas and three to four days for students in some cities such as Shanghai, Shandong, Guangdong, Hainan, and Jiangsu.
In most provinces students write the language exams in the morning and mathematics in the evening of the first day. On the following morning, knowledge in comprehensive arts, including history and civics/political science, and comprehensive science, encompassing chemistry and physics, is tested. Students write the English exams later that evening.
To help prevent cheating, the Ministry of Education stipulated that the exam papers could not be handed in until 30 minutes before the scheduled end time. In the past, students could turn in their exam papers 60 minutes after an exam commenced. Each exam lasts from 2 to 2.5 hours.
The Ministry of Education also requested that all local exam administrators monitor the students for wireless communication activity. If the Exam rooms had videotaping capability, the tapes were to be kept for at least six months.
The universities and colleges begin processing student applications in early July, and finish by August 20.