Crunch time for college admission examinees

Updated: 2013-06-08 14:32


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BEIJING - China's higher education entrance examination, the largest exam of its kind worldwide, kicked off nationwide on Friday and will end on Sunday.

According to the Ministry of Education, 9.12 million examinees have participated in the test, most of them high school students. The number is 30,000 less than the previous year due to a shrinkage in the population at the test-sitting age.

China's college admission test is held annually on June 7 and 8. Unlike the more modular way in which US students amass credit for college admission, China's version gives examinees just one chance to qualify for their chosen colleges and majors, and thus determine their future lives.

It places a lot of of pressure on students, although it is an equal-opportunities system that assesses rich and poor on a level playing field.

The test is given much attention in society, with every exam site being guarded by police officers. Construction activities in cities are ordered to suspend on the two days in a bid to provide a quiet environment for examinees.

The exam is also an important starting point for youth to seek their own dreams, a hot topic in China after the President Xi Jinping said the "Chinese dream" is also the dream of every individual.

"My dream is to improve China's biotechnology level, as it is still at the beginning stage," said Xu Haoyu, 18, after finishing the first test on Friday morning.

Xu has applied to major in bioengineering at a prestigious university, though he knows career prospects in his nominated field are limited at present in China.

The result of the test will be available at the end of June, and colleges will later decide their entry marks to recruit students.