Students enter the examination rooms through a special temporary isolation channel set at the Affiliated High School of Peking University on Tuesday. (Photo: Li Hao/GT)
With one-meter social distancing spaces marked and body temperatures being taken, more than 10 million Chinese students on Tuesday began to take what is perhaps the most important test in their lifetime - gaokao or college entrance examination. The test comes after a month delay due to the coronavirus.
For students who have completed their 12-year education, the two-day examination is the deciding moment for their academic dreams, which may change their lives.
This year, the examination, taken under the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, attracted even more attention as the students and their families are faced with an unprecedented situation. According to media reports, a record of 10.71 million students are sitting in 400,000 examination rooms in China.
A Beijing citizen surnamed Zhu told the Global Times on Tuesday his child took the nucleic acid test one week before the examination. He said the teachers were responsible but he was concerned the quality of online classes could not equal offline classes.
Beijing is the only region in the country that is at medium-risk level due to the recent coronavirus outbreak. More than 49,000 students take the exam in Beijing this year.
Another city that attracted nationwide attention is Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, which was the hardest hit by COVID-19. Wuhan has 59,000 candidates for gaokao this year and the city has prepared 220,000 specially-made masks for them, according to media reports.
On China's Twitter-like social media Sina Weibo, gaokao-related topics have occupied several most-searched spots with netizens sending good luck for the students.
Staff from the Haidian district education enrollment and examination center escort examination papers Tuesday morning. Intelligent tracers are installed in the vehicles that transport the suitcases containing examination papers.
Parents tutor students before the test at the gate of the Affiliated High School of Peking University in Beijing on Tuesday.
Parents fetch their children who have finished their first subject exam Tuesday noon outside the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China in Beijing.
The police set up a makeshift police station in front of the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China on Tuesday.