As 9.5 million Chinese students are busy preparing for the national college entrance examination set for June 7, Fang Lin, a third-grade high school student, does not have to sit the tests as she has been admitted to Yale University.
Yan Feng, a teacher in China's prestigious Fudan University, said, "Only one or two students in Shanghai are enrolled by the world's top-notch universities with scholarship every year."
Fang Lin played down the praise. In her opinion, the only difference between her and most of her peers was that she didn't give up her hobbies and diversified interests to heavy school assignments.
Fang Lin plays the organ, flute, piano and speaks fluent English and French. She is also an award-winning debater with strong skills in skiing, skating and swimming.
"I have a strong interest in finance. I hope to develop a career in New York," Fang said.
In her interview at Yale, she was asked about her views on migrant workers in Chinese cities, sports and world news.
"Nothing from the books I studied in school seemed to be helpful in the interview," said Fang.
Fang Lin's school grades were the fourth highest among the third-grade graduates in her school, according to Yang Zhijun, teacher in charge of Fang's class in the No. 3 Women's High School in Shanghai.
He considered that universities in China select students based on their grades in basic sciences. However, western schools give more emphasis to students' interests and research ability.
"Fang Lin has broad interests. She has successfully bridged the two different education systems. I have no doubt that Fang would be able to pass the Chinese college entrance exam with her excellent score, if she chose a Chinese university," said Yang.
Fang Lin advised her fellow students that participating in social and cultural activities and newspaper reading can not be ignored while focusing on studying textbooks.
The advice proved its value in China's new trend of university enrolment. Fudan University tried the American university selection method to enroll 300 freshmen in April.
A 75-minute interview by a five-member group for each student helped the university select the students from more than 1,200 candidates.
Backed by the Ministry of Education, two universities in China's economic powerhouse Shanghai have become "trailblazers" for the country's reform in university selection this year - the other university is Shanghai Jiaotong University.
The number of Chinese students participated in the national college entrance exam is expected to reach 9.5 million this year, 830,000 more than last year.
"I feel home sick. I want to quit. I am terrified that when the exam papers are handed out, I won't be able to write anything," said a high-school netizen in a blog before the exam.
Xiong Binqi, a teacher from Shanghai Jiaotong University, said high-school graduates are under too much pressure, as the national college entrance examination is still the main way to judge a student's study result, which influences his or her employment prospects.