Shanghai provides clear path for college entrance examinations

14:49, June 08, 2010      

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Feared traffic delays didn't materialize as about 66,000 high school students headed to more than 100 test centers across Shanghai yesterday morning for the annual college entrance exams, the most important admission tests for higher-education slots.

Although Mondays are the busiest morning rush of the week and the World Expo has put more people on the roads, students reached their test centers on time for the opening of the three-day exams.

More than 3,200 traffic police kept things moving. Construction sites near test centers fell into silence in the daytime and those near big communities went mute in the evening and after dark to create a quiet environment for studying for the make-or-break tests.

Because of the World Expo, more than 10 test centers were closed or relocated in four districts to avoid congestion in the area close to the Expo site.

"The road conditions were good," said Huang Wenjie, a father who sent his daughter to Dongchang High School near Pudong's Lujiazui Area by motorcycle.

Huang's daughter lives and studies near the Sanlin Expo area but was assigned to a test center outside the zone with her schoolmates this year.

"We started a little earlier today," Huang said. He had visited the site before to calculate the time needed.

Traffic authorities are reminding drivers not to sound their horns near test centers, especially today during the English-listening test. Violators will be fined.

Test takers yesterday had to write compositions in Chinese on an environmental theme. They were told that Danish fishermen always release very small fish and that the Chinese ancient philosopher Mencius advised people not to catch small fish to assure the species survive: Discuss.

This year for the first time, some parents will be invited to watch papers graded, including compositions, to make the tests fair and transparent, the education authorities said.

Seven districts have surveillance cameras in test rooms.

Though many Shanghai families have received free tickets distributed by the city government, many have not visited the Expo in the preparation for the exams.

"I will visit the Expo with my parents after the tests," said Shelly Li, a test taker.

With the high-school population in decline, the number of both Shanghai and national test takers sitting for this year's exams declined.

Some universities fight for the best high school graduates by offering scholarships.

Fudan University plans to increase the maximum scholarship to freshmen from 10,000 yuan (US$1,463) to 50,000 yuan this year.

Source: Shanghai Daily


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