Study to be undertaken on exam date

10:22, June 10, 2010      

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Next June, Chinese parents might be relieved from worrying over whether a traffic jam will delay their children on the way to the make-or-break college entrance exam.

The Ministry of Education plans to organize a group of experts to assess the feasibility of changing the date of the annual exam, which takes place every June 7-8 (and, in some regions, also on June 9), to the first weekend of June, the Information Times quoted an official with the ministry's information department as saying on Wednesday.

The official also said the date of the exam has been carefully chosen in the best interests of the candidates across the country, so revising it must take into account a wide spectrum of people and their situations.

This year's college entrance exam took place from Monday to Wednesday. In some cities, traffic congestion during peak hours caused some students and their parents to panic as they made their way to the exams, while others said they had made preparations to ensure that they allowed sufficient time for their journeys.

"Wasting two hours on the road will affect the students' performance on the exam. I cannot sit and watch this happen at the most crucial moment of my son's life," said a mother who did not want to be named.

A week before the exam, she was observed traveling to the exam hall to measure the journey time.

On Monday, the first day of the exam, the Beijing education bureau appealed to Beijing residents to use public transportation to keep traffic from seizing up on the 8,000 candidates making their way to the exam sites.

In early June, a Shanghai traffic policeman reportedly suggested that the government change the exam date to the weekend, which sparked widespread online debate.

"If the test date falls on a weekend, at least I do not have to take leave from work to send my son to the examination hall," said Wu Rina, a nurse at a Beijing hospital, whose son is due to take the exam next year.

"The traffic would definitely be better on Saturday," Wu said.

In a recent online survey, 84.76 percent of the 3,000 respondents said the exam should be held on the weekend when traffic is lighter, while others claimed that changing the date could leave some candidates feeling confused.

"I study from Monday to Friday, so I cannot keep my mind on work on weekends," said Wei Hao, a second-year high school student.

According to Gao Lingbiao, a researcher with the Ministry of Education, changing the date of the exam would complicate the work of educational authorities. Once the time is changed, the whole procedure will have to be changed too, he said.

Source:China Daily


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