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No room at the inn for some test-takers

By Guo Nei (China Daily)

09:18, January 09, 2012

Candidates for the entrance examination for postgraduate studies prepare before they enter an exam venue in Rizhao, Shandong province, on Sunday. (China Daily/Li Xiaolong)

BEIJING - The huge number of test-takers for the national entrance examination for postgraduate studies, which began on Saturday, has caused hotel room shortages around exam venues.

Figures from the Ministry of Education show that more than 1.65 million people were scheduled to take the test this year between Saturday and Monday, up 9.6 percent from last year.

Nearly 120,000 examinees took the test in the capital as the first snow of the new year fell on Saturday.

"Rooms for this weekend were sold out in early December because of the exam," said Fu Cuiping, manager of Home Inn Hotel's Tsinghua University branch, which is located close to exam venues at Peking University and Tsinghua University. Home Inn Hotel is China's biggest budget chain hotel.

"To guarantee a room for this weekend, test-takers started making reservations a month ago," she added.

Zhuna.cn, a Chinese travel website specializing in booking hotels, opened a new page for bookings for exam candidates.

The special page lists 74 cities with various exam venues. Examinees can easily click each site to reserve a hotel room nearby. But the website had no rooms to offer at any exam center in the country on Jan 6.

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