"Ten years have passed, but I still remember the pressure I went through during the preparation for Gaokao, and I even have nightmares today that I failed the exam and had to retake it."
From an editor's blog
Although an increasing number of high school seniors in China are choosing to study in foreign countries, most still have to take Gaokao, the national college entrance examination, before they can be admitted by a university. And of course, higher scores mean higher the chance to enter a better university. The fiercely competitive annual examination is widely regarded by Chinese as the make-or-break test for university admissions.
How to relieve exam pressure
Nationwide efforts to ensure smooth Gaokao
Shanghai: Subway operations for Gaokao
Shanghai plans to provide more subway trains and improve services for students during the three-day Gaokao, from June 7 to 9, local media reported.
More trains will be put into use when students are on their way to the examination venues and after completing the examination.
The trains will also try to minimize the noise while accelerating or slowing down at stations near the examination center, said the report.
Medicines to prevent heatstroke and stationeries will also be available at some subway stations.
Henan: Police to monitor Internet for bad information
Police in Henan will strengthen their efforts in censoring information related to Gaokao on the Internet, a notice by the Henan Province Police Department said.
The Internet will be closely monitored 24 hours a day to discover and delete information, such as postings about exam answers or cheating equipment for sale.
More than 905,000 students will take the exam in Henan, the largest number ever in the province.
Beijing: Make way for Gaokao students
Beijing Municipal Commission of Education urges residents to choose public transportation during Gaokao and make way for students.
In a public petition letter, the commission says, "To lessen the traffic pressure during rush hour on June 7 and 8, we urge residents to choose buses and subways and help students arrive at the examination center on time."
There are 123 examination centers in Beijing, and 80,241 students will sit for the exam.
Chongqing: Don't put pressure on students
Parents discussed various ways to help their children who are taking the highly competitive Gaokao, Chongqing Economic Times reported.
"I got up the courage and hugged my daughter. This is the first time since she was a kid," wrote a taxi driver in an Internet forum organized by the newspaper.
Another parent said he only sent SMS to his son and worried that it may become pressure if he said too much in the text.
Hu Xiao, a psychological consultant, said it's better to use the ordinary methods to encourage students; otherwise it may create more pressure.
Shandong: More students seek psychological help
More students in East China's Shandong province went to hospital to seek assistance as they are experiencing increasing mental pressure about taking Gaokao, which may determine their future in China, Qilu Evening News reported.
"My hands keep shaking whenever I think of the examination," a student from Weifang, Shandong province, told his parents just one week before the examination. After seeking consulting, he started drinking a soup said to help people stay calm.
Jiang Linfang, director of Neurology Department at the Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital in Weifang, said many students suffer from exam pressures, and common symptoms are insomnia, bad memory, vomiting and delusion.
Zhao Yuehan, director of the Department of Clinical Psychology, also said 30 percent of his patients last week were students taking the Gaokao examinations.
"The anxiety caused by the exam is quite common among students, and parents should take responsibility to create an easy environment," Zhao said.
Shanxi: Security of examination papers buffed up
Shanxi province has installed video surveillance systems in all the places storing and distributing exam papers in its latest effort to combat Gaokao cheating.
The regional government said that securing the exam papers is the lifeline of Gaokao and anyone who breaks the rule will face severe punishment, the Legal Daily reported.