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Make-or-break exam

China Daily | Updated: 2015-06-12 08:28

Make-or-break exam

Parents wait for their children to finish tests under heavy rain in front of a school gate in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Sunday. [Photo by Sun Xinmin/China Daily]

Chinese students are not alone when they sit the tough national college entrance exam, commonly known as gaokao, which is held on June 7-8 in most parts of China. Parents of the gaokao takers stand shoulder to shoulder with them.

Many of them refuse to leave after seeing off their children to the exam. Parents stand cheek by jowl with each other, laying siege to entrance of the examination rooms. They feel it's worthwhile to endure hours of discomfort in harsh weather with little space to stand, waiting for their little soldiers to return.

Some sit on the ground when they get tired. On Sunday, in Wuhan, Hubei province, heavy rain hit the city.

Parents held umbrellas while waiting for their children to finish tests. Some carried food and drink so their children could replenish their energy in no time. In Sichuan province, one parent even took a pet dog along to cheer a daughter.

No distance is too far for parents to go to provide the best environment for their children during the exam, which is widely considered life-changing in China.

Some parents, especially those in big cities, will rent hotel rooms near exam sites to spare their children the trouble of commuting and let them take a comfortable break between tests.

Some move into the hotel two weeks in advance, even consulting a nutritionist to help their children feel their best.

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