Hubei, the Chinese province hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, will hold this year's national college entrance exam, or Gaokao, on July 7 and 8, according to authorities.
Senior high school students who are expected to graduate this year in Hubei are set to return to classes on May 6.
With the approval of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, this year's Gaokao was postponed for one month to July 7 and 8. However, the dates for Hubei and Beijing were not included in the list due to their special circumstances.
On April 12, Beijing announced students in the city would take the Gaokao on July 7-10. With Hubei's time now settled, test dates across China have been determined.
The delay will allow the 10.71 million students taking the exam enough time to catch up on missed preparation work.
"The delay of one month surely gives more time to prepare for the exam," a high school principal in Chongqing told Xinhua. "Before the winter vacation, the third-year students still had about 10 percent of the content left to review; teachers are under great pressure due to the delay."
Many parents supported the delay of the exam, as senior high school students are gradually returning to classrooms across the country.
Although senior high school students have been given priority to return to class before other grades, the preparation time is still nearly two months shorter than that of previous years, leading to anxiety among some parents. However, with the postponement of the exam, parents can breathe a sigh of relief.
Some teachers, on the other hand, have expressed concern. Yuan Lihong, a third grade teacher in Harbin, told Xinhua: "Students' independent review ability has a great impact on the quality of sprint preparation. Those students with strong self-discipline and high learning initiative are more likely to stand out, while those with poor self-discipline and weak independent learning ability may get worse scores."
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