Parents hit by exam fever too

Tibetan parents waited anxiously outside a high school in Xiahe county, in China's Gansu province, on Thursday while their children took the annual national college entrance examinations.

The fiercely competitive two- day test, also known as gaokao, was attempted by millions of students all over China earlier this week.

Many consider it a gateway to prestigious universities and social mobility, and the best chance for school leavers to land a white- collar job.

State news agency Xinhua reported that about 9.4 million students sat the exam this year, roughly the same number since 2014 and down from a peak of 10.5 million in 2008.

Of these students, 3.72 million are expected to get admitted to universities, according to the Chinese Ministry of Education, nearly 10,000 more than last year.

A big concern for the local authorities has been to find ways to eliminate cheating, added Xinhua.

Increasingly sophisticated cheating methods have impaired the integrity of this examination that is meant to level the playing field for China's students.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 10, 2017, with the headline 'Parents hit by exam fever too'. Print Edition | Subscribe