China pushed its annual college entrance exam back by one month, a sign the government remains worried about the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus infections as cases rise globally. Stuents will take the test on July 7 and 8, state television reported, instead of in June. Only the city of Beijing and Hubei province, where the coronavirus first emerged last year, will be allowed to set their own dates, the report said.
The college admission exam, known as Gaokao in Mandarin, is considered the most important test a Chinese student will take in their academic lifetime. Unlike university applications in other countries that use a range of metrics to evaluate students for admission, the Gaokao score singularly determines the college that a Chinese student attends and in turn significantly affects their job prospects.
China’s education ministry has already delayed the start of the spring semester after the coronavirus broke out. Some cities have banned all school activities, and online teaching platforms are seeing a surge in usage.
More than 10 million students registered for the Gaokao in 2019, according to local Chinese media. Other standardized tests associated with college and graduate school admission, including the TOEFL and GRE, have also been delayed at least until May for Chinese students.