More than 7,000 exam sites have been set up across China, with nearly one million invigilators or other workers to watch over the students
Nearly 11 million stressed-out Chinese students began taking the country's gruelling annual college entrance exam on Tuesday following a month-long coronavirus delay, with inspectors this year checking both for cheaters and fevers.
The two-day test -- known in Chinese as the "gaokao" -- is an annual moment of great anxiety for students and parents who dream of sending their children to university, but the coronavirus added another layer of pressure by closing schools for months.
At a testing centre in Beijing, students took selfies and exchanged hugs and high-fives with family and friends before going in for the exam.
In a sign of the high stakes, some even stood outside the venue, poring over their study materials for some 11th-hour cramming.
"I'm actually more nervous than my son," said a 49-year-old parent who gave her surname, Yi.
"The pandemic did impact him. He hasn't gone to school for seven months since the school closed in January. He is too young to swiftly adapt to these big changes in our society."
More than 7,000 exam sites have been set up across China, with nearly one million invigilators or other workers to watch over the students, according to state media.
Officials will not just be looking for cheaters. They will be watching if students have fevers or coughs.
Test-takers who show symptoms will be taken to an isolation room with disinfectant, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
The students and invigilators had to track their health during the 14 days prior to the exam. Students from high-risk areas have to wear masks during the tests.