Some 9.4 million people have applied to sit the two-day college entrance examination, which begins on June 6, the Ministry of Education announced on June 5.
The number is 20,000 less than last year, but it is estimated that hundreds or thousands are not sitting the exam because they are studying abroad or have been granted early admission.
The exam, called gaokao in Chinese, will pit students against each other to be enrolled by top universities such as Tsinghua University and Peking University. Many parents deem the exam to be a fate-changer for their family.
The ministry has urged staff nationwide to create favorable conditions for the exam. Police will patrol around exam sites for students' security, and drivers have been told not to sound their horns while passing schools and to give way to cars transporting examinees or test papers.
(Xinhua News Agency June 5, 2016)