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National college entrance exam ends in most regions of China

Students walk out after finishing their college entrance exam at the Haikou No.1 Middle School in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, June 9, 2009. The national college entrance examination, or "gaokao" in Chinese, was finished in most regions of China on June 8. Students in Shanghai and Shandong finished the exam at noon of June 9 and students in Jiangsu, Guangdong and Hainan finished it in the afternoon.

Education is unrivaled in importance in China, and the two-day or three-day test is one of the few events that can bring the country to a standstill. Cities ordered drivers not to blow their horns, construction sites were shut down, streets near test sites were closed and flight paths were altered lest the noise disturb test-takers.

Unlike the U.S., where standardized test scores are just one factor weighed by universities, how Chinese students do on the gaokao determines everything. Students list their top three schools and their major and hope their score is high enough to win a place. Extracurricular activities, volunteer work and high school grades do not count. There are no essays to persuade admissions officers.

Now they can have a short relaxable period of time. When they enter the university, there will be another changllege before them.

More than sixteen years ago, I took this exam and went into the college. I want to say to all of the students: have a good relax, but its also important or more choosing a good major for you! Wish you a good future!