Postgraduate admission exam proceeds with new COVID-19 countermeasures

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Examinees line up to enter an examination site of the postgraduate admission exam in the Beijing Foreign Studies University in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 24, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

About 4.74 million Chinese students sat the national exam for postgraduate enrolment on Saturday, marking the first time that a major national examination has been conducted under the country's new optimized epidemic control policy.

Universities at testing sites across the country adopted tailored measures to ensure the safety of examinees during the three-day exam, with Saturday's examinee numbers up 170,000 on the previous exam, according to the Ministry of Education.

The Beijing Education Examinations Authority said that more than 150,000 people attended the exam at 62 test sites in Beijing. The authority required all participants have their daily body temperature measured and reported five days ahead of the exam. Those who were COVID-19 positive or had suspected symptoms had to wear N95 or KN95 masks throughout the whole exam process.

The Beijing Foreign Studies University saw a total of 5,248 examinees. The school arranged separated channels for on-campus and off-campus candidates to take the exam, and prepared medical supplies, including antigen reagents, N95 masks, disinfectants and thermometers. The school has also sent out test papers to 632 test sites nationwide.

Huang Wei, dean of the graduate school of the University of International Business and Economics, said that with tailored COVID-19 countermeasures, the school has arranged about 500 examination staff, nearly twice as many as in previous years.

"According to the physical condition reported by the examinees, we have arranged about 30 special examination rooms. Those sitting the exam in the rooms must wear N95 masks with a seat space of more than 2 meters," said Huang, adding that the school arranged free lunches and hot water for the examinees, so that they wouldn't have to eat out in cold weather.

Liang Ying, director of the admissions division of the Beijing Normal University, said that the school has set up two examination areas with a total of nine examination buildings. In case of abnormal body temperatures and other emergencies, candidates will take the exam in a separate examination room.

At the University of International Business and Economics, an examinee surnamed Bi said she had a fever one week before the exam, but now she has fully recovered. "I am taking the examination while working. I applied for an accounting major this year. It has taken me a long time to prepare for the exam, and I have confidence in myself," she said.

In addition to Beijing, universities in Heilongjiang, Hubei, Zhejiang provinces provided separate examination rooms for candidates according to the results of their nucleic acid tests or antigen tests. 

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