'Prodigy class' entrance exam

May 18, 2010 | Posted by Chris

Chinese students preparing for an exam, above.

This weekend more than 1,700 students took the entrance examination for the special "prodigy class" at Beijing No. 8 Middle School, which is regarded as one of the city's finest secondary schools, the China Daily reports. Only the top 30 test scorers will be admitted to the program, and competition this year is especially fierce: 500 more students took the test this weekend than they did last year. The special program is designed to prepare students for the national college entrance examination -- known as the gāokǎo or 高考 in Chinese. Because a student's score on the college entrance exam determines which university one may attend, the exam has huge importance in China and is the single most significant event in one's high school career -- and therefore preparation for it begins as early as possible for many families.

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