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June 9, 2012

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Home » Metro » Education

Boy 2 minutes late can't take test

A STUDENT missed the chance to take the English examination in the National College Entrance Exam yesterday because he was two minutes late.

His mother knelt down and begging the guards and exam staff to open the gate and let her son in to take the all-important test. But the test center refused and eventually threw out the angry student, who climbed over the gate into the center.

The incident sparked heated debate among locals about whether the regulation should be enforced strictly or in a more flexible approach.

The English test, last of the four tests in the college entrance exam, started at 3pm. Students must enter the test centers before 2:45pm to get their equipment ready for the listening part and those who reach late are not allowed in, according to regulations.

The student arrived at the test center - East China Model High School in downtown Jing'an District - at 2:47pm yesterday. He said his bike broke down on the way.

Though there still were 13 minutes to the official start of the test, the exam staff refused to open the door and asked him to read the regulation printed on the back of his exam card.

His desperate mother knelt down, saying, "I beg you, please let him in. This will affect his whole life."

Some other parents were moved and joined the mother in trying to persuade the staff.

The anxious boy even lost his temper, kicking the gate and climbing over it in an attempt to take the test.

But the staff was unmoved, saying they could not break the law and his late arrival would disturb other students.

Many observers sympathized with the boy. Some suggested the test center use the spare room for him or let the student enter after the listening part.

But exam authorities said the staff were just performing their duty according to the regulation of the Ministry of Education and the student couldn't be let in even if he were only seconds late.

"The spare test room is prepared for emergencies during the test, not for late arrivals," Liu Yuxiang, deputy director of the Shanghai Educational Examination Authority, said in a local TV interview.

Some people, however, supported the center and said the exam regulations should be strictly enforced to guarantee fairness and prevent cheating.

"I think this will be a great lesson in his life," said an unidentified woman.

The college entrance exam is a make-or-break chance for many Chinese. Students study hard for years for high marks.


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