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May 31, 2011

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Testing times for parents as exam period approaches

CABS are fully booked and demand for hotel rooms has risen as parents strive to make next week's college entrance exam days as stress-free as possible for their offspring.

The city's four major taxi fleets sold out within eight hours advance bookings for the three-day exam period from Tuesday to Thursday.

Exams also drive up the demand for hotel rooms, especially hourly rated ones, near test centers, as parents seek comfortable surroundings where their children can rest.

Some customers have asked not to have cabs or rooms with the numbers 4 and 6, which sound like "death" and "failing the exam" in Shanghai dialect.

Many parents have asked for leave from work to accompany their children to the exams.

"Twelve years' study is all for this test," said Huang Fengjuan, mother of a test taker. "I will be sad if I cannot accompany my son."

The city environmental authority has ordered all construction sites to cease operations at night until the exams end. And workers at construction sites near test centers will down tools while students are sitting exams.

Thousand of traffic policemen will patrol around test centers reminding drivers not to sound their horns.

Almost 61,000 people applied to sit the exam this year, down from 66,000 last year, the Shanghai Educational Examinations Authority said.


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