The national college entrance exam started in Shexian County, east China's Anhui province, Wednesday, one day behind schedule due to floods.
More than 2,000 students sat the exam, which started at 9 a.m. in the county.
Wearing a one-piece dress called qipao, Lu Meiqin watched her daughter walk into the No.2 high school of Shexian County, one of the exam venues.
Qipao is a traditional Chinese dress believed to bring good luck since it sounds like the Chinese phrase "qikaidesheng," meaning victory.
"We trekked in floodwater to arrive here yesterday, only to find the exam was delayed. When we returned, I tried my best to cheer up my daughter," said Lu, holding her second child, a five-year-old boy, in her arms, smiling. "Stable emotions in parents are helpful for their children to take the exam."
At the roadside near the school gate stood more than 10 parked buses used to transport the examinees.
"I hope everything will proceed smoothly," said Wang Jianguo, another parent who waited outside the school. His daughter took one of the buses to the site for the exam.
The national unified college entrance exam this year is scheduled from Tuesday to Wednesday, one month later than usual, because of the COVID-19 epidemic. More than 10 million candidates registered for this year's exam, deemed the most important event for them, as it provides an opportunity to set the direction for their future careers.
Shexian is the only county where Tuesday's tests did not proceed as scheduled in the country, as torrential rain caused severe floods there. On the day, local river water overflowed into downtown streets of the county seat, and most of the examinees were unable to reach their exam venues on time.
The Ministry of Education said Wednesday it greenlighted the request from the Anhui provincial education examinations authority to postpone to Thursday the Chinese language and math tests of the exam in Shexian, with alternate test papers.
"It's only that the exams scheduled for yesterday are rearranged to tomorrow, so there is nothing to be nervous about," said an examinee, who did not give his name.
Wang Tianping, head of the education bureau of Shexian county, said efforts will be made to ensure the makeup exams will go smoothly.
"Teachers of every class have been in contact with students so that they can take the exam with ease," he said.