Ten million Chinese students are taking the most important exam of their life this week — and conditions couldn’t be worse.
The National College Entrance Examination, known as the “gaokao,” began Tuesday amid pandemic restrictions, testing scandals, an earthquake and devastating flooding.
The annual exam is a source of student dread even in normal times. Unlike college admissions in the U.S. and elsewhere, where applicants are assessed on multiple factors, the gaokao alone determines whether and where a student is accepted.
The test had already been postponed by a month because of the pandemic, which gave students more time to cram — and to…