In just over a month, about nine million teenagers will sit the grueling nine-hour examination in a bid to get into the best universities in the country, UK daily The Telegraph reported.
The stress level is so high that there have been many cases of students committing suicide.
To avoid such tragic incidents, a secondary school in Hebei province has come up with an idea.
The Hengshui High school has installed cage-like “anti-suicide” barriers to prevent stressed students from jumping to their deaths.
It recently fenced off its upper-storey balconies with prison-style metal grates, the report said.
The barriers appear to have been put up in the wake of two student suicides, one last October and one at the end of last month.
The enclosed hallways have since been likened to prison cells, shanghaiist.com reported.
Students at Hengshan High School performed excellently on their “gaokao” – literally, the “high test” – last year with 278 of them accepted at Tsinghua University and Beijing University, two of the most prestigious schools in China.
The school’s drive for success can be observed through its various mottos, including “Rush out from the class room run to the canteen and save time so you can study longer” and “Attitude determines everything scores prove your strength”.
The devastating consequences of China’s obsession with the gaokao are well documented.
Two years ago, there were calls for the system to be reformed after there was a a spike in the number of students suicides being reported.
Local reports described the Hengshui No. 2 High School as one of China’s best schools and as a place known for ts “intense academic regimen”.
Students there reportedly wake at 5.30 AM and student right through until bedtime at 10:10 pm.