In Pictures: China's grueling national college entrance exams 'gaokao' begins
Students leave Maotanchang Middle School in China at the end of the school day, on June 2, 2017. Source: Reuters/Jason Lee

Today, Chinese teens will sit for the grueling “gaokao”, the two-day national college entrance exams said to be one of the world’s toughest tests.

Competition is strife, hours are long and the stakes are very, very high.

To add to that, Quartz reported a robot called “AI-MATHS” will be joining the more than nine million students sitting for the gaokao this year.

Here’s how the national event is unfolding in pictures.

1. Chinese high school students release balloons at a sports field as they prepare for the gaokao in Zhengzhou.

2. Yoga to calm exam nerves at a schoolyard in Chongqing

3. Evening studies two weeks before the big day at a school in Nantong

4. Teachers wave flags as they cheer for students at a high school in Hengshui

5. Posing for pictures with money they received from their high school in Hengshui

6. Invigilators check monitors at an examination venue in a Chongqing high school

7. Staff members calibrate clocks at a high school in Qingdao

8. Wireless devices in the shape of erasers, belts and earpieces used in cheating attempts by students are shown during a media presentation in Taiyuan, Shanxi province

9. Parents bring food for their children at Maotanchang Middle School

10. More late night studying in Maotanchang town of Luan, Anhui province

11. Mothers hold flags as they walk around Maotanchang Middle School as a daily exercise in Maotanchang town

12. A mother prays outside Maotanchang Middle School

13. Students release sky lanterns to pray

14. Parents and relatives see students off as they leave Maotanchang Middle School for Luan city to attend the gaokao.

Images from Reuters

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