Some 15,000 students left Maotanchang Middle School in Anhui province on Tuesday, to take what is considered one of the toughest exams in the world, the National Higher Education Entrance Examination, also known as gaokao. Students were sent-off to the city of Lu An where the exam takes place, on buses accompanied by parents who were there to provide moral support and a few encouraging words to... Еще their children. For Zhang, a student's mother, the «Gaokao [College entrance examination] is a turning point in a child's life,» because the students who get good marks «will be proud» while the children who do badly «will be shamed.» Maotanchang Middle School is dubbed the largest 'factory of Gaokao,' since it is seen as preparing students for the gaokao examination with a near-military model that trains students with intensive exercise and homework. Gaokao is a standardised test that all Chinese students are forced to take in order to attend college. Due to the number of students and the level of demand, competition is very high and preparatory schools like Maotanchang Middle School provide mass education to thousands of students to get them ready.