Friday arrived with heavy rain as the first day of China's annual national college entrance examination, the largest of its kind in the world, accompanied by support from armed police, loving families and various types of social assistance.
China has mobilized related state departments to guarantee exam order so to ensure all examinees have a smooth experience of sitting the entrance exam, or gaokao, currently the sole state-sanctioned "bridge" to the nation's institutions of higher learning.
In Beijing, all 7,000 of the capital's traffic officers have been dispatched to the roads to maintain traffic order and ensure students get to their exams on time, as torrential rain, thunder and lightning hit most parts of the city, said a spokesman from the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau under the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.
These officers have been prepared to offer immediate assistance to students and their parents, according to the spokesman.
On Friday morning, he said, police escorted two students who faced being late for the test to their exam venues, while many candidates chose to leave home very early to avoid rush hours.
Regions and provinces including Hunan, Anhui, Jiangxi, Shanxi and Guangzhou are set to face heavy rain, which also poses potential risks to electricity supplies.
Hefei, capital city of central China's Anhui Province, has prepared an emergency plan with staff covering shifts round the clock.
Lv Changhui, deputy director of the electricity distribution department of Hefei power supply company, said the firm has prepared 25 teams to work on emergency repairs, with three emergency power cars in operation.
Shenyang, capital city of northeast China's Liaoning Province,has even deployed three free taxis to each examination spot to assist those in urgent need.
As a result of all these efforts, a Ministry of Education statement showed, the exam has not been affected by the rainstorms that are predicted to continue for the next 48 hours. Departments in charge have ushered examinees facing being late for the exam to their destinations in a timely manner.
Outside the examination room of the Number One Middle School of Changsha, provincial city of Hunan Province, on Friday morning, a girl wearing high-school uniform revealed herself to be a college freshman, only present to encourage her younger generation.
"I came because I was eager to know how my mum felt while waiting outside the room last year," said the girl, who was too shy to reveal her name, explaining that she didn't want to inform her mother of this visit.