Students urged to leave early for exams

Students taking university entrance exams this morning have been told to leave early to avoid anti-government protesters.

National Institute of Educational Testing Service (Niets) director Samphan Phanphruk asked students to prepare a route to their test centres to avoid possible inconvenience caused by the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) rally today.

The examinations, held yesterday and today, coincide with the PDRC's campaign across the capital that is designed to encourage people to join its planned ''Bangkok Shutdown'' next Monday to pressure the caretaker government led by Yingluck Shinawatra to step down.

A total of 155,342 students had to sit the seven examinations _ comprising Thai language, social studies, English language, mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology _ at 116 test centres countrywide. In Bangkok, 37,424 students will undertake the tests at 32 centres.

The oldest participant is 58.

Results of the seven examinations will be used for direct admission to university.

''Students and parents should plan their route first and leave for the exams very early in the morning as they start at 8.30am,'' Mr Samphan said.

''Niets staff members will be sent to the test centres situated in schools which might be affected by the rally to provide immediate assistance. I hope things go smoothly.''

PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban announced on Friday night the rally would start in the late morning to allow students to reach their test centres on time.

''We would like to cause least inconvenience to Bangkokians,'' he said.

Many students posted comments on social media expressing concern that the sounds of the rally _ particularly the frenzied whistle blowing _ might affect their concentration during exams.

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