MEXICO CITY (AP) — Tens of thousands of prospective students hoping to get into Mexico’s largest public university on Wednesday began taking the notoriously competitive entrance exam for the National Autonomous University of Mexico, better known as the UNAM.

Held each year, it’s the exam of a lifetime and and an annual rite: Only about one in 14 students will get into the undergraduate degree program.

It was an unusual scene due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lines of students wearing face masks and face shields sat at a safe distance from each other on the concrete seats of UNAM’s soccer stadium. Of the 84,000 students taking the exam, only 5,993 will get in.

It was also a lonelier scene than usually: The throngs of parents and entire families that normally accompany the students and hover outside for solidarity were told by the university to stay home to avoid crowds that might spread the coronavirus.

More in category

Pentagon rewriting pandemic playbook after study faults Covid-19 response
September 19, 2020Politico
Pentagon rewriting pandemic playbook after study faults Covid-19 response
Trump steps up Iran fight in final election stretch
September 19, 2020The Hill
Trump steps up Iran fight in final election stretch
Are masks really more effective than a coronavirus vaccine?
September 18, 2020CBS
Are masks really more effective than a coronavirus vaccine?
Black families wary of return to school:
September 18, 2020CBS
Black families wary of return to school: "I've seen the system fail us"
Obama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election
September 18, 2020The Hill
Obama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election
Trump, Biden vie for Minnesota
September 19, 2020The Hill
Trump, Biden vie for Minnesota
Iran vows ‘hit’ on all involved in US killing of top general
September 19, 2020AP News
Iran vows ‘hit’ on all involved in US killing of top general
After wildfire smoke clears, protests resume in Portland
September 19, 2020ABC News
After wildfire smoke clears, protests resume in Portland
In A Tribute To Justice Ginsburg, Obama Calls On Senate Delay Naming A Successor
September 19, 2020NPR
In A Tribute To Justice Ginsburg, Obama Calls On Senate Delay Naming A Successor
New York City Delays School Reopening; Campus Lockdowns Grow
September 19, 2020NPR
New York City Delays School Reopening; Campus Lockdowns Grow
Congress' inaction could leave more Americans hungry -- especially kids
September 19, 2020CNN
Congress' inaction could leave more Americans hungry -- especially kids
Two people were killed and 14 were wounded in Rochester shooting, police say
September 19, 2020CNN
Two people were killed and 14 were wounded in Rochester shooting, police say
16th Street Baptist Church bombing victim seeking apology, compensation from Alabama
September 18, 2020USA Today
16th Street Baptist Church bombing victim seeking apology, compensation from Alabama
Southern California jolted by magnitude 4.5 earthquake, another worry after raging wildfires
September 19, 2020USA Today
Southern California jolted by magnitude 4.5 earthquake, another worry after raging wildfires
San Diego Trembles Under 4.6 Magnitude Earthquake Amid Ongoing Wildfires
September 19, 2020Newsweek
San Diego Trembles Under 4.6 Magnitude Earthquake Amid Ongoing Wildfires
AP PHOTOS: Italian grape harvest plows on through pandemic
September 19, 2020AP News
AP PHOTOS: Italian grape harvest plows on through pandemic
Police: 2 dead, 14 wounded at party in Rochester, New York
September 19, 2020AP News
Police: 2 dead, 14 wounded at party in Rochester, New York
China sends more warplanes as Taiwan honors late leader
September 18, 2020AP News
China sends more warplanes as Taiwan honors late leader
Witnesses say cargo plane crashes at airport in Mogadishu
September 18, 2020AP News
Witnesses say cargo plane crashes at airport in Mogadishu
Opinion: Grant Ruth Bader Ginsburg her wish
September 18, 2020CNN
Opinion: Grant Ruth Bader Ginsburg her wish
Biden would push for less US reliance on nukes for defense
September 18, 2020AP News
Biden would push for less US reliance on nukes for defense