University students are always taking exams, and it is sometimes not easy to prepare for them alone - especially for oral examinations. So finding an 'exam friend' - someone who is preparing for the same exam - and getting together to revise has become a common trend on the mainland. It is not unusual to see posts on college online forums like this one: 'I'm going to take the oral test of CET6 so I want to look for someone to practise spoken English with. If you are interested, please contact ...' When asked if it's necessary to look for an exam friend, many students say yes. Yang Yanfei, who is preparing for CET6, said her exam pal gives her mental support. 'When I get tired of studying, my exam pal wakes me up and encourages me,' she says. Sun Yinan, a postgraduate student at South China Normal University, says his exam friend helped him a lot when he was preparing for the Graduate Entrance Examination. 'My exam pal and I went to library nearly every day. We revised together and took turns to recite the key information. My exam pal also often took part in seminars on the exam and would share any useful material he had with me.' As good as some students think exam friends can be, others think they are not such a good idea. Lu Jing, who passed Toefl not long ago, says her exam pal helped her little but distracted her revision. In the end, she decided that studying alone was more effective and efficient. Li Dan, a teacher at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, says while an exam friend can help ease the mental burden of exam revisions, students need to think whether it is because they are not ready for the exam. 'The popularity of exam pals is mainly due to the popularity of applying for qualification tests among college students, but before applying for a test, students should be sure they have enough energy to prepare on top of their regular school curriculum,' he says.