It was sink or swim time for graduating college students at Shanghai University in China when the dean's office announced Sunday that the final swim test for seniors could be done online.

The decision to move the test online was due to a wave of COVID-19 cases that forced the city into lockdown on April 1, an unnamed staffer from the dean's office said.


“The classes and facilities including the swimming pool at the university are suspended under the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. To ensure the students can graduate, we decided to conduct the swimming test online," the staffer told the Chinese publication Jimu.

Students participating in the test were told to log into the campus's network and fill out a questionnaire.

The announcement triggered mockery online, including users of TikTok pretending to be students preparing for the test. One user donned swimming goggles and a hat, before jumping from his nightstand onto his bed. He then began practicing swimming movements on his bed.

One person asked whether the test was a new reality version of "surfing the web," while another jokingly asked whether swimming in the bathtub at home would be allowed instead. Roughly 65,000 people have interacted with the announcement on the social media platform Weibo, according to the South China Morning Post.

Students completing their bachelor's degrees at most prestigious Chinese universities are required to take a 50-meter swim test to graduate because swimming is considered a survival skill in China.

Shanghai, China's most populous city, reported 69 new COVID-19 infections Monday, with 869 asymptomatic cases, the outlet reported. The city's deputy mayor, Zong Ming, said the city would be reopening in phases to prevent a resurgence of cases.


“From June 1 to mid- and late June, as long as risks of a rebound in infections are controlled, we will fully implement epidemic prevention and control, normalize management, and fully restore normal production and life in the city,” Ming said, according to the Guardian.

China's capital of Beijing has also seen a rise in COVID-19 cases since April 22, but it has not enforced a citywide lockdown. However, indoor dining has been banned, and workers have been encouraged to work from home as much as possible, according to the outlet.