More students are avoiding physics during the national university entrance exam, or gaokao, which could cause a decline in expertise, China's Science and Technology Daily reported.
Following new regulations on the gaokao in Zhejiang Province and Shanghai, students are required to take exams on three compulsory subjects - Chinese, mathematics and a foreign language.
But they can choose three optional ones from politics, history, geography, physics, chemistry, biology and science in other tests.
Only about 80,000 of the total 291,300 test takers in Zhejiang took physics last year, Chinese media reported, while in Shanghai only 30 percent of candidates did the same.
"Compared with other subjects, physics is more difficult," said Sun Guobiao, a veteran physics teacher in Zhejiang's Keqiao Middle School, who added that in the gaokao scoring system, it is difficult to get high marks with fewer students taking the test.
Beijing is also trying to promote new gaokao regulations this year, so some students are thinking of giving up physics, according to Chinese media.
"If the situation continues, many excellent physics teachers will disappear in future, which will be a crushing blow to the subject," Sun said.