Imperial exam paper of Ming dynasty Zhuangyuan Zhao Bing-zhong in 1598 AD
|Vietnamese alphabet||tr?ng nguyên|
Zhuàngyuán, or tr?ng nguyên in Vietnamese, variously translated into English as principal graduate, primus, or optimus, was the title given to the scholar who achieved the highest score on highest level of the Imperial examination,(in Tang) and (in Song) in ancient China and Vietnam.
Fu Shanxiang is known as the first (and last) female zhuangyuan (nü zhuangyuan) in Chinese history, but under the Taiping Tianguo, not the regular imperial exams. After the Taipings captured the city of Nanjing, they offered an exam for women in January 1853 in which Fu attained the highest score. 
In total, there were 596 zhuangyuan in ancient China.
In modern Chinese, zhuangyuan is used to refer to anyone who achieves the highest mark on a test, or, more generally, to anyone who is at the forefront of his or her field. In mainland China, the term is most often used to refer to the highest score at the provincial level for either the social sciences () or physical sciences () track of the annual gaokao college entrance exam.