5** is 'not great'

5** is 'not great'

Top scorers in Hong Kong's English exam are far from being expert users of the language by the standards of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) revealed yesterday.

The HKEAA asked about 400 students, who received grades of 2 to 5** in last's year Hong Kong Diploma Secondary Education (HKDSE) English exam, to take the IELTS test last summer. The authority then compared the scores of the two exams.

On the IELTS scale of one to nine, with nine representing English proficiency, students who earned 5** in the HKDSE exam fell into the range of 7.51 to 7.77. Those who earned 5* fell into the 7.16 to 7.32 range. Both groups were deemed as good, not excellent, by the standards of IELTS.

DSE students who scored a grade 2 achieved the range of 4.79-5.07, which is regarded as moderate skills in English.

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