This year's DSE Chinese examination might be less demanding than last year's. The two papers are usually considered major obstacles for university entry since more than half of the candidates fail to reach Level Three in Chinese, the minimum requirement to get a place in local government-funded universities.
But Chinese teacher Wong Mei-kei, deputy director of the academic department of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union, thinks the ancient Chinese literature used for reading comprehension was easier to understand than the text from last year.
In the writing exam, candidates had to write an essay on one of three topics. Wong noted that the topic on "Living without a phone for a day" was the most popular because it is relevant to the daily lives of students. "The topics are pretty straightforward, [since] they care for the needs of students on different levels," she says.
Celebrity Chinese tutor Siu Yuen agreed that this year's Chinese exam was easier. "The questions are on topics that candidates are familiar with. I think the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority had been harsh on candidates. I think the authority wants to clear the Chinese paper's name as being a notoriously difficult paper," he says.