An author whose work was featured in the HKDSE Chinese Language examination was embroiled in controversy after she posted about being unable to answer questions based around her own writing.
Lin Dai-man, who lives in Taiwan, found out her piece The Reason for Loneliness was used in the examination from her friends in Hong Kong. She said on a Facebook post that the questions were very “flexible”, and that she wouldn't "even know how to begin to answer the questions”.
Hong Kong media outlets were quick to leap onto Lin’s post, quoting her words to imply she meant to say the Hong Examinations and Assessment Authority had written the test badly with poorly structured questions. According to Headline Daily, Lin’s post was reblogged on student forums, which students took as further proof of the gap between the author’s and the examiners’ intentions.
After the articles were published, Lin clarified that what she said didn't have the meaning the publications are attributing to her. The journalists had asked leading questions “that made it difficult for me to say anything simply”, Lin said on her Facebook page. In the same post, she mentions that she had worked in news editorial herself for 10 years, and has "a deep understanding of the basic work and ethics of a news reporter".
She added that she understood parents’ and students’ concerns about the Chinese language examination, but cautioned against placing too much emphasis on grades.
Lin ended her post saying what grade she might have hypothetically received from taking the test is of no relevance, what matters is that students are happy with their own grades.