60 per cent of HKDSE candidates have never used a radio before, and fear that may affect their exam scores

60 per cent of HKDSE candidates have never used a radio before, and fear that may affect their exam scores

Students fear their unfamiliarity with the devices will lead to problems during the listening parts of the exams

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The HKEAA said radios were still the best means of carrying out the test

More than half of students in the final year of secondary school in Hong Kong have never used a radio before – and it is leaving them potentially tuned out ahead of HKDSE.

Youth New World group, a non-profit organisation that serves students and teenagers from low-income families, interviewed 939 HKDSE candidates last December.

It found that nearly 60 per cent had never used a radio, and more than 50 per cent feared their unfamiliarity with radios would lead to problems during the listening parts of their university entrance exam.

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The group urged the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) to stop using radios for the Chinese and English language papers, and replace them with a more updated approach.

The study also found only 21.9 per cent of students were aware of the penalty if the radio batteries ran out, or if they forgot their headphones.

“Schools are always pushing for Stem [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] subjects, so why is the exam authority so backwards when it comes to this?” Tang Wing-yiu, the vice-chairman of the group, who is also a secondary school teacher, said.

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“Poor reception may affect their ability to hear the questions and, in turn, their results, but this isn’t because the students aren’t well prepared, so I think it’s unfair,” he added.

“Even though the school will allow us time before the listening part to get used to using a radio, I still don’t think that can ease my concern,” Circle Wai Ka-yuen, 17, said.

“I don’t usually listen to the radio so I am unaware of how it works. This is a technical matter and not the test takers’ problem, so it’s kind of unfair.”

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Majority worry about radio use in exam

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