Students and tutors both described this year’s HKDSE English Language examination Paper 3 (Listening and Integrated Skills) as fairly straightforward, and similar to previous years’.
Paper 3 consists of both reading and listening tasks, and tests students’ ability to answer questions based on their listening and integrated skills. It is divided into two parts.
Part A is compulsory. In the listening exam, candidates were asked to complete four tasks after listening to a recording about information technology (IT) and a school club’s events. Topics touched upon in the recording included discussions of a mobile application, use of AR technology and virtual money, and mobile phone policies in school.
One DSE student, Pauline Wong Tsz-wing, 17, told Young Post that the questions were very straightforward with no tricky questions.
“Sufficient clues were provided throughout the recording to help me identify all the information required to answer the questions,” said the Maryknoll Convent School (Secondary Section) student.
Christine Wan, also 17, thought this year’s listening exam was similar to last year’s. However, “some of the students might find it slightly difficult to handle, because there were more questions that required students to organise their answers, after listening to the recording, before answering,” said the Our Lady’s College student.
Though harder than Tasks 1, 2, and 3 of Part A, was Task 4.
Modern Education’s tutor Calvin Sun said that Task 4 was a lot more challenging than in previous years, because it “required students to jot down a lot of information within a short period of time.”
Beacon College’s Kenneth Lau agreed, and explained that “students with lower English proficiency level would find Task 4 a bit of a struggle.”
In Part B, candidates could choose to answer between Sections 1 and 2, the former being the easier option. For this Part, students were provided with a data file of reading material and audio files, and had to select content from those to complete three writing tasks.
Both Sun and Lau said that Section 1 was straightforward, and that well-prepared students should not have difficulties tackling Section 2, which required students to write a report, article, and a speech.
“These are writing formats commonly tested in this Paper,” said Sun. “The guidelines and instructions given this year were very clear as well, and it shouldn’t be hard for students to locate data relevant to the tasks.”
But candidates needed to be very careful with their tone when completing Task 8, said Lau, which required students to write a report to persuade a school committee against a screening venue recommendation.
“Students were expected to provide logical arguments yet remain objective in their report, so that their stance appeared to be a valid conclusion from their observations,” he said.
Further, Task 9 called for high levels of organisation and sequencing skills as students were asked to write a short synopsis for a movie. “They had to locate different scenes of the movie from the materials given in the data file, and figure out their sequences to put together the plot of the film,” said Sun.
Both Pauline and Christine attempted Section 2.
“I think it is easier than last year’s, and the requirements were quite simple,” Pauline reflected. “There weren’t many instances in which I had to integrate information from several resources to make a point.”
One thing that was not quite so clear, however, was the technological instructions for today's exam. Christine, whose examination centre in Tseung Kwan O used an Infra-red Transmission System for the students to listen to the audio files, reported that there were no instructions on how to use the receivers provided, which left her and some candidates confused.
“It took me a few minutes to familiarise myself with the equipment,” she said, and that some students had to request assistance.