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Sunday, Oct 01, 2023

Masks on as English oral exam is back

Masks on as English oral exam is back

The English language oral exam of the Diploma of Secondary Education Examination will resume in March after being suspended for three years due to the pandemic.
The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority said the English paper four will be the only oral exam in DSE for the first time in three years.

Candidates taking the English exam were only tested on papers one to three - reading, writing and listening and integration skills - from 2020.

The return of the oral component, which accounts for 10 percent of the overall grade of the subject, makes the remaining three papers less dominating.

March will also see mask-wearing students engaging in group discussions at a distance from other candidates.

Candidates will sit further apart, and follow the usual practice of wearing a face mask throughout the examination and using hand sanitizers.

Preventative measures for the oral examination will be similar to those for written exams last year. Students need to check their temperature, conduct a rapid test and complete a health declaration form before the exam.

They are also required to bring a rapid testing kit showing a negative result and present it with the admission form. Students are advised to take photos of the test result and retain them until the end of the DSE exams.

"There is a video assistant referee in football matches, just as there is a public examinations support system in DSE exam halls," the authority said. "The system monitors and records the whole exam to ensure the fairness of the exam."

It said the new PESS system involving the use of webcams and an instant messaging program will be used in about 50 exam halls in the coming DSE. Further details will be announced to students via schools later.

The 20-minute English paper four speaking exam is divided into two parts on group interaction and individual response.

Last year the authority canceled the Chinese-language oral exam for the 2023 DSE.

The remaining three papers of the English DSE will have their examinations held a month later than the oral exam from April 21-22.

The Diploma of Secondary Education examination will kick off in February and end in May.

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