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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

No masking relief as DSE exam nears

No masking relief as DSE exam nears

Students taking the Diploma of Secondary Education exam from tomorrow are less stressed now that all Covid curbs have been lifted, a Hok Yau Club survey found.
Only one in five, or 22 percent, of more than 700 candidates, rated themselves "extremely stressed" about it, a significant drop from 36 percent last year and the lowest since the pandemic started.

Candidates were asked to report on the stress levels that they experienced on a 10-point scale. Their average was 7.01 - which is 0.86 points lower than last year - making it the record low in three years of the pandemic.

The club's student guidance consultant, Ng Po-shing, said students may feel less tense with fewer worries about the exam as the city returned to normalcy.

"Students are less worried about being infected before the exam, and there are fewer uncertainties compared to the past two years," he said.

"Students can fully focus on preparing for the exam in March, while this year's exam has canceled the school-based assessments for some subjects contributing to the lowest stress levels since the pandemic."

Despite candidates feeling less stressed about most subjects, respondent rated on average 7.3 points for English language subject, which is similar to the subject's score last year.

Ng said the English oral exam may be challenging for this year's candidates, as they had been attending online classes since secondary four and had been lacking face-to-face practice with their classmates.

Renee Chung Wing-yee is one of 50,823 DSE candidates who lamented the cancellation of the Chinese oral exam this year, as it was one of her strengths.

When asked about the Examination Authority's Covid measures, Chung said it was understandable and necessary to ensure candidates are healthy during the exam. "But it will be great if the mask-on policy can be lifted," she said.

She recalled attending the English oral exam days ago, when a few of the candidates had forgotten to fill out their health declaration forms and wear masks.

"Although the problems were solved, those candidates looked so nervous, that's why I think these policies may somehow affect their mental state, and thus their performance," Chung said.

To make sure she will not miss out on anything on exam day, Chung, who wants to be a social worker, said she has already printed out 10 extra copies of the health declaration forms and put them into a file together with her DSE admission form.

"I also posted reminders on my Instagram all my friends not to forget to bring their forms, and I prepared some extra copies, so that not only me, but other candidates, can also get one."
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