Not much festive fun
Intense exam revision and their heavy workload during the Christmas holidays have deprived teenagers of fun time and left them stressed.
For many, first-term exams are just one day away. Mounting pressure is especially felt among sixth-formers, with three months to go before their first Diploma of Secondary Education exams.
Helen Wong, 14, said she spent the winter break studying nonstop, sometimes past midnight. The St Stephen's Girls' College student has to study for 11 subjects in addition to a DSE English exam.
'There is certainly way too much stress on me and other students,' she said. '[The workload] has deprived me of any fun time.'
To make matters worse, she added, her school does not train its students for public exams in junior forms. 'We aren't taught to use data files or write formal letters so that might be a disadvantage,' she said.
Helen has had to practise on her own for her upcoming exams with past HKCEE and A-level papers.
DSE candidate Candace Kwan, 17, said it was hard to tally the number of hours she spent on studying. 'It's just a nonstop cycle of studying, wanting to slam my head against my desk, and sleep,' she said.
She said she had gone out with friends only once or twice over the past two weeks. Any more fun time would have left her consumed with guilt, she said.
'[When I go out], my mind is always somewhere else - back to my textbooks and assortment of notes and highlighters,' Candace said.
'Sacrifices have to be made. Studying comes first.'
Candace said she hoped after this school year, she can find some time to live it up in the summer before she goes to university.