New exam gives candidates jitters
Some students are worried about passing the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) examination because they do not know what to expect from the tests, which were set for the first time this month.
A survey by Ming Pao newspaper, held from April 16 to 21, found that 15 per cent of 300 DSE candidates included in the poll had zero confidence of getting a place in government-funded universities.
Overall, the students' average confidence level in reaching the minimum entrance requirements was 5.96 out of 10 - a very low rating, according to the survey.
Out of five scoring levels, with level five being the highest, candidates have to attain a minimum of level three in the Chinese and English tests, and level two in mathematics and liberal studies, to pass the DSE.
Lit Ho-cheung, a counsellor for the youth-oriented Hok Yau Club, warned that getting the minimum requirements did not guarantee a place at university. He said students should decide on the right course based on their performance in the DSE.
When asked what they would do if they did not get a university place, 35 per cent of students surveyed said they might take associate degrees, which usually take two years.
Twenty per cent said they might study overseas.