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HKDSE - Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education

Hong Kong DSE is a lottery: the 2018 Chinese reading paper proved it

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 April, 2018, 1:40pm
UPDATED : Friday, 13 April, 2018, 1:40pm

The Chinese reading paper in the ongoing Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) exam included several questions about the meaning of an essay titled “Reasons for being lonely”, by Lin Tai-man, a professor of Chinese at Tamkang University in Taiwan.

Interestingly, upon being notified that her essay had been used in the test, the author commented on Facebook that even she would not know how to clearly answer most of them, and would possibly score very low marks.

It is really preposterous if a writer is found unable to answer questions about her own article. It seems DSE examiners who set those questions may have just used their own perspective on the article, but were not really sure what the writer meant to convey.  

This is ridiculous. Are students sitting the DSE Chinese paper just trying their luck at gambling or the lottery as they try to write down the correct answer – or rather, something that will be evaluated favourably by the examiners? 

This gives the impression that the exam just involves guessing at the interpretation made by the examiner, not an objective analysis of the article. It is like that ancient Chinese idiom: point at a deer and call it a horse.

Besides, it has been reported that the examination authority held no discussion or consultation with the writer before using her article in the DSE. How could that be?  

If this is how our examination mechanism functions, I can see why people say the system is not education, and not even a competitive game, but just a lottery, which depends on guessing at answers that exist in the minds of examiners.

Yau Ka-ho, Sheung Shui