NEWS that the long-drawn, 11-day Form Six admission procedure is to be reduced by two days has been welcomed by students and school principals. The change follows recommendations made after an Education Department working group reviewed the lengthy Form Six admission system, and studied feedback from parents and students over the past few years in connection with Form Six placing. Mr Tam Chun-kit, Senior Education Officer (Schools) of the Education Department, said that school authorities serving on the working group thought 'the waiting time was too long'. 'If students are lucky, or their results are good enough, they can get a place in the first or second stage. Otherwise, they have to wait through the later stages, and this can be a very anxious and worrying wait.' The new move would cut by one day from stages two and four each in the five-stage procedure, introduced in 1991. Under the scheme, students who gain 14 points or above (best six subjects in one sitting) can apply for places in other schools at stage two. At stage four, students who satisfy a minimum Advanced-level entry requirement (a Grade E or above in six subjects, or a Grade E or above in five subjects on no less than eight points in one sitting of the HKCEE) can apply to other schools. 'In the past, students had to apply to schools on the first day of stage two and four, and they were told the results the next day. Now, if they are accepted they will be informed the same day.' Apart from shortening the processing time, the procedure remained unchanged, Mr Tam said. Aberdeen Baptist Lui Ming Choi College principal Lai Wai-ting said the new measure favoured both schools and students. 'From the administrative point of view, it's a saving on time and manpower. And for the students, it's less agony and suspense. The earlier they know the results, the better. It is cutting down on a lot of unnecessary anxiety and uncertainty.' Mr Lai said it was possible to shorten the time-frame even further and reduce it to one week. A Form Six student who had 'endured' the three stages of the procedure last year, said the change would reduce worry. 'Many students are in a desperate state during that period, not knowing what their chances are, whether they'll be accepted by a school or not. 'But if the results are out the same day, it would be a great relief,' the 18-year-old said. One Form Five repeat student agreed the move would help reduce anxiety. 'It's better than going back to the school for the results the next day.' A leaflet and summary table giving details of the new procedure will be available at District Education Offices and district offices. A 24-hour telephone enquiry service will start operating in early August.