More Fifth Formers have chosen to answer their public exams in Chinese this year but have been warned not to create their own Chinese characters in answers or face having marks deducted. Figures from the Examinations Authority show more than 140,500 students have applied to enter this year's Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examinations. Besides subjects requiring answers in Chinese such as Chinese Language and Chinese History, more than 262,600 subject entrants have chosen to answer papers in Chinese. This is 14,700 more - or almost six per cent - up from last year's 247,800. Chinese question papers on mathematics, economics and commerce proved the most popular with 18,100, 14,300 and 10,700 entrants respectively. The authority considered the increase encouraging as students should perform much better answering in the language with which they were most familiar. But it warned students should be careful in using simplified Chinese characters. The authority's senior subject officer Cheung Kwong-yuen said only correct Chinese characters - formally used in Beijing - should be used in public exams. He said some students created their own simplified Chinese characters. 'No incorrect simplified Chinese characters should be used, especially in the Chinese Language composition,' Mr Cheung said. 'Even a slight difference will be considered as wrong words, and students will have marks deducted. 'In other subjects, the rule will be applied with greater flexibility.' Most Hong Kong schools teach students the normal Chinese characters but mainland schools use simplified characters. But more schools have allowed the use of simplified characters with the arrival of more mainland migrants. Mr Cheung said the authority had also arranged special tests in Putonghua to cater for the needs of recent migrants.