How Hong Kong's public exam system evolved for secondary school pupils

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 August, 2010, 12:00am

1937 The colonial government starts operating the Hong Kong School Certificate Examination (school cert)

1940 The last school cert held before the war

1941-1945 All public exams suspended with the fall of Hong Kong to the Japanese

1946 The first public exam is held after the war with 27 subjects on offer

1950 The government reduces the number of compulsory subjects to just one (English) and Chinese is no longer a compulsory subject

1950 The government adds a new subject, Chinese literature and history, and also practical sessions involving laboratory work for science subjects in the exams

1952 Chinese-medium schools allowed to field candidates and the Hong Kong Chinese School Certificate Examination is first conducted

1961 Hong Kong School Certificate Examination (school cert) is renamed Hong Kong English School Certificate Examination

1968 Hong Kong English School Certificate Examination and Hong Kong Chinese School Certificate Examination are renamed Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (English) and Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (Chinese)

1968 Four grades - pass with distinction, pass with credit, pass and fail - are abolished and replaced with grades A to H

1974 The two exams - Chinese and English - are combined and renamed the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE)

1977 Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority set up

1978 First HKCEE organised by the exam authority

1985 The cancelled G and H grades are replaced by a new category - U (unclassified)

1988 Candidates can, for the first time, sit 10 subjects

2007 New assessment grades are introduced for Chinese and English. Standard Referenced Reporting, which describes a candidate's performance from Levels 1 to 5, is used

2007 New computer systems for online marking are introduced for Chinese Language and English Language

2007 Centralised onscreen marking centres begin operation across Hong Kong

2010 The last HKCEE is held