Laughter and tears marked the end of an era as the last batch of candidates received their Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) results yesterday. The test became standardised in 1978 for students wanting to move on to Form Six and Seven. It will be replaced by the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education under the new 3+3+4 curriculum next year. More than 26,000 candidates sat the exam this year. The youngest student was 13, and the oldest was 65. The best performer this year was a woman with four A's and three B's, followed by two candidates with three A's each. Examinations and Assessment Authority secretary general Dr Tong Chong-sze said the exam has fulfilled its historic role. Wong Chui-shan, 18, failed the English language exam last year. She said she risked being expelled from school if she failed the exam again. She managed to obtain a level three out of the full five levels. Yiu Wai-chong, 17, obtained a level four in English language last year. She retook the exam this year and received a level five. She said she felt special to be among the last HKCEE candidates.