The first Diploma of Education (DSE) liberal studies exam raised eyebrows, by asking students to comment on the credibility of political parties in Hong Kong. The question caused controversy because it called for students to give their personal thoughts on political issues and many feared they might lose marks if their views differed from those of the markers. About 70,000 students took the examination on Monday. Dr Leung Yan-wing, who teaches educational policy at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, said that on controversial questions, markers would no doubt find it hard to exclude their personal views if the issue involved fundamental values. Wong Hok-yan from Po Leung Kuk Laws Foundation College found the question on political parties surprising, but remained confident about getting a good grade. 'I knew how to answer it, so I think I did OK,' he said. Janet Tam Ka-wing from St Rose of Lima's College found the question challenging. 'I don't have a thorough understanding of the political issues in Hong Kong so I found it hard to answer,' she said. Jayson Paolo Albano from La Salle College hoped the marker would remain objective. 'The question is related to different groups of people in Hong Kong and when things get to that kind of focus, you never really know how to answer it in a way that pleases everybody,' he said. Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority pledged that the political stands taken by students would not affect grades.