DSE exam stress levels still high for many Hong Kong pupils
I refer to your report on the declining stress level for pupils sitting the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) this year (“Exam stress down for Hong Kong students, but pushy parents are still a problem”, April 8).
As a DSE candidate, I was very surprised to read that exam stress levels of Secondary Six pupils had hit an all-time low, and I believe I was not the only one.
The drop in pressure was attributed to a growing familiarity with the exam, which was introduced in 2012. However, since expectations from our teachers and parents have increased for different reasons, we have been under tremendous pressure while preparing for the exam, as we don’t want to let them down or be counted among the “minority” who fail to enter university.
However, I agree that pushy parents can often cause added stress. The HKDSE isn’t just a competition among students for better chances of entering university, it is also a game of one-upmanship among the so-called monster parents (“Hong Kong’s pressure-cooker education system is producing ‘monster parents’”, April 15). They all have a similarity: they are always comparing their children’s school results with those of their peers, something we seldom see pupils doing among themselves.
That said, whether exam pressure has decreased or not is a subjective matter; it depends on how each student handles the stresses of a public exam.
Peace Chui, Kowloon City