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HKDSE - Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education

If star tutors can ensure HKDSE success, is the exam unfit for purpose?

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 April, 2018, 11:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 April, 2018, 11:00am

I refer to recent comments from your correspondents about the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exam and star tutors (“HKDSE means peak season for star tutors, but are students losing out on learning?” April 17). As someone who has been teaching and preparing students for public exams for 50-plus years, I would appreciate some comments on a question I have.

If it is possible to prepare students so easily for such exams, is there not a problem with the design and type of questions being asked?

Of course, any teacher would be able to make a reasonable guess at the likely content of an exam – a very long time ago, I had teachers who were very able to suggest likely topics based on the experience of previous years’ papers.

Yet, if the “star tutors” find it so financially rewarding to teach large numbers of fee-paying students successfully, my concern is, is the exam unfit for purpose? It appears to be testing only memory, not thinking and knowledge.

I would be very happy to have a public response from the Education Bureau or exam authority on this issue.

Patrick Wood, Taikoo Shing