What do HKDSE exam candidates need to know about exam calculators?

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  • Only certain calculators are permitted in the exam venue, so make sure you’re getting the correct one, or you could be left in the dust
  • From now until October 1, Casio is holding a ‘Back to School’ promotion for its Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority approved calculators
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Don’t be caught off guard at the DSE exam!

Candidates taking the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination know that being well-prepared is halfway to success. But did you know that good preparation for acing the exam also includes getting the essential equipment, such as a calculator, ready?

Good results for the HKDSE exam matter to all candidates - their prospects for their university education and future careers are at stake. No candidate wants a faulty calculator to affect their performance at the exam venue.

Many a student has heard about unlucky, calculator-related incidents that have occurred at exam venues. Here are a few handy tips to ensure this sort of mishap does not happen to you.

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Check your calculator

You cannot use just any calculator at the exam venue. The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) stipulates that, except for exams for language subjects, candidates should bring and use only the electronic calculators that meet its exact requirements. These include CASIO Scientific Programmable FX-50FHII and FX-3650PII calculators. Permitted calculators are pad-printed with the “H.K.E.A.A. APPROVED” or “H.K.E.A. APPROVED” labels. Candidates will face marks deduction if they use calculators without these labels.

Take a spare

No matter the price or multiple powerful functions a calculator has, if it fails to perform at a public exam, it’ll be a disaster for the candidate. The winning strategy for smart candidates is to take a spare permitted calculator and ensure it’s ready at the exam venue.

Save yourself the headache and bring a spare calculator. Photo: Casio

Check it in advance

Before the exam, savvy candidates should check their calculators carefully to make sure they are stable and in top form and do not make any calculation mistakes. No spare calculators are available for loan at the exam venues. Exam officers and invigilators will not provide any assistance to candidates whose calculators fail to function properly, nor is there any special, compassionate treatment for the affected exam papers. Therefore, packing a spare permitted calculator for the exam is absolutely essential.

The “must knows” for permitted exam calculators

  • Calculators cannot have any functions for printing nor displaying charts/ text

  • They should not have any dot matrix display capabilities

  • Candidates cannot write anything on the back of the calculators, or they will get marks deducted or disqualified

  • Candidates can bring up to two spare, permitted calculators to the exam venue

  • Candidates are required to place the spare permitted calculators and their cases/ pouches in their bags or underneath their seats

  • Before the exam commences, candidates should carefully check to see if their calculators function properly and if they have sufficient power

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CASIO calculator’s ‘Back to School’ special promotion

To put your mind at ease and ensure that your countless hours of study and revision do not go to waste because of a calculator malfunction, it’s smart for candidates taking the HKDSE exam to get a spare calculator. The ideal models are CASIO Scientific Programmable FX-50FHII and FX-3650PII, as both are “H.K.E.A.A. APPROVED”.

Both the FX-50FHII and FX-3650PII feature four self-defined program input storage slots (program functions and four program areas). Two of these calculators will have eight slots, and three calculators will have 12. The more program areas there are, the more efficient it will be for candidates to give the correct answers. They will also be more confident, too.

From now until October 31, 2021, CASIO is holding a “Back to School promotion for its H.K.E.A.A. APPROVED calculators. In addition, a 15-month extended warranty and CASIO Scientific Programmable FX-50FHII Exam Bible await anyone who purchases the designated exam calculator models and completes the online warranty registration.

For more information, please visit their website.

You can also follow CASIO’s calculator page on Instagram and Facebook for more product information.

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