This year’s Business, Accounting and Financial Studies (BAFS) HKDSE was easy and straightforward, according to both students and tutors.
Ken Yip from Buddhist Sin Tak College found the multiple choice and short answer questions in Paper 1 and 2A to be slightly easier than last year.
“But that doesn’t help you get good grades in BAFS, as any small careless mistakes would have a big impact,” he says. “[BAFS] is very detail-oriented and each calculation feeds into the next answer.”
Another candidate surnamed Chui from the same school, who didn’t want his full name published, felt the difficulty was “acceptable” except for one particular question about manufacturing. This question gave out figures but required students to have memorised the equation to calculate the answer.
Beacon College tutor Andy Yeung called the exam easy, and the short questions in particular “the easiest since the start of the DSE”, pointing out that many questions drew from past exam papers.
However, he also noted some traps in the MC questions. These may have led to some students misinterpreting questions, for example if they didn’t realise that joint ventures could dissolve after their task is done; that bank overdrafts are still liabilities; small and medium enterprises can operate as limited companies; and that hotel housekeepers are not domestic helpers.
With the more commonly taken Paper 2A Accounting Module, Yeung found the questions generally easy.
Q1 and Q2, about ratios and bank regulations, were among the easiest questions on those particular areas. Meanwhile Q3 and Q4, about production of goods and limited companies, were similar to questions on last year's paper.
Q5 touched on incomplete records. It required students to make separate statements, which might have tripped them up if they did not follow the question format.
Q6, a cost classification question, was a typical marginal cost question, which Yeung believes should have been simple.
The last section in the paper, Section C, asked students to answer one of two questions. The first, about partnerships, had no traps and was last seen in 2017, although that was a much harder, deeper question than this year. The second, a correction of error question, had also appeared once before.
But Yeung still felt that, overall, candidates would do well. “The average grades will likely be higher, so even one or two wrong answers might stop you from getting a top grade,” he said, pointing out his students felt confident in their exams. “In past years, students might not have the time to finish the exam, but this year, some students reported to me they had time to spare.” he said.
Even Paper 2B, the less commonly taken Business Management Module paper was “virtually the same as past papers”, adding that, “this year drew on the old A-Level Business Studies papers rather than the past DSE style.”
Hayson Liu, a tutor at King’s Glory Education, said, “As long as they studied, they should do well,” dismissing the possibility of a skewed line curve.
“It might be slightly higher this year by one or two points, but careless mistakes are expected.”