HKDSE 2020 sees 7 top scorers, and fewer students meeting university entry requirements

  • This year’s public exams were delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Fewer students met the grades for local undergraduate first-degree places
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The wait for HKDSE 2020 results is nearly over. Photo: SCMP

The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority announced that seven HKDSE candidates had achieved a perfect score in this year’s exams, down from 12 last year.

Four male and three female students had attained a level 5** – the highest score possible – across all seven DSE subjects. Two of that group were “super top scorers” also earned a level 5** in an extended mathematics module elective.

Two students with special educational needs attained 5** in six subjects.

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About 45,000 of the 50,000 candidates who sat the exam were Form Six students.

More than 1,100 fewer would-be students than last year will compete for places at Hong Kong’s eight publicly funded universities this year.

The number meeting the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) exam’s minimum requirements dropped nearly 6 per cent from 2019 19,676 to 18,572. They will compete for just 15,000 subsidised local first-year degree places.

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Among that group, 18,572 achieved the minimum requirement for local university undergraduate programmes, a 5.6 per cent drop from last year’s 19,676. They will compete for just 15,000 subsidised local first-year degree places.

“With the decrease of eligible students, obviously, I think it would be easier [to get a place at local universities] to some extent,” said Dr So Kwok-sang, the exam authority’s secretary general.

“But it [still] really depends what programme choice the candidates’ take … the choice of the programme, the various criteria in terms of admission, would impact on actual or final outcomes of

the admission figures.”

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This year’s exams, originally scheduled to take place in March, were delayed by a month because of the Covid-19 pandemic. When they finally did take place, about 310 candidates were absent due to illnesses or other issues, and applied for assessed results.

The exam authority said there was no significant change in the overall performance in the English and Chinese-language exams, despite the cancellation of oral exams in those subjects due to the pandemic.