HKDSE 2021 exams postponed by Covid-19 pandemic

  • Next year’s university entrance exams will take place about a month later than usual, with oral exams and some SBA components cancelled
  • The coronavirus left this year’s candidates in limbo while the HKEAA decided whether to reschedule the DSE
South China Morning Post |

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The Class of 2021 will get some extra time to prepare for their exams.

Attention Class of 2021: next year’s HKDSE written exams have been postponed!

The Examinations and Assessment Authority announced on Tuesday that 2021 Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) written exams would take place between April 23 and May 17, about a month later than previous years. The exam results would be released on July 21.

A backup plan sees the exams held from June 3, with the results released by August 31.

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The delay will give students more time to prepare following months of Covid-19 disruption.

The Chinese and English language speaking components will be cancelled again after the pandemic forced a similar arrangement this year.

“Under this contingency plan, universities’ admission plans and the beginning of their academic year should [still be mostly unaffected],” said HKEAA Secretary General So Kwok-sang.

Many of the school-based assessments (SBA) for elective subjects, including Chinese literature and English literature, would also be dropped.

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The 2020 DSE exams were postponed by a month to late April in a decision prompted by a surge in Covid-19 cases.

More than 89 per cent of 800 teachers polled in a Professional Teachers’ Union survey last month said learning was lagging behind because of the pandemic, while many hoped changes could be made to assessments, such as reducing the scope of compulsory questions on exam papers.