HKDSE candidate in trouble for Instagram story

  • One student posted a photo of a barcode sheet from the English Language Paper 3 exam to social media, which is against the rules
  • The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority has strict guidelines about what students can and can’t do in testing areas
Kelly Fung |

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There are strict rules to follow in the examination room, such as no photos or recordings. Photo: SCMP

One DSE candidate is in trouble after posting a photo in the examination room of a barcode sheet on social media today - a direct violation of the rules of the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA).

The candidate posted an Instagram story of an exam table with the timestamp “9:05am” on the photo, which is 10 minutes before the English Language Paper 3 exam started.

The photo shows the candidate’s admission form, health declaration form, and the barcodes of the exam. The barcode sheet also shows the exam centre and the seat number.

The photo was posted on Instagram for about four hours until the account was deleted. Photo: Instagram

The story was posted for four hours until the Instagram account was deactivated at around 1pm.

Ansley Lee Kwan-ting, an English teacher from Kiangsu-Chekiang College, who is also a centre supervisor for the exam, said such behaviour is unacceptable.

“They [candidates] should not treat it as a vacation, where people hold their boarding pass in front of a boarding gate ‘instagramming’ or tweeting about it,” she said, adding that such a behaviour will “lead to dire consequences”.

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“The HKEAA will look into the matter,” Lee cautioned.

According to the HKEAA, candidates are not allowed to “take photographs, audio-record or video-record before/during/after the examination inside the examination room (including the Reporting Room and Preparation Room for speaking examinations).” Otherwise, the candidates will “receive a mark penalty”.

And those who post photos, videos or recordings “electronically or publicly” will receive a “subject downgrading”.