Five things you need to know before entering a HKDSE exam room

Wong Tsui-kaiKelly Fung |

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Beware of the exam rules.

The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority has released a blog post with five frequently asked questions from DSE candidates. Here's how to avoid any awkwardness and possible point deductions from breaking the rules:

1. How much earlier should we get to the exam venue?

Candidates should generally arrive 15 minutes before the start of the exam, but you should also avoid arriving too early. Many exam venues may have other school events and might not be able to provide space for candidates to wait for their assigned exam time.

2. Can we use timers during the exams?

The HKEAA strongly suggests using ordinary watches. If the invigilators have suspicions about your equipment, you will be stopped from using it. If your device, such as your watch makes noise, your relevant paper will suffer a mark deduction.

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3. Is it against the rules to have the candidate's name on the back of their calculator?

Candidates cannot write on or label their calculators. and they can't have printing, graphic/word display facilities, or dot-matrix technology in the main display. Breaches to this rule will be penalised with mark deductions or even disqualification. You may be required a fill in a exam report and have your calculator confiscated for further investigation by the HKEAA if they have suspicions about it. Details on requirements for calculators can be found here.

4. Are candidates allowed to drink water during exams?

Yes, candidates are allowed to drink water with the permission of the invigilators. All water bottles should be placed under the chair to avoid interfering with the exam.

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5, Can we use earbuds during examination?

To ensure impartiality and fairness in examinations, candidates should not use earbuds. If candidates use earbuds, invigilators may suspect that the candidate is using a kind of wireless communication or equipment with internal storage or other devices, and they will be requested to stop using them. Also, candidates might not be able to listen to instructions at the venue while they are using earbuds. Arrangements for candidates with special needs (with a proven medical certificate) can be provided if candidates follow the application procedures and register beforehand.