The HKDSE Chinese Language speaking exam begins next week. Young Post spoke to a Chinese teacher at a local secondary school for some tips on how to prepare for it, and what to and to not do.
Jenny Lee Ka-sin said the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority this year has emphasised “not dominating the discussion”. Speaking time should be kept to around one minute long. “Stay calm if you
are reminded to stop – don’t panic,” she said. Just hand over the speaking time to the next speaker.
In the run-up to the exam, Lee said students should be aware of the three types of questions that might come up: discussion, agree/disagree, and comment. The first is about getting to a consensus, the second is about expressing your opinion, and the third is having to comment on the question. Lee advises students to read the questions carefully. “They are short but very important. [Make a note of] the keywords.” Lee said students should keeping the topic sentence in their minds as they answer. “Lead with your opinion.”
She also pointed out that the best preparation is to practise with friends and to pay attention to what is going on in the world around them. “If you can’t practise with your classmates, [then] making mental drafts by looking at past paper questions and thinking about them can help.”
Students should turn up early on the day of the exam. Wearing a school uniform is not necessary, but it is a good idea to dress neatly. Lee said reading over any notes made beforehand can help, but she stressed keeping calm is very important. “Don’t be nervous –
if you are, it’s easier to make mistakes. Revision and preparation will give you the confidence [that you need]. Listen to music and relax beforehand. If you’re already too nervous, stop revising and talk to a friend.”
“The exam is about communication,” she added. “Listen, reply, and respond.”