- Improve your English with this virtual course designed specifically with the HKDSE exam in mind
- Learn essential techniques for Papers 1, 2 and 3
To high school students in Hong Kong, the HKDSE is the all-important exam that is a crucial moment in their academic careers. As the key criteria for their college applications, the public examination is one of the most important items on their high school agenda.
Under the New Senior Secondary curriculum, English Language is one of the four compulsory core subjects, making it a crucial factor that affects candidates’ prospects of getting into local universities.
In a bid to prepare students for the HKDSE English Language exam, SCMP Young Post recently rolled out DSE Booster, a five-week online English course.
DSE Booster covers the essential techniques that would help students tackle questions in the HKDSE English Language Papers 1, 2 and 3, as well as common mistakes made by past candidates of the public exam.
“DSE Booster is a very comprehensive course,” said Zoe Poon, co-founder of NoteSity Education Limited and a past candidate of the HKDSE exam. “There are a lot of exercise books for Paper 1 (Reading) of the English Language exam. A handful of past candidates and publishers have created revision notes and sample essay collections for Paper 2 (Writing), too. On the other hand, learning resources for Paper 3 (Listening and Integrated Skills) are really scarce.”
In DSE Booster, exam techniques for these three papers are delivered in 15 topics over a five-week period, with videos and practice papers uploaded every 2 weeks.
“I particularly like the course design. DSE Booster comprises not only teaching videos, but also practice papers for students to reinforce what they have learnt in the course,” she said, noting that practice is essential to acing the HKDSE exam.
“I have seen students cramming for the public exam by reading lecture notes prepared by star tutors,” she says. “However, those who simply learn without doing any practice exercise almost always find themselves unable to apply these skills in the actual exam.”
An array of selected revision notes, prepared by past HKDSE candidates, are also available at NoteSity.To deliver top-quality course materials to students, DSE Booster was developed by a team of professional educators, ranging from passionate school teachers to experienced textbook editors.
“It is very important that the content creators have thorough understanding of the HKDSE curriculum,” says Poon. “I once came across an Instagram creator who shared HKDSE exam tips, sold her own revision notes and marked English essays for others. It turned out she was only a form three student who had not even begun her senior secondary studies.”
The revelation came as a great shock to Poon, but it also inspired her to start her own company, NoteSity, which is an online bookstore and retailer of revision materials for the HKDSE.
“The Instagram community has witnessed a boom in teenage creators in recent years,” she says. “Many of these individuals are high-achieving secondary school graduates who genuinely hope to help students get through the gruelling public exam. Their study tips and revision notes are helpful, really. Unfortunately, under-qualified and unscrupulous sellers abound too.”
Against this backdrop, it is NoteSity’s mission to be a marketplace offering high quality revision materials created by past HKDSE candidates, tutors and publishers.
“Prior to offering the revision notes on NoteSity’s website, we would verify the authors’ HKDSE exam results and perform quality checks on the revision materials,” Poon says. “Apart from individual creators, our team is also actively seeking collaboration opportunities with publishers and educational institutions. We hope to expand our product offering so that students can find all they need at NoteSity.”
The platform now offers some 500 reference books, revision notes, exercises and mock papers from over 30 authors and publishers, and more are in the pipeline.
This year, NoteSity will offer SCMP Young Post's DSE Booster to the public exam candidates.
“SCMP Young Post’s publications are conventionally introduced to students through their school teachers,” Poon observes, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic and prolonged class suspension have made offline promotion difficult.
“The majority of publishers saw plummeting sales at brick-and-mortar bookstores too,” says Poon.
NoteSity has partnered with over 30 authors and publishers to provide reference books, exercises and mock papers, and more are in the pipeline.At a time when #StayAtHome is the norm and going digital is the only way out, an online bookstore like NoteSity pulls in just in the hour of need of both students and publishers.
“Publishers are happy to explore the online sales and marketing channel, whilst students enjoy having books delivered straight to their doorstep,” says Poon.
With an established social media presence and creative digital marketing strategies, NoteSity’s team is set to ride the wave of digital transformation, bringing DSE Booster and other revision materials to digital savvy Gen Z students.
NoteSity is a Hong Kong-based online bookstore and retailer of revision materials for primary and secondary school students. The platform now offers more than 500 reference books, revision notes, exercises and mock papers from over 30 authors and publishers.
For more information, please visit NoteSity’s website at https://www.notesity.hk.