The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination – Challenges and Prospects

The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination – Challenges and Prospects

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The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination – Challenges and Prospects

Following the implementation of the new Academic Structure in 2009, Hong Kong now provides twelve years of free primary and secondary education, i.e. six-year primary plus three-year junior secondary and three-year senior secondary education. The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination is taken at the end of Senior Secondary Education (Secondary 6/Year 12). Students normally take the four core subjects (Chinese Language, English Language, Mathematics and Liberal Studies) with two to three elective subjects.The first HKDSE Examination was administered in 2012. There are three special features of the HKDSE Examination, namely, the use of standards-referenced reporting (SRR), the introduction of school-based assessment (SBA) and the provision of assessment to candidates with a wide ability range. In adopting the SRR system, the standards of the new examination are explained with level descriptors and exemplars. SBA is introduced to enhance the validity of the examination. It aims to assess learning outcomes which cannot be assessed through public examinations. Different tiering arrangements have been adopted in the HKDSE examination to cater for the needs of students of a wide ability range. The paper describes the problems encountered in the implementation of the new examination and makes suggestions for the way forward to face these challenges.Keywords: Public examinations, school-based assessment, standards-referencing reporting ,

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