Given the spread of coronavirus, a great many major public exams, including college entrance examinations HKDSE and IB, are postponed or canceled, throwing Hong Kong students into uncertainty and concern.

Other exams, including International English proficiency test IELTS, TOEFL and standardized tests for graduate school admission GRE and GMAT, are also suspended in Hong Kong, causing possible difficulties for students who want to study overseas.

On March 21, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-Ngor announced at the press briefing that due to the increasing case of COVID-19, the written tests for the Diploma of Secondary Education Examination(DSE), will be postponed for four weeks to April 24, while the Chinese and English oral tests are canceled.

Meanwhile, all the schools in Hong Kong will remain closed until further notice, in contrast to the previous statement that the school will reopen on April 20.

The DSE written test was initially scheduled to take place from this Friday, March 27. The Secretary for Education, Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, once stated on February 25 that the exam would take place as planned.

The postponement will affect 50,000 students in the city, according to RTHK report. And many students feel concerned about the changing exam arrangement and the current situation.

“We don’t know what will happen next. Everything is unpredictable and uncontrollable. I feel quite lost while preparing for the exam.”

Tiffany Lee, a local form six student, said she found the government untrustworthy since their statement kept changing.

“I feel like I have been tricked since we have prepared for the exam, both mentally and physically,” she said. “We find it hard to believe the government, as they might change the arrangement once again.”

She was also worried that the cancellation of the speaking test might cause unfairness. Students who are better at speaking could have achieved a better grade.

“We don’t know what will happen next. Everything is unpredictable and uncontrollable. I feel quite lost while preparing for the exam.”

International Baccalaureate(IB) organization also announced in a letter on March 22 that the exam scheduled between April 30 and May 22, would not be held. Students would be awarded a diploma or course certificate based on coursework and other forms of assessment.

IB program provides internationally accredited qualifications for students to enter university. According to the organization, 33 schools run the two-year IB program in Hong Kong.

According to SCMP’s report, many students taking the IB program are worried and uncertain about the grades they will be awarded. About 2,000 students are affected.

University students in Hong Kong also feel disrupted and concerned due to the cancellation and postponement of public exams.

Educational Testing Service(ETS) has suspended the tests, including TOFEL and GRE in Hong Kong since February.

Sam Lam, a third-year student in HKU who is considering applying for graduate school oversea, said his steps were disrupted by the pandemic. He planned to take GRE and TOFEL tests in March but got the notice of postponement. He was afraid that the tests in April and May will be suspended as well.

“I just can’t imagine how many people will scramble test quota in July and August, if there are tests,” he added. “Maybe I need to reconsider my future road after graduation.”

Feature image’s source: Hong Kong Examination and Assessment Authority. 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: