Exam stress levels rising

ALMOST three-quarters of students taking the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) ranked their worries over the exam at the maximum level, a survey by a youth group has found.

Youth New World (青年新世界) polled over 1,000 HKDSE students and found 73 percent of them scored 10 – ‘most worried’ – in at least one of the core subjects: Chinese language, English language, Maths and Liberal Studies. The local youth group said the overall pressure index of the students was 7.42 out of 10 – higher than last year’s 7.02. The HKDSE is the main public exam for university admission.

A new indicator, ‘pressure from society’, was added to this year’s survey as the group believes social expectations greatly affect students who fear bad results will jeopardise their future. The group attributed the phenomenon to a lack of adequate life planning and career guidance for students.

Also, students are more concerned about their long-term development these days and so are feeling more stressed. The group said students are unsure about their future and they do not think they have many choices. Some also worry they cannot afford a home or take care of their parents as they grow up.

The group hopes that in addition to funding, teachers’ workload can be reduced to allow them more time to help students plan for the future. A social worker noted that society still upholds the concept that getting a university degree is the only way to a promising career.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 5 April 2017)

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