Despite the declining number of candidates in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE), many students still feel the highest degree of pressure as the date of release of the test results nears.
A survey conducted by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) found that 49 percent of the respondents scored the pressure they felt at 7 to 10, the highest range on a scale of 1 to 10, while awaiting the results of the qualifying exams, which will be released on Wednesday.
The same percentage of respondents felt the highest range of pressure last year.
In fact, 69.5 percent of the respondents do not think their chances of getting into the universities will be easier despite the smaller number of candidates this year.
A total of 59,039 candidates took the HKDSE exam this year, down 4.3 percent from last year, according to data from the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority, which also noted that the number of examinees has been declining over the past six years.
The survey was based on interviews with 722 HKDSE candidates conducted by the HKFYG from June to early this month, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
According to the survey, 75.6 percent of the respondents said they will give priority to their own interests when choosing the field for their further studies, 64.3 percent will match the course with their long-term goals, and 54 percent said they will give consideration to their exam results.
Meanwhile, 22.9 percent of the respondents said their parents’ expectations will also play a significant factor in their choice of the course they will take in college.
In one case cited by the HKFYG, a student, despite her good academic performance, hopes she will obtain decent results to prove her own competence and meet her parents’ expectations.
At the same time, the student said she may have to give up her interest in design to fulfill her parents’ wish that she pursue a career in business.
Since June, the HKFYG has received 1,265 requests for assistance on its examination counseling hotline.
It advised students to seek professional help for stress and related problems.
Social worker Eric Kwong Ho-kuen from the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council said parents should encourage their children to talk about their difficulties in school.
He said parents should always remain calm and understanding when talking with the children, and avoid blaming them for their problems.
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