Prediction of School Candidates’ Performance in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination

Prediction of School Candidates’ Performance in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination

The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE) was first administered in 2012 as part of the education reform in Hong Kong. It aims to measure the attainment of students upon their completion of the 3-year senior secondary curriculum. Standards-referenced Reporting (SRR) is adopted to ensure that examination results are transparent and explicit. Candidates' achievement is reported against a set of fixed standards divided into five levels, with 5 being the highest. Descriptors are written for each subject to describe what a candidate performing at a given level is typically able to do. Samples of candidates' performance are also provided to illustrate the standards.
In order to study whether schools understand the standards and can make use of the level descriptors to predict their students' public examination results accurately, the HKEAA has been conducting a study on the reliability of schools' predictions of their students' HKDSE attainment levels in the four core subjects - Chinese Language, English Language, Mathematics and Liberal Studies. A good understanding of the standards will facilitate teaching and learning, and accurate predicted levels will help teachers manage the expectations of students and parents and enable them to make realistic decisions on possible pathways for work and study.
Schools are required to submit the scores and the predicted levels of each candidate for the four core subjects based on internal examinations. The data are compared against the actual scores and levels achieved by these candidates in the HKDSE. Feedback is provided to schools at the start of the following academic year with regard to their over or under-estimation.
A pilot study was conducted in 2013 with 24 schools. The number of participating schools increased to 165 in 2017, and data were collected from about 20,000 candidates. A longitudinal analysis was also carried out in 2017 for the 59 schools that participated in the study for four consecutive years to see whether improved familiarity with the HKDSE standards had resulted in more accurate predictions across years.


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