Hong Kong exams authority says test centres now required to return all unused university entrance papers

Hong Kong exams authority says test centres now required to return all unused university entrance papers

Hong Kong’s exams authority has said it will require test centres to return all unused papers for the city’s university entrance exams, after a woman was arrested for allegedly uploading question and answer booklet content online.

The measure had taken effect starting with the Mathematics Extended Part Modules 1 and 2 examinations on Saturday.

Moving forward, all schools used as test centres would need to return all unused papers and question and answer booklets to the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) on the same day of the exams.

“This arrangement will allow for more effective management of examination materials, lowering the risk of someone publishing materials online or committing behaviour that will infringe copyright,” the authority’s spokesman said.

The HKEAA said that a digital copy of the test papers would be returned to schools that acted as test centres on a separate occasion, so that teachers could use the material for educational and reference purposes.

It said that no individual or schools used as test centres were allowed to keep the unused test papers or question and answer booklets.

The authority added that information such as test papers and their marking schemes would also be made available publicly every November per usual practice. But users would need to pay a fee to access these documents.

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The policy adjustment came just two days after a 23-year-old woman surnamed Lau was arrested by police for violating the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority Ordinance.

Under the ordinance, all appointees of the authority, including Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) examination personnel, should ensure secrecy while performing their duties.

Offenders can face a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment and a fine of HK$25,000 (US$3,190).

Lau was suspected of uploading onto social media platform Xiaohongshu the question and answer book for this year’s English-language listening test taken on April 13, prompting the authority to file a police report on Tuesday.

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An insider told the Post that she was one of the invigilators for the exams and also worked as a teaching assistant in a secondary school.

The exams authority had clarified then that the incident had no impact on the test’s integrity as the leak occurred after it was conducted.

The HKEAA has traditionally allowed schools to keep the DSE question papers and use them for teaching purposes.

But such a practice was done under the premise that it would not be uploaded online, former history subject assessment development manager for the authority Hans Yeung Wing-yu, told the Post.

He suggested authorities relax restrictions on sharing test content and publish the exam questions for free so that there would not be a need to leak them.

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