Examinations

You are required to sit for two examinations, one midway through your course, and the other towards the end. They account for 20 and 40 percent of your final course grade respectively.

The information below on the examination format relates only to examinations for full-time English courses. Examinations for the government school preparatory courses are described in the course information page. The sections on examination results and appeals relating to examinations apply to all courses.

The examination will contain both a written and an oral component. You will be tested on your ability to understand both spoken and written English, as well your ability to speak and write English yourself.

Writing

You will be required to complete two writing tasks in the examination.

Free essay writing task This will be the first writing task. You will be asked to write an essay on one of a number of topics given to you. This will be a creative piece which will test your ability to organise and present information effectively, as well as your command of English sentence structures and vocabulary.

Directed writing task This will be your second writing task. You may be asked to write an essay based on a series of pictures, or to write directions for completing a task, or a letter with a specific purpose.

Grammar and vocabulary

You will learn some common sentence structures during your course. You will be tested on your knowledge of these structures during the examination. There will also be cloze passages and multiple-choice questions to test your understanding of English words.

Reading comprehension

Your instructor will work with you to develop good reading comprehension skills. The examination will include two reading passages to test your ability to understand what you read. You will be set questions which require different kinds of answers, e.g. multiple-choice, cloze, as well as subjective questions which require you to answer in complete sentences. These different question types will help your instructor to understand how best to help you improve your reading skills.

Listening comprehension

You will need to understand spoken English well if you learn or work in an English-speaking environment. Your instructor will help you to acquire skills to improve your listening comprehension. You will be tested on your ability to understand spoken English in the examination. In your classes, you will learn how small differences in pronunciation lead to words which mean very different things. The listening comprehension test could come in several forms, for example, gap filling or short answer questions.

Speaking

The oral part of the examination will test your ability to speak English. You will be asked to look at a picture or a sequence of pictures and tell your instructor what you see. You will also be asked to take part in a conversation with your instructor and your classmates.

Rules and regulations for examinations

The school views cheating on examinations seriously, and disciplinary action will be taken if any student is found cheating or behaving inappropriately during an examination. This includes

  • giving any answer that is not your own;

  • looking at other students' answers (even if you don't change your own answer);

  • using or possessing unapproved materials during examinations (such as books, notes, or personal items);

  • whispering or other behaviours deemed inappropriate by the invigilator.

You are required to switch off your mobile phones before the commencement of the examination. All personal belongings, including books, files and materials must be placed in front of the examination room or any designated place.

You are to ensure that you have been issued the correct set of examination papers and that all pages are intact. You are not allowed to leave the examination hall during the first 30 minutes of the examination. You will be advised by the invigilator to go to the washrooms prior to the commencement of the examination.

You are not allowed to eat, drink or smoke in the examination room.

Examination results

You will get your examination results within 21 days of the last day of the course. For the mid-term examination, your instructor will allow you to see your graded scripts within five days from the date of the examination.. This is to enable you to see exactly how you did on each question, so that you may do better in the final examination. Your instructor might not be able to show you the graded scripts for the final examination in class, as grading would usually be completed only after your course ends. All your papers will be archived by the school administrator, and you can contact the administrator to view your graded examination scripts.

You must collect your examination results in person. They will not be released through telephone, fax, e-mail or mail. If there is a compelling reason for you to do so, another person may collect your examination results but that person will have to show a letter of authorisation signed by you.

Appealing examination results

You will be able to see your graded examination scripts and discuss your performance and grades with your instructor.

Mid-term examinations After the mid-term examinations, your instructor will show you your marked examination scripts. If you feel that there is an error in your examination grade, you may ask your instructor if he would review your scripts for you.

Final examinationsYou will not see the marked examination scripts for your final examination, as marking will only be completed after your course ends.You can look at your graded examination script by asking the counter staff within 14 days of the last day of the examination. You can meet with your instructor to discuss your performance, and to request a review of your grades.

If you still feel that your examination grade is not justified, you may lodge an appeal within 14 days after you have seen your marked script. You could obtain the examination appeal form from the Administrative Manager. Your appeal will be heard by the Examination Board, who will inform you of the outcome of your appeal within 14 days after you file your appeal.

You must state your grounds for appealing on the form. The Examination Board will only consider an application based on one or more of the following claims:

  • There were errors in the marks awarded for the examination script;

  • The examination was significantly at variance with the directed course of study;

  • There were circumstances in the conduct of the examination which had a significant adverse effect on your performance;

  • You were seriously misdirected on the format of the examination;

  • There were irregularities in the conduct of the examination.

If the Examination Board decides to allow the appeal, your records will be edited to reflect the revised grade, and you will be issued with a corrected course transcript and course certificate within 14 days of the Examination Board's decision.