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The Reporting System

Category A: Senior Secondary Subjects - Standards-referenced Reporting

A standards-referenced reporting system has replaced the reporting system used for HKCEE and HKALE.

In the HKDSE, candidates’ performances are reported with reference to a set of standards. The performance is reported in five levels (level 1 to 5), with 5 being the highest. The level 5 candidates with the best performance are awarded a 5**, and the next top group of candidates are awarded a 5*. Performance below level 1 is designated as “Unclassified”. This is not reported on the certificate.

For more details on standards-referenced reporting, please click here.

Category B: Applied Learning (ApL) Subjects

The assessment of Category B (ApL) subjects is undertaken by course providers. After moderation by the HKEAA, the final results are recorded on the HKDSE certificate. The results are reported as “Attained” and “Attained with Distinction”. Performance below “Attained” is designated as “Unattained”. This is not reported on the certificate. Candidates awarded "Attained with Distinction" are deemed to have performed at a level comparable to level 3 or above for Category A subjects.

Starting from the 2018 HKDSE, the reporting of students' performance in ApL subjects would be further refined from the existing two levels of "Attained" and "Attained with Distinction" to "Attained", "Attained with Distinction (I)" and "Attained with Distinction (II)". Performance of "Attained with Distinction (I)" is comparable to level 3 while "Attained with Distinction (II)" is comparable to level 4 or above of the Category A subjects of the HKDSE. For ApL Chinese (for non-Chinese speaking students), the existing levels of results, i.e. “Attained” and “Attained with Distinction”, will continue to be used. Refinement of these levels would be considered when more data is collected.

Category C: Other Language Subjects

For Category C subjects, marking and grading are conducted by Cambridge Assessment International Education (Cambridge International). Results are reported in five grades (a-e) on the HKDSE certificate, with grade ”e” being the lowest and grade ”a” being the highest. Achievement below “e” is designated as “Ungraded”. This is not reported on the certificate.