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Report on Exam Irregularities

Candidates may lodge a complaint if they find anything that deviates from the stipulated examination procedures.

Important points to note

  • The HKEAA enlists schools’ assistance in providing a suitable examination environment for candidates and conducting the examination according to the stipulated procedures.  No special consideration will be given to candidates who do not report unsatisfactory conditions at the centre but subsequently claim that their performance has been affected by:
    • Normal background noise at examination centres - Candidates should not expect complete silence in the examination centre as they will not be completely shielded from normal background noise (e.g. from outside vehicles, normal school activities, school bells etc.) during an examination.
    • Unsuitable room temperature - Candidates should refer to their admission form about the provision of air-conditioning at the examination centres.  They are advised to bring a jacket with them to an air-conditioned examination centre.
    • Undesirable centre conditions - Candidates who find any undesirable conditions at their seat (e.g. insufficient lighting, noise disturbance, dripping water etc.) should seek help from an invigilator at once so that remedial action can be taken promptly. If the need is genuine and a spare seat is available at the centre, the invigilator may arrange a seat change for the candidate.  Any complaint about undesirable centre conditions must be lodged at the examination centre.
    • Insufficient examination time given (unless there is substantiating evidence from the examination centre).
    • Having no clock or not being able to view the clock in the examination centres.

For listening component of English Language, complaints about poor reception under the following circumstances will NOT be entertained:

  • Reception problem - Candidates who claim to have encountered reception problems but decide not to go to the Special Room (applicable to centres using radio or IR System only) will not be given any compensation.  Candidates who are dissatisfied with the reception of the listening component in the examination room should request to move to the Special Room. Mark penalty will not be imposed for going to the Special Room due to reception problems.
  • Possible interference by the radios or antennae of other candidates in the listening component.
  • Mode of broadcast - Complaint about change of the mode of broadcast will NOT be entertained.  As a contingency measure to address possible reception problems at the examination centre, the HKEAA might consider changing the mode of broadcast of an examination centre.  An announcement would normally be made at the examination centre one day before the listening component of English Language.

For Speaking examinations of English Language, complaints about the following circumstances will NOT be entertained

  • Mannerisms and facial expressions of oral examiners or other candidates in a Speaking examination are not regarded as an examination irregularity or deviation from stipulated examination procedures.
  • Domination/interruption by other candidates in the same group or interruption by the oral examiners in the group interaction when normal procedures are being followed in a Speaking examination – Examination procedures are in place to allow all candidates a fair chance to participate in the group interaction. In this regard, examiners will take appropriate action if they feel that any candidate is dominating/interrupting the group interaction. The marking of dominating candidates will also be handled appropriately.

Complaints against the precautionary measures implemented at examination centres will NOT be entertained.


How to Lodge a Complaint
  • Candidates may lodge a complaint with the Centre Supervisor at the examination centre and request him/her to report it to the HKEAA.  The complainants and other candidates concerned will be required to fill in a report after the examination session has ended.  Alternatively, they may make use of the specified electronic form on the HKEAA website ( → HKDSE → Examination Administration → Report on Examination Irregularities) or write directly to the Manager (DSE), School Examinations and Assessment Division of the HKEAA by post, fax or email within 7 calendar days after the date of the examination, except for complaints about the examination centre environment and reception in the listening component which must be made on the spot (see the point below).  Complaints lodged beyond the deadline will NOT be accepted.  The HKEAA will inform candidates of the follow-up actions within 5 working days upon receipt of their complaints.
  • Complaints about the examination centre environment (e.g. insufficient lighting, loud noise disturbance etc.) and reception in the listening component must be made with the Centre Supervisor/invigilator at the examination centre.  Candidates should provide specific information about the undesirable condition(s) encountered (e.g. time and duration of the noise/disturbance) before they leave the examination centre.  Subsequent complaints of performance being affected by undesirable centre conditions or reception problems after the examination will NOT be entertained.
  • When lodging a complaint, candidates must provide their name, candidate number, examination centre, date of the examination, subject/paper sat for and other specific information relating to the cause of complaint.
  • Anonymous complaints will NOT be entertained.

Please click here to report examination irregularities.