DSE exams begin with new app for self-check-in, mask-wearing students express concerns

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9th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Today (9th), the first written examination of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) commenced, requiring candidates to use the newly introduced “Check-in Smart” application for self-check-in. Some students have found the app user-friendly, while others have expressed concerns about having to log in again multiple times upon opening the application, fearing potential issues during the check-in process in the examination hall. This year, there are no specific COVID-19 prevention measures in place for the exams. However, at one local test centre, over half of the candidates were seen wearing masks, with concerns about falling ill and its impact on future exams.

The visual arts subject of the DSE, which is also the first subject of this year’s exams, began today. Unlike previous years, candidates are now required to use the “Check-in Smart” app introduced by the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority to complete the check-in process. During roll call, invigilators will utilise mobile devices to verify candidates’ identities by cross-referencing the information provided during registration.

Candidates are required to download the app in advance and log in to their personal accounts before arriving at the examination venue. On the day of the exam, candidates can use the app to scan the personal computer barcode sticker they receive upon arrival for self-check-in. Subsequently, they must follow instructions to turn off their mobile phones. Once the exam begins, invigilators will use the “i-Invigilation (HKDSE)” app to scan the barcode on the candidates’ computers and verify their identities.

In the event that a candidate arrives late or faces difficulties accessing the app, invigilators will be equipped with “i-Invigilation (HKDSE)” to assist in the check-in process.

Some candidates are concerned about the need to log in again when entering the examination hall.

Ma, a candidate, expressed concerns about the unfamiliarity with the app’s usage. She mentioned having to log in again multiple times when reopening the “Check-in Smart (HKDSE)” app, leading to worries about having to log in again during the check-in process in the examination hall. She stated, “I arrived a little early to prepare.”

Furthermore, she mentioned feeling relatively unconcerned about today’s exam but acknowledged some on-site pressure. “I will concentrate on the paper, so the stress should not be too overwhelming.” While this year’s DSE exams do not have specific COVID-19 restrictions, another student, Chan, still chose to wear a mask. Chan stated that she is accustomed to wearing masks and expressed concerns about falling ill, which could potentially affect future exams.