Source: South China Morning Post

Most teenagers in the final year of secondary school in Hong Kong have never used a radio before – and it is leaving them potentially tuned out ahead of some important exams.

Youth New World group, a non-profit organisation that serves students and teenagers from low-income families, interviewed 939 candidates sitting for their Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education from March to May.

It found nearly 60 per cent had never used a radio, and more than 50 per cent feared unfamiliarity with radios would lead to problems during the listening parts of their university entrance exam.

The group urged the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority to stop using radios for the Chinese and English language papers, and replace them with a more updated version.

“Even though the school will allow us time before the listening part to familiarise ourselves with the radio, I still don’t think that can ease my concern,” Circle Wai Ka-yuen, 17, said.

“I don’t usually listen to the radio so I am unaware of how it works. This is a technical matter and not the test takers’ problem, so it’s kind of unfair.”

The students are also more likely to choose a more expensive radio, Wai said, believing cost would equate to quality.

“I don’t know how to differentiate the models when picking one for the exam. The prices range from HK$20 to HK$300, but of course we wouldn’t get a cheap one and risk not having it work properly,” she said.

The study also found only 21.9 per cent of students were aware of the penalty if the radio batteries ran out, or if they forgot their headphones.