Why students feel tired:

Possible factors/reasons:

  • Most students who feel tired at school tend to sleep very late at night. Thus, they are deprived of sleep.


1. They play video games using computers, phones or game consoles overnight. Some may even play games until they have to go to school in the morning.

2. They spend too much time on leisure/extra-curricular activities after school, including sport, leaving little time each day to do assignments. As a result, they have to stay up late/burn the midnight oil to finish their homework.

3. Burden of schoolwork: They have too many assignments that require a lot of time and effort.

4. Burden of competitions: Students may be joining too many contests and competitions, which add to their burden of homework.

5. Responsibilities at school: They may have leading posts of clubs at school. Therefore, they need to spend a lot of time on the preparation work of activities.

Whether or not a 9.00 am start will solve the problem:

Case 1: No.

These students obsessed with video games will probably only play more, especially for those who allocate almost all their time for sleep to play games.

Case 2: Yes.

Extra-curricular activities only last a few hours. If students do sport for longer periods of time, they will suffer from muscle fatigue and start to feel pain as too much lactate is produced and accumulated. Therefore, there is little chance students who actively take part in extra-curricular activities and who have a passion for sports, will spend more time on them. This means they won’t have to stay up late doing homework.

Case 3: Yes.

A postponed start to the school day means they have more time to finish their assignments. They may no longer need to burn the midnight oil.

Case 4: Yes/No

Yes: A postponed start to the school day means they have more time to finish their assignments. They may no longer need to burn the midnight oil.

No: They will only spend more time preparing for the competitions, leaving little time for rest.

Case 5: Yes

A postponed start to the school day means they have more time to finish their assignments. They may no longer need to burn the midnight oil.

  • Key tips

Structure of the letter to the editor:

Dear Editor,

I would like to express my agreement/disagreement to the suggestion/point of view expressed in a recent article in the Young Post that an 8:00 am start to the school day makes students tired and sleepy.

(If you are in favour of the suggestion)The reason why students feel tired at school must be clarified. ...

Therefore, I strongly believe an 8:00 am start to the school day is/is not the major cause of the fatigue of students.

Yours sincerely, (DO NOT USE “Yours faithfully”!)

Chris Wong

Related topic(s): Letter to the editor

Part B

4. Learning English through Social Issues

Reasons for the phenomenon (Any TWO)

  • The places of tertiary education/university places are fairly limited. Students attaining a grade that is not as good as others in the HKDSE may not be able to enter local universities. They have no choice but to go overseas to continue their studies.
  • Students have DSE results that fall short of their own expectations. They fail to get into the subjects they prefer. In pursuit of their favourite fields of knowledge, they study overseas.
  • The range of subjects in the universities in Hong Kong is not as diverse as in other countries such as Australia and the USA. For instance, Australian counterparts (universities) offer aviation programmes, which none of the universities in HK provide.
  • Students may want to have a real experience of life overseas and know more about different cultures.

Impact on local schools and on children leaving to study overseas

On local schools

  • Local universities may lose some elite students who prefer to study overseas because local universities do not offer programmes they are passionate about or because of their interest in different cultures
  • Local universities, in view of their fields of weakness when compared with universities in other countries, will improve by providing more diverse courses and programmes for local students to choose.

On children who leave to study overseas

  • They will have the chance to learn about different cultures, meet different peoples, and brush up their language skills. For example, their English levels will improve drastically when they go to English-speaking nations
  • They can learn to be more independent. They cannot rely on their parents and relatives but they have to learn to live on their own.
  • They will have better interpersonal skills as they get to live with different people.
  • They will learn to respect different cultures and customs

Key tips

Genre: article (for school magazine)

Register: semi-formal


Introduction (around 50 words):

Nowadays, it is a common phenomenon in Hong Kong that parents send their children overseas to complete their schooling. Perhaps some of your parents also want you to study overseas. So what is the impact of this phenomenon on local schools and on children studying outside Hong Kong?

Body Paragraphs

(~100words each paragraph, the first two paragraphs on two reasons, 1 para on impact on local schools, 1 para on children leaving to study overseas)

Use topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph to bring out the controlling idea (the main idea).

For example:

One reason for this phenomenon is _____________.

Another reason is that _____________________.

For local schools, a possible impact is _______.

For those children who study overseas, they may/will ____________.

Ending paragraph (around 50 words)

These are the reasons why we see so many parents, perhaps including yours, hope to have their children study outside Hong Kong. The impact is far-reaching. Not only can children learn to be independent, local schools will have the incentive to improve to keep up with the top-notch universities overseas as well.

Total: 400-600 words


Genre: formal letter

Register: formal (keep the use of phrasal verbs to the least)

Aim: to suggest 2 activities for language arts festival+Reasons


Dear Sir/Madam

I would like to put forward two interesting activities for the language arts festival during the summer break.

The first activity is ____________.

The second activity is ____________.

I sincerely hope that my suggestions would help. Thank you very much for your consideration.

Yours faithfully

Chris Wong

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