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2016 Tryout Study (Primary 3)

Support Measures

A series of support measures has been provided for schools participating in the 2016 Tryout Study (Primary 3).  Schools could join according to their needs.  The support measures include:

  1. organising seminars and providing on-site services for participating schools to enhance their capacity of deploying assessment strategies, designing assessment tasks and questions, and making use of TSA data to provide feedback to learning and teaching;
  2. giving priority to access school-based support services in 2016/17 to participating schools that wish to incorporate experience gained from the tryout study in the development of their school-based curriculum;
  3. engaging participating schools in joint research and development projects conducted by tertiary institutions on developing teaching and assessment materials as well as designing learning activities; and
  4. co-organising education seminars for parents with participating schools to promote understanding of assessment literacy.



Comparison of the “New” and “Old” Versions of TSA 


“Old” Version of TSA

“New” Version of TSA 

1. Assessment papers and question design

  • Individual questions are relatively difficult, not serving the purpose of assessing Basic Competencies
  • More texts have to be completed in the reading assessment
  • Overall speaking, the questions are “easier” than before, aligning with the requirements of Basic Competencies of Primary 3 students
  • The number of texts in the reading assessment is reduced (from three to two for the Chinese Language assessment; and from four to three for the English Language assessment)

2. School reports

  • Only one type of report is made available
  • Four types of reports are made available, which provide detailed information on item analysis for adjusting teaching arrangements 
  • Schools may, in the light of school context and on a subject basis, choose one or more types of reports (with detailed analysis for provision of feedback to learning and teaching/with or without territory-wide data)
  • Teachers’ workload of analysing TSA data can be lightened

3. Professional support measures

  • Workshops and seminars, school-based support, talks for parents, etc.
  • The aim is to deepen schools’ understanding of how to use data in the assessment reports and integrate them with internal assessment data to develop and enhance school-based curriculum planning and learning activities to provide feedback to learning and teaching, and formulate relevant follow-up measures having regard to the learning difficulties encountered by students
  • The measures include conducting intensive workshops on better use of assessment strategies and enhancement of learning and teaching, providing on-site services, developing teaching and assessment materials in collaboration with tertiary institutions, and co-organising parent education activities with schools

4. A questionnaire survey on students’ learning attitude and motivation

  • Not available
  • This is a new initiative to collect students’ non-academic data (e.g. time spent on extra-curricular activities, learning interests and motivation, etc.) with a view to providing schools with more information to gain a better understanding of the factors affecting learning performance and to provide further assistance for student learning

Other Recommendations Made in the Committee’s Report:

Removing stakes

  • Internal communication within EDB should be strengthened and clear guidelines should be set out on the use of TSA data.
  • TSA has been removed from “Key Performance Measures” for primary schools since 2014 to alleviate schools’ concerns about the stakes involved in the use of assessment data.

Enhancing co-operation and communication among various sectors

  • A framework to encourage participation of various sectors has been introduced, which highlights the principles, strategies and respective roles of participation.  It is hoped that through concerted efforts of all sectors, we can gather strength to serve the function of “assessment for learning”, so as to benefit students by enhancing learning and teaching.
  • Close communication with various stakeholders should be maintained on an ongoing basis to gather views and suggestions to serve as reference for the development of TSA.

Administrative Arrangements for TSA:


  • TSA can provide data at the system and school levels. If conducted on a sampling basis, TSA can only provide data at the system level, while its function of providing feedback at the school level will be lost, since the number of participants in each school is insufficient to prepare reports at the school level with reference value.

In alternate years or every three years

  • If TSA is conducted in alternate years or after a longer period of time, schools can only obtain feedback data in alternate years or after a longer period of time. Schools will not be able to address the issues by reviewing curriculum planning and adjusting learning and teaching in a timely manner.

On an anonymous basis

  • If TSA is conducted on an anonymous basis, it can only provide data at the system level, not capable of serving the function of providing feedback at the school level.
Last revision date: 20 March 2018
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