Private tutorial schools in Hong Kong: An examination of the perceptions of public examination re-takers

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This article reports a case study of students attending a fee-paying private tutorial school in Hong Kong in 2009–2010. They were retaking the Year 11 English language public examination, attempting to improve grades obtained in 2008–2009. The mainly qualitative study extends an earlier quantitative study (Coniam Recent developments in English language education and assessment: Hong Kong and mainland China. Springer, New York, in press) that investigated improvements in examination retake results by a sample of 200 students. Via a purposive sample of 17 semi-structured interviews with participants from the previous study, taught by the same teacher, the current study investigates the educational and assessment perspectives of student examination re-takers. Respondents were positive about various aspects of their tutorial school and commented favourably on their experiences compared with those at previously attended government-supported schools. They were positive about the greater freedom experienced in the tutorial school over non-compulsory attendance and flexible lesson scheduling. In addition, they valued the examination-oriented teaching in the tutorial school. Contradictorily, however, overall, students appear to prefer to study at a government-supported school. Copyright © 2013 De La Salle University.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-388
JournalThe Asia-Pacific Education Researcher
Issue number3
Early online dateAug 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014



Coniam, D. (2014). Private tutorial schools in Hong Kong: An examination of the perceptions of public examination re-takers. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 23(3), 379-388.


  • Private tutorial schools
  • Examination re-takers
  • English language
  • Hong Kong