DSE English – Paper 1 Exam Analysis

Reading Passages Sorted by Year, Theme & Text Type

YearPartTheme (Text type)
Sample PaperPart AHong Kong in 2047 (opinion piece published in SCMP)
Sample PaperPart B1Hong Kong: past and present (comments in an online forum)
Sample PaperPart B21. Childhood friend (poem by a Scottish poet)
2. Boys in education (newspaper article published in Otago Daily Times, NZ)
Practice PaperPart AKeeping large animals in aquariums and zoos (newspaper article published in SCMP)
Practice PaperPart B11. Dog attack (newspaper article published in Toronto Sun, CDN)
2. Waste reduction and recycling (preface of a guide published in the US)
3. Waste reduction tips (list from the same source)
Practice PaperPart B21. Unlicensed rubbish collectors in China (newspaper article published in Financial Times, UK)
2. A dog and a wolf (novel excerpt from an American novelist)
2012Part ABoard games (feature article published in The Nation, TH)
2012Part B1Campaign about climate change (feature article published in VOA, US)
2012Part B21. Tiger mother (book review published in Booklist, US)
2. Tiger mother (online newspaper article published in The Daily Beast, US)
2013Part ATerra-cotta warriors (magazine article published in National Geographic, US)
2013Part B11. Guzheng (newspaper article published in SCMP)
2. Social networking websites (newspaper article published in SCMP)
2013Part B2Dystopian literature (magazine article published in The New Yorker, US)
2014Part ARobot (short story by an American writer)
2014Part B11. Love letters (opinion piece published in The Guardian, UK)
2. Love letters (same opinion piece)
2014Part B2Celebrity (autobiography excerpt by Stephen Fry)
2015Part A1. Korean culture (newspaper article published in SCMP)
2. Korean culture (newspaper article published in The Wall Street Journal, US)
2015Part B11. Car accident (Sample witness statement available online)
2. Driverless cars (newspaper article published in The Washington Post, US)
2015Part B2Liberal education in the US (opinion piece published in The New York Times, US)
2016Part A1. Superstitions (unknown list)
2. Superstitions(book excerpt by a British professor)
2016Part B1Food truck (unknown introduction; newspaper article published in The Standard; three letters to the editor published in SCMP)
2016Part B2Food truck (newspaper article published in Forbes, US; newspaper article published in The Economist, US)
2017Part ARecycling (newspaper article published in The New York Times, US)
2017Part B11. Millennials (webpage published by Goldman Sachs, US)
2. Millennials (magazine article published by Marie Clarie, UK)
2017Part B2Millennials (journal article published by an American professor)
2018Part A1. Tutors for learning musical instruments (unknown job advertisements, possibly from this site)
2. Music and concentration (newspaper article published in The Guardian, UK)
2018Part B11. Bee stings (article published by a pest control company)
2. Hong Kong’s Beekeeper (feature article published by TreeHugger, US; feature article published by Assemble Papers, AU)
2018Part B21. Hand pollination (newspaper article published by NPR, US)
2. Honey collecting (book excerpt from a British food writer)
2019Part AMessiness (magazine article published by Talent Economy, US)
2019Part B11. Library activities (webpage published by Hong Kong Public Libraries)
2. Reading culture in Hong Kong (newspaper article published in SCMP)
3. Reading culture in Hong Kong (letter to the editor published in SCMP)
2019Part B21. Rebellious youth (autobiography excerpt by Clive James)
2020Part ATai Kwun (feature article published in Zolima City Mag)
2020Part B11. Kite flying (brochure purbished by American Kitefliers Association)
2. Kite-flying culture in Hong Kong (feature article published in Varsity CUHK)
2020Part B2Agony uncle (feature article published by The Telegraph, UK; advice column published by The Telegraph, UK)
2021Part A1. Healthy fast food (restaurant review published by Viva, NZ)
2. The struggling major food companies (feature article published by Fortune, US)
3. A sustainable resort (unknown newsletter)
2021Part B11. Housing estate (unknown online forum discussion)
2. Plants (unknown flyer)
2021Part B21. Apollo 11 (unknown short text)
2. Terraforming Mars (feature article published by HowStuffWorks, US)
3. Ethics related to space exploration (journal article published in Human Ecology Review, US)
Part AThe dying traditional comic industry in Hong Kong (feature article published by Coconuts, Hong Kong)
Part B11. Job advertisements (unknown advertisements)
2. 'Slasher' (feature article published by The Guardian, UK)
Part B2Ethical concerns of using AI in decision-making (feature article published by The Harvard Gazette, US)

Articles / Letters to the Editor

Place of publicationSourceYear & Part
Hong KongSCMPSP_A; PP_A; 13_B1; 15_A; 16_B1; 19_B1
Hong KongThe Standard16_B1
Hong KongZolima City Mag20_A
Hong KongVarsity CUHK20_B1
Hong Kong
New ZealandOtago Daily TimesSP_B2
CanadaToronto SunPP_B1
ThailandThe Nation12_A
United StatesVOA12_B1
United StatesBooklist12_B2
United StatesThe Daily Beast12_B2
United StatesNational Geographic13_A
United StatesThe New Yorker13_B2
United StatesThe Wall Street Journal15_A
United StatesThe Washington Post15_B1
United StatesThe New York Times15_B2; 17_A
United StatesThe Forbes16_B2
United StatesThe Economist16_B2
United StatesGoldman Sachs17_B1
United StatesTree Hugger18_B1
United StatesNPR18_B2
United StatesTalent Economy19_A
United StatesFortune21_A
United StatesHowStuffWorks21_B2
United States
The Harvard Gazette
United KingdomThe Guardian14_B1; 18_A; 22_B1
United KingdomMarie Clarie17_B1
United KingdomRentokil18_B1
United KingdomThe Telegraph20_B2
AustraliaAssemble Papers18_B1

Other text types

Text typePlace of publicationYear & Part
Online forum postsunknownSP_B1
PoemUnited KingdomSP_B2
GuideUnited StatesPP_B1
NovelUnited StatesPP_B2
Short storyUnites States14_A
AutobiographyUnited Kingdom14_B2, 19_B2
Witness statementAustralia15_B1
Academic bookUnited Kingdom16_A
Powerpoint slides (originally webpage)United States17_B1
Journal articleUnited States17_B2, 21_B2
Job advertisementunknown18_A; 22_B1
BookUnited Kingdom18_B2
WebpageHong Kong19_B1
BrochureUnited States20_B1
Advice columnUnited Kingdom20_B2
Restaurant reviewNew Zealand21_A