2021 DSE English Writing Question 4 (Sample)

Dear Human Resources Manager,

Application for the position of Assistant Coach

I am writing in response to your recent advertisement about the position of Assistant Coach at Hong Kong Sports Foundation. Having been a professional swimmer for over twenty years, I would like to make a career change and become a professional coach. I believe that my solid athletic experience would make me a strong candidate for the position.

Since I was 11 years old, I have trained under the famous and successful swimming coach Michael Chan. I receive intensive morning and afternoon training every weekday and spend hours on workouts every weekend. I mainly practise freestyle and breaststroke.  Since high school, I have participated in many open swimming competitions held by local, regional and international sports organizations including Hong Kong Sports Foundation. At the age of 18, it is the first time I have taken part in Asian Swimming Championships where I have won a silver medal in women’s 50m freestyle event and earned a fourth place in women’s 100m breaststroke event. In the following years, I compete in various World Championships where I have won several awards such as a bronze medal in both women’s 50m freestyle and breaststroke. In 2016 Olympic Games, I have got a fourth place in women’s 50m freestyle final.

Throughout all these years, having participated in numerous international sporting competitions and contests, I am very well aware of how to organize world-class sporting events such as bidding world events, identifying appropriate venues, providing hospitality to sponsors, coordinating different participating parties and governing bodies, communicating with the press, arranging accommodation and transportation for participants and so on. Given the exposure and experience, I believe I can help deliver smooth and successful international sporting events.

As a competent and well-trained professional swimmer, I understand that a high-quality training programme is necessary for developing future elite athletes. In additional to regular and disciplined physical training, mental and psychological preparation play a very important part in enhancing the performance of the athletes and taking them to the elite level. Not to mention the harsh and tough daily athletic training, the athletes are under tremendous pressure in the preparation for, in the anticipation of and in the participation in various contests. They need consolation to relieve their stress. Besides, on becoming an elite athlete, the athletes have to face countless failure, struggles and frustration. They need constant motivation and encouragement to build their confidence and resilience to enable them to strive for excellence and outperform their contestants. Therefore, I believe that I can help design training programmes suited to the needs of the elite athletes.

Having accumulated sufficient professional athletic experience, I have developed passion for raising and supporting the next generation elite athletes. In fact, there are many athletic talents in Hong Kong waiting to be discovered. The 2021 Olympics gold medalist Cheung Ka Long in fencing and silver medalist Ho Sze Pui in swimming are the good examples. I would be very happy to help seek out Hong Kong young people with right physical and mental attributes and lead them on to the journey of a professional athlete. 

I enclose my resume that details my background and experience and how they relate to the position.  I would appreciate if I could be given an interview to discuss further. I can be reached at 9292 9393. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Yours faithfully,

Sara Tse

2021 DSE English Writing Question 5 (Sample)

5. Learning English through Debating

A social media influencer is a person who is paid by a company to promote goods and services through their social media networks. Surveys show that a majority of millennials trust the advice of social media influencer over a traditional media advertisements. Write an argumentative essay. 

  • Discuss whether social media influencers are more trustworthy than traditional media advertisements. 
  • Give reasons to support your point of view.

Social Media Influencer More Preferable

Thanks to the technological advancement, social media has become indispensable in our modern life. It helps connect people around the world and influences what information they share and receive and thus their thoughts and behaviours. Due to the powerful influence of social media, some industry experts choose to promote and sell specific goods and services through their social media networks. Because of their professional knowledge and insights, their opinions greatly affect their followers’ purchase decision and behaviour. Therefore, some of them have become social media influencers. According to a recent survey, a majority of millennials trust the advice of social media influencers over traditional media advertisements. In my opinion, this phenomenon is justifiable. The following arguments will explain the reasons why social media influencers are more trustworthy than traditional media advertisements.

In the first place, social media influencers are more trustworthy than traditional media advertisements because they demonstrate professional knowledge over the goods and services they choose to promote to their target customers. Most of them have achieved professional insights and accumulated solid experience in their own industry. They are willing to share and communicate with their audience their expertise and professional opinion in respect of certain goods and services. As a result, they have gained trust and confidence from their followers. For example, Gloria Tsang, an experienced nutritionist and dietician, has gained widespread credibility from her numerous Facebook and Instagram followers by sharing her professional opinion on how to keep fit through healthy eating and how to choose healthy food through reading nutrition labels. Gloria’s choice of and recommendation on certain brands of food is highly respected and adopted by her audience. On the contrary, traditional media advertisements, usually in the form of celebrity endorsement, are less persuasive because they only rely on the positive image and popularity of the celebrities to attract customers’ attention and to raise the awareness of and the status of the goods and services promoted. The celebrities are not necessarily experts in the products and services promoted. Therefore, social media influencers are more trustworthy.

Second, social media influencers have a more authentic relationship with their target customers than traditional media advertisements. In order to maintain trust and credibility among their followers, social media influencers tend to promote good and services which they have used and preferred by themselves. Social media influencers will not risk losing their hard-won long-term credibility by selling poorly-performing products and services in favour of short-term interests. However, traditional media advertisements in general lack sincerity and authenticity because it is uncertain whether the celebrities actually use or prefer the products and services they endorse. 

Lastly, social media influencers are more transparent than traditional media advertisements. The former has a two-way communication with their audience while the latter is only a one-way communication. As social media users can leave their comments and reviews on the products and services recommended by the social media influencers, in order to avoid any misunderstandings and doubts about their credibility, social media influencers usually actively engage and interact with their target audience. The two-way communication deepens the trust between the social media influencers and their followers which traditional media advertisements can never achieve.

In short, compared to traditional media advertisements, social media influencers are more trustworthy in terms of their professionalism, integrity, sincerity and transparency.



I used to hate spring when I was small

because the weather is precarious

I would doubt the law of nature that

brings rain at the beginning of the new year.

Mum used to say

every beginning starts with hard work and hardship

So spring always feels like a bad omen.

Now spring has come again

It brings rain to our dry land

Fogs and drizzles cloud the sight afar

That we can’t see much ahead;

But while l am listening to the raindrops falling

The dripping is like music to our ears

dancing on the ground

Sitting on my armchair

I help myself a cup of hot coffee

The sweetness and sourness ferment and melt in my mouth.

The moment reveals that

we can still enjoy small joys in the midst of hardship

That sustains and carries us through to

the end of the year.

At the age of thirty-nine,

I really like spring.

2021 DSE English Writing Question 7 (Sample)

7. Learning English through Short Stories

You are joining a short story contest organized by a book shop.

  • Write a scary story about a security guard on duty one night,
  • Use the pictures to help you write your story. You can use the pictures in any order.

An Unforgettable Death

Five years before Bob’s retirement, financial crisis broke out and hit the economy very hard. Bob was sacked by his company where he had worked for his whole life. He was devastated because he still had to pay for the rent of his flat and the university tuition fees of his only son. While the job market was very bleak, to his surprise, Bob saw a job advertisement in the newspaper. It read, “A Brave Security Guard Wanted. Guaranteed Good Pay”. Without doubt, Bob immediately applied for the job and had a telephone interview with the security manager. “Do you mind working night shift?” The manager inquired. “No, indeed. Not at all.” Bob replied firmly. “That’s great. You got the job. If anything does happen, just take it easy.” Bob was very grateful.

On his first day of work, Bob found out that it was a top rank high-rise office building that he had to report duty as a security guard. To his amazement, the building had the state-of-the-art security system to detect any unauthorized intrusion and monitor all the entry and exit. The job looked easy and it seemed that the only drawback was that Bob had to do the night shift. At midnight, Bob checked the record system and was pleased that everyone in the building had checked out and left. As soon as Bob started to patrol the building to make sure that he was right, he saw a lady-like shadow walking slowly in the corridor on the 11th floor on the CCTV monitor screen. Suddenly, the alarm bell on the 11th floor set off. Bob immediately went to see what happened. 

When he reached the 11th floor, the alarm bell stopped ringing. It was completely silent. But the office light was going on and off. Bob unlocked the office entrance and entered. Upon entry, he felt a cold breeze blowing against his cheek. He turned left into the office area and saw a long hair lady in a red dress typing very fast with her back to Bob. Bob cleared his throat and said, “Excuse me, Madam, are you the employee of this company?” “Yes.” The lady answered, typing even faster. “Sorry. I would like to have an identity check. Could you show me your company pass?” Bob asked. The lady slowly turned her head around. She did not have five sense organs and her face was covered with dripping blood. Bob let out a cry and fainted. 

The next morning, Bob’s manager came to wake him up. “How are you? Are you alright?” Bob came to his consciousness and screamed. “What happened?” The manager asked with a grin. Bob was so scared that he immediately quit his job.

When Bob arrived home, he went online and searched for the old news about the office building. About a decade ago, a top university student who freshly graduated with distinction worked there for one of the most famous marketing company. Six months later, she jumped to her death from this building. She had left a suicide note and revealed that she committed suicide because of overworking and insistent mental abuse by her manager. Back then, she was only a 21-year-old orphan.