The Society offers a suite of professional examinations in statistics: details are given below, and further information and application forms can be downloaded from this site. Alternatively, contact the Examination Office at
Hong Kong Statistical Society Examination Office
c/o HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education
There are three sequential levels to the Society's Examination.
- The ordinary certificate is offered in a modular form consisting of two modules which may be taken singly or together. Each module is examined by a 3-hour written paper. The modules are available in both English and Chinese. Each module is separately certificated. The ordinary certificate as a whole is awarded on successful completion of both modules; the "shelf life" of modules leading to this certificate is unlimited.
- The higher certificate contains work into the first year of a typical university course in statistics. Indeed, some of the topics in the higher certificate might well be found in the second year of a university course.
The higher certificate is offered in a modular form. It consists of 8 modules. Each module is examined by a 1.5-hour paper. Candidates who are successful in six modules including modules 1 to 4 plus 2 more modules from modules 5 to 8 (not necessarily all in the same session) will be awarded the higher certificate. Paper for each module will be available in both English and Chinese.
- The graduate diploma is equivalent to a good university degree in statistics and is accepted by universities in Hong Kong as meeting the entry requirements to Masters degree programmes.
The graduate diploma is offered in a modular form. It consists of five modules. Candidates may enter for any number of modules, either singly or in any combination, in any examination session. Candidates may re-sit any module any number of times; the highest mark achieved will stand. Module marks are "banked" without time limitation.
Each module is examined by a 3-hour written paper containing eight questions of which candidates are asked to answer five. Candidates who are successful in all five modules (not necessarily all in the same session) will be awarded the graduate diploma in statistics.
Transitional arrangements are available for candidates who have successfully completed part of the previous non-modular (or "traditional") version of the Graduate Diploma which was offered for the last time in 2009, so that they may transfer to the modular version in 2010 but with credit given for work already completed. Any such candidates should contact the Society for advice.
Candidates who successfully complete the graduate diploma are eligible to apply for the Society's professional status of graduate statistician.
As from the 2011 round of examination, there are no formal entry requirements for any of the levels of the examinations. In particular, candidates wishing to sit in the graduate diploma examinations are no longer required to pass modules 1 to 6 of the higher certificate, nor obtain prior exemption from the Society. Yet, to facilitate candidates in deciding the appropriate level of examinations to be taken, the Society will continue to offer the services of academic assessment.
Besides, academic assessment services also continue to be available for candidates who wish to obtain exemption of some modules of the examination. As from the 2011 round of examination, candidates who has exemption for some modules at a certain level and pass the other papers in that level will be awarded only an overall Pass for that level of examination. If candidates want to get a credit or distinction for a certain level of examination, they must achieve this by taking the examination at that level in full.
The examinations are held once each year, in May. They take place in an examination centre in Hong Kong administered by the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority according to the instructions given by HKSS.
The statistical professional examination in Hong Kong was previously held by the Royal Statistical Society, which has been and is still holding the examination in UK and many other places around the world. In August 2001, agreement was reached between the HKSS and RSS that as from the May 2002 round of the examination, the HKSS would take over the examination which the RSS had been holding in Hong Kong. A Joint Announcement on this was issued by the Societies in end September 2001, details of which can be found in this website.
The HKSS examination, which has mutual recognition with the RSS examination, is a recommendable avenue for pursuing qualifications at various levels of the statistical profession. All the certificates issued by the HKSS to successful examination candidates will be endorsed by the RSS and recognised by the RSS as of a standard equivalent to certificates issued by the RSS to the same level of professional qualification. Structured in 3 stages, the examination allows flexibility in the pursuit of studies and examination-taking so that people can proceed with their individual circumstances in regard to study, work and family situations.
Candidates of the examination also include mature students seeking a further qualification in statistics or perhaps a full career change. The examinations might well be of interest to school teachers who find themselves being called on to teach statistics whereas their training was in mathematics, or even in some other subject. The higher certificate would probably be the appropriate level.
There are a number of universities and vocational institutions in Hong Kong that offer courses leading to the HKSS qualifications. Information on this can be found in the section on Relevant Courses on this website.
Candidates for the examinations might also need some support in the background mathematics, particularly for the higher certificate and graduate diploma. Some part-time University courses are useful for this.
Only Full Members, Student Members and Examination Associates are allowed to enter for the examinations of the Society. To do so, it is necessary
- to have paid the subscription for the year in which it is desired to sit examinations
- to register for the examinations that are desired to be taken
- to pay the appropriate examination fee
Full details about the examinations can be obtained from the Examination Office at the address given above.
The syllabus is issued free of charge and there is a free document "Guide to Examinations" (ExamGuide) containing all the administrative details. The syllabus, ExamGuide and other forms can be downloaded from this site. However, candidates who wish to obtain the documents by post from the Examination Office have to write to the Examination Office and pay for the postal costs involved.
Past papers and fully-detailed worked solutions are also available. These can be downloaded free from the web, or purchased for a small charge (to cover photocopying and postal costs) from the Examination Office (at the address given above). Detailed comments by the examiners are also available from 2000 onwards: the most recent report is available to view online, but please note that these reports are usually not available until several months after the year's examinations have been completed.
For a selection of books thought to be suitable for use by candidates, please refer to the suggested reading lists available in the website of Royal Statistical Society.