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English Exam Prep

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Exam prep


Advanced Placement (AP) is a program in the United States and Canada created by the College Board which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. Students can tailor their AP courses based on their strengths and interests to make them more competitive for university applications.


American colleges and universities may grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations (usually for scores of 4+). There are currently 38 courses and exams available through the AP Program. The AP exams begin on the first Monday in May and last ten school days (two weeks).

AP tests are scored on a 1 to 5 scale as follows:

5 – Extremely well qualified
4 – Well qualified
3 – Qualified
2 – Possibly qualified
1 – No recommendation

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The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a two-year educational programme primarily aimed at 16 to 18 year olds. The programme, developed in the early to mid-1960,  provides an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education and is recognized by many universities worldwide. 

 In order to participate, students must attend an IB school. IBDP students complete assessments in six subjects, one from each subject group, and three core requirements. Students are evaluated using both internal and external assessments, and courses finish with an externally assessed series of examinations, usually consisting of two or three timed written tests. Internal assessments vary by subject: there may be oral presentations, practical work, or written work.

Students who pursue the IB diploma must take six subjects: one each from Groups 1–5, and either one from Group 6 or a permitted substitute from one of the other groups.Three or four subjects must be taken at Higher level (HL) and the rest at Standard level (SL)



Points are awarded from 1 to 7, with 7 being equal to A*, 6 equal to A, and so on. Up to three additional points are awarded depending on the grades achieved in the extended essay and theory of knowledge, so the maximum possible point total in the IBDP is 45. In order to receive an IB diploma, candidates must receive a minimum of 24 points or an average of four (or C) out of a possible seven points for six subjects.

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Please call 2388-1677 (for Kowloon) / 2833-6728 (for HK Island) or submit an online enquiry form for more details.


Test of English as a Foreign Language® (TOEFL) is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities. TOEFL is one of the two major English-language tests in the world, the other being the IELTS.


TOEFL is the standard language proficiency exam for those who wish to study or work in the US. 

The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring one of the basic language skills (while some tasks require integrating multiple skills), and all tasks focus on language used in an academic, higher-education environment. Note-taking is allowed during the TOEFL iBT test. The test cannot be taken more than once every 12 days.

TOEFL exam format
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The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is an admission test administered in the United States for students in grades 3–11 to provide a standardised measure that will help independent or private elementary, middle, and high schools to make decisions regarding student admission. The ISEE (see below) can be seen as a parallel to the SSAT.

There are three levels of the SSAT:

  • Elementary Level (EL), for students in grades 3 and 4 who are applying to grades 4 and 5;

  • Middle Level, for students in grades 5–7 applying for grades 6–8;  

  • Upper Level, designed for students in grades 8–11 who are applying for grades 9–12 (or PG{Post-Graduate year before college}).


The SSAT consists of a brief unscored writing sample and multiple choice sections that include quantitative (mathematics), reading comprehension, and verbal questions. It emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are essential for academic success.


The Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) is an entrance exam used by many independent schools and magnet schools in the United States.


The ISEE has four levels:

  1. Primary level, for entrance to grades 2–4;

  2. Lower level, for entrance in grades 5–6;

  3. Middle level, for entrance in grades 7–8;

  4. Upper level, for entrance in grades 9–12.


All levels consist of five sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement, and a 30-minute essay.

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Please call 2388-1677 (for Kowloon) / 2833-6728 (for HK Island) or submit an online enquiry form for more details.


The SAT is one of two standardised tests you can sit in order to apply to US universities. The alternative exam is called the ACT but it isn’t quite as popular.

In 2016, the SAT got a facelift. The new SAT exam consists of four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math with calculator, and Math no calculator. There’s also an optional essay section.

All of the sections (minus the essay) are multiple choice and each section features at least one graph or table.



A good SAT score depends on which university you wish to attend.

Most top universities, such as the Ivy Leagues, look for students whose scores range between 1410 and 1600, out of the maximum 1600.

Keep in mind that US universities place a lot of emphasis on other application factors, such as extracurricular activities, so a perfect score won’t necessarily get you in (but it does help!). Additionally, not all universities have such high average SAT scores.



The ACT is much tighter on time, which makes it harder to complete all the questions.

Some people work well under such strict time constraints while others struggle.

There’s no harm in taking both exams once, seeing which you prefer, and then retaking that exam. Or, simply sit a few practice exams to figure out which exam is best for you.

Most universities don’t prefer one exam over the other, so it’s best to sit the one that plays to your strengths.

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The A Level (Advanced Level) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualification to students completing secondary or pre-university education. Obtaining an A Level, or equivalent qualifications, is generally required for university entrance, with universities granting offers based on grades achieved

A number of countries, including Singapore, Kenya, Mauritius and Zimbabwe have developed qualifications with the same name as and a similar format to the British A Levels.

A Levels are generally worked towards over two years. Normally, students take between 3 and 5 A Levels in their first year of sixth form, and most cut back to 3 in their second year because university offers are normally based on 3 A Levels.


Unlike other level 3 qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate, A Levels have no specific subject requirements, so students have the opportunity to combine any subjects they wish to take. However, students normally pick their courses based on the degree they wish to pursue at university: most degrees require specific A Levels for entry, such as A Level Mathematics for a Mathematics degree.

The British A-level qualifications such as GCE A-level and International A-level are widely accepted in Hong Kong as an alternative to the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) for both admission and employment purposes. It is one of the most popular qualifications used for university admission via the non-JUPAS channel.

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Please call 2388-1677 (for Kowloon) / 2833-6728 (for HK Island) or submit an online enquiry form for more details.


The International General Certificate of Secondary Education is an academic qualification similar to GCSE and is recognized in the UK as being equivalent to the GCSE or the purposes of recognizing prior attainment. Most Students begin learning the syllabus at the beginning of Year 10 (Grade 9) and take the test at the end of Year 11 (Grade 10). 

The qualifications are based on individual subjects of study, which means that one receives an "IGCSE" qualification for each subject one takes. Typical "core" subjects for IGCSE candidates include a First Language, Second Language, Mathematics and one or more subjects in the Sciences.

They can be completely exam-based, like exams that test knowledge in individual subjects in the same way as Advanced Placement exams and SAT Subject Tests.

It is recognised by academic institutions and employers around the world and is considered by many institutions as equivalent to the standard GCSE.Many students finishing the IGCSE move on to post-16 study, in preparation for exams such as the A-Levels.[8] or international baccalaureate. 

Its academic worth is comparable to many secondary school curricula worldwide, such as England's GCSE, the North American GED or high school diploma, Hong Kong's HKCEE, Singapore's O-Level and the Indian CBSE or ICSE courses.

In Hong Kong the IGCSE exam is widely used in international schools as an alternative to the DSE exam which is offered in all local schools. Students in Hong Kong can take the Cambridge exam board as well as the Edexcel exam board, either at their school or registering through the Hong Kong Education Bureau as individual candidates. 

​The Cambridge examination board offers an ICE (International Certificate of Education) group qualification for candidates who achieve 7 subject passes A*-C across the following groups:

Group I: Languages
Group II: Humanities and Social Sciences
Group III: Sciences
Group IV: Mathematics
Group V: Creative, Technical and Vocational 

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education has the same grading as GCSE.

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Please call 2388-1677 (for Kowloon) / 2833-6728 (for HK Island) or submit an online enquiry form for more details.


IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the world's most popular English Language test and is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organisations across the world.

Taking IELTS opens doors – it can help you live, study and work around the world. More than 10,000 organisations worldwide accept IELTS, including government, academic and employment institutions. In fact, IELTS is the only English Language test accepted for immigration purposes by all countries that require one.

The IELTS test is designed to help you use English in your new life abroad. It effectively assesses all of your English skills, including listening, reading, writing and speaking.

The four parts of the IELTS test:

  • Listening: 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes' transfer time)

  • Reading: 60 minutes

  • Writing: 60 minutes

  • Speaking: 11–14 minutes

The test total time is: 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Listening, Reading and Writing are completed in one sitting. The Speaking test may be taken on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.

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Please call 2388-1677 (for Kowloon) / 2833-6728 (for HK Island) or submit an online enquiry form for more details.


The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE; Chinese: 香港中學文憑) is Hong Kong's university entrance examination, administered at the completion of a three-year senior secondary education. Since the implementation of the New Senior Secondary academic structure in 2012, HKDSE serves as replacement for the previous Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (O Levels) and Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination.

Students are required to study four compulsory "core subjects":

  • Chinese

  • English languages 

  • Mathematics

  • Liberal studies

  • In addition to these four, students must choose one to four "elective subjects" of 20 options available.

Prepare your child for the NEW HKDSE English Language exam. We are currently accepting F4, F5 & F6 students and all materials are supplied.

Our course consists of: 

  • Reading

  • Writing

  • Oral: Group and Individual Discussion

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Please call 2388-1677 (for Kowloon) / 2833-6728 (for HK Island) or submit an online enquiry form for more details.

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