The outstanding PCS students and parents show you how to be admitted to famous colleges! (Students)
Release Time：2022-06-02 14:51
“Student Voice” Study-Abroad Salon Successfully Held
Student Voice (May 21): “From Ordinary to World Famous Schools” study-abroad salon with outstanding admitted students enrolled by famous colleges sharing their experiences was successfully held. 4 grade 12 PCS students with their parents were invited to participate in the activity and gave a concrete introduction as well as experience sharing regarding the college application, learning methods, standardized test preparation, activity planning, professional development, family education and international education, etc.
The following is the main content review
Full of real stuff, you don’t wanna miss it!
Q：How did you plan your studies to keep your GPA high? What experiences can you share?
Steven: GPA is the grade point average. It is a score calculated by the school combining factors such as class performance and homework performance. I think it has the most weight for applying to American universities. My experience mainly consists of the following three parts: 1. Every assignment and every examination of the subject should be done with the utmost effort, so as to achieve the standard of “the most satisfactory level of oneself”. 2. Try to complete tasks before the deadline, so as to reserve enough time to communicate with the teacher to check and fill in the gaps in the learning stage. 3. It is recommended to get as many AP scores as possible. AP courses are American college preparatory courses, and their difficulty is equivalent to the difficulty of college freshman courses. If students can obtain three or more grades in the general examination in May each year, these grades can be converted into university credits. American college admissions officers clearly want to see that students take as many AP courses as possible, so that they can show the characteristics of “daring to challenge themselves” , which helps a lot in applying for colleges.
Suri: In addition to taking each assignment and quiz seriously, since PCS implements “be inspired” teaching model, it is recommended to actively participate in the group activities in the classroom to learn from each others and gain a deeper understanding of knowledge.
Transferring from a public school to an international school will certainly face uncomfortable situations, especially in terms of language. “English Only” policy requires students to communicate in English from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. If you are caught not using English during the period, punishment will be issued accordingly: 15 minutes of communication with the foreign teacher or writing a short 300-word composition. In fact, the whole process can be a good exercise to English ability. In addition, watching American TV series can be regarded as a way to improve language with so much fun.
Q：You transferred to Pegasus from a very good public school. From your own perspective, what are the differences between the two schools?
Kevin: Choosing an international school means choosing the route to study abroad, which is why I chose Pegasus School with teachers that all from foreign countries. In the classroom, teachers will encourage students to speak actively, and often organize students to conduct group discussions. The biggest difference from public schools is that in the full English environment of Pegasus, you can quickly improve your English ability. In addition, the teachers pay special attention to the “integrity” of students. Therefore, the so-called cheating and plagiarism in Pegasus is absolutely zero tolerance, which is also in line with the basic values of American universities, which can allow us to form the value of seeking truth from facts, to improve performance through one's own efforts rather than “opportunistic thinking”.
Q：As the one admitted by the No. 1 film school in the United States with only 30 students enrolled in the world every year, how did you develop your love for movies in 4 years of high school?
Alice: Because of my love for the musical "La La Land". As a hobby, I joined the film club of the school. At that time, our art teacher, Mr. Julio, led us to learn from various clips of classic films, I was impressed by his superb painting skills, and it was the first time I really felt the unique charm of film as an art.
In addition, the two English teachers of Bogas also brought me a lot of “ideological” inspiration. Mr. Escalante's class is very active, he often discusses with us some profound contents about human nature, so in my opinion, in his class we are not simply studying literature, but more about the whole life and social issues in-depth thinking. In Mr. Matthew's class, he was able to integrate the content of literature with major historical backgrounds, involving exploration and thinking in many fields such as religion, politics, culture, and human nature, and it is also what films try to express. I'm very fortunate that I was able to meet good teachers in my high school who can influence my life.
Q：For classmates who are about to apply for universities, what are the “real stuff” learning methods and experiences in the standardization test grades?
Steven totally completed 7 APs, of which 5 were full marks and 2 were 4 points. What experience do you have with AP?
Steven: AP courses are equivalent to the difficulty of the first year of college, so it is difficult to learn, but I still recommend everyone to fight for it as soon as possible. Especially like many AP courses in science, such as physics and calculus, their knowledge system is gradual. Even if we feel that our foundation is weak, we can still try it. I believe that with our continuous in-depth understanding of knowledge points, we will form our own knowledge system and achieve good results, and the school has also prepared various AP courses for us, we can choose some to study according to our own interests and hobbies.
AP exams, especially science subjects, pay more attention to the thinking process of problem-solving rather than calculation ability, so it takes a lot of practice to establish such thinking mode, thus everyone should not wait until the last minute to prepare, and brushing questions is a good way to improve thinking proficiency.
Alice got 1500 points in SAT and 5 points in AP English. How did she do it?
Alice: I have the following points to share about the SAT test: 1. Under the background of the epidemic, most American universities do not require the submission of SAT scores. If you have enough energy, taking a competitive SAT score can add points to your college application. 2. The cost and limitations of the SAT test for Chinese people are relatively high. Currently, there are only two test centers in the mainland, Macau and Hong Kong. There are also uncertain factors such as the epidemic, so it is necessary to make adequate preparations. 3. The SAT test has a certain degree of difficulty. It is necessary to sort out the wrong questions. The difficulty of SAT reading is higher than that of TOEFL. Students need to build a large amount of English content to read and accumulate in order to be able to do it easily.
For getting full marks in AP English, my method is actually very simple, that is, listen carefully in the AP class, complete the homework carefully, and ask more questions if you don’t understand it. AP English is actually not as difficult as we imagined. As long as we keep up with the teachers’ learning rhythm, we can all get good grades.
Suri's TOEFL score is 110. What are the “tricks” for preparing for the TOEFL?
Suri: TOEFL is actually a language standard for foreigners to evaluate us “foreigners”. In many cases, TOEFL scores have become the “one-size-fits-all” entry threshold for applying to prestigious schools, and the average TOEFL score of Chinese students has also increased with the intense competition year by year.
For TOEFL preparation, the amount of words must be the cornerstone for our high scores, especially in reading and writing, which depend on the accumulation of words. At the same time, constantly brushing the questions and sorting out the wrong questions is also what we need to do. I think the best way to practice listening is to “listen carefully”, dictating sentences, and gradually increasing the speed from 1x to 3x, we will feel the qualitative improvement. For TOEFL speaking, I think the best way is to actively use the “English Only” environment at school. In fact, the least we need to worry about is the oral expression of English.
Kevin took the TOEFL and Duolingo at the same time. What are some tips for preparing for Duolingo?
Kevin: Compared with TOEFL, Duolingo has the characteristics of convenience, low cost, short time and quick result, and it also has a difficulty adaptive mechanism: the more mistakes you make, the easier it becomes. Duolingo's test preparation tips are still to memorize more words, do more test questions, and have corresponding skills for different question types. For example, reading pictures and saying words is a relatively simple question type. Accumulate more words, collect more real questions, and practice more; Looking at pictures and writing words only requires writing one or two sentences, which are usually divided into pictures with central characters/things, pictures of scenes, and pictures of groups of people. Each type has a fixed solution idea, we can just do more practice. Although many universities also recognize Duolingo's scores, I still recommend that you still take the TOEFL score, especially for famous schools, the TOEFL must have a higher priority than Duolingo.
Q：The four students have received many valuable offers, such as Washington University in St. Louis, University of California, Berkeley, USC, New York University, University of Toronto, etc., covering engineering, film, mathematics, nutrition and environment. What makes them choose their majors?
Why did you choose the most difficult engineering major to apply for?
Steven: In my opinion, engineering is a very cool profession, but there is no systematic engineering course before college. By chance, with the help of my father, I studied the control and energy-saving optimization of central air conditioning, which made me understand that engineering is a subject that uses mathematics, physics, programming and other knowledge to solve practical problems.
But what really made me decide to become an engineer was the experience of Stanford summer school in Grade 11. During this period, I learned the course "Introduction to engineering analysis". It taught me the formula that can integrate the knowledge of many fields including mechanical engineering, chemical engineering and aviation engineering to solve engineering problems. It made me understand that engineering was all inclusive and could really solve problems in real life. For me, this is more charming than simple science theory.
How did you develop the filming interest into your major?
Alice: it's really difficult to apply for the film major. At the beginning, I always wandered between the media and the film. The turning point was that in 2022, I participated in the summer school of UCLA and started shooting documentaries. The protagonist of my first documentary was a very warm sausage noodle shop in Shenzhen. I was deeply moved by the shop owner's spirit of inheriting the craft and his deep love for his children. His words were very few, and I kept shooting all the contents silently. Later, I shot two more restaurants. My third work won the global Silver Award in the American international high school media competition. This award also helped me build my confidence in film.
In the summer of 2021, I also participated in the film Summer School of Southern Californian University. The teacher took students from different countries and ages to class together. We often discussed each other's scripts together. I felt that everyone here wrote very good scripts. They were so talented and lovely. I think it is very rare to meet a group of people who share your interests and can work together. Therefore, when I applied for the university, I mentioned it as an very important reason. Finally, the professor of the summer school wrote me a letter of recommendation, which was very helpful to my application.
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