Hoping to gain admission to one of Hong Kong’s competitive and prestigious international schools? Our unique program equips students with the skills they need to succeed throughout the admissions process and beyond.
About Our Program
Our curriculum is specifically designed with international school admissions in mind. After your child completes a free assessment test in English, our program coordinators will craft a personalized learning plan for your child’s specific learning needs. In our one-on-one lessons, our English tutors draw on their experience with HK international schools and their expectations to focus on:
Reading comprehension and vocabulary building
Answering critical questions on both fiction and non-fiction texts
Developing key exam skills
Introducing strategies for writing clearly and effectively across argumentative, creative, and reflective writing tasks
Familiarising your child with the teaching and learning methods that international schools prioritize
Throughout the course of your student’s studies with us, we will also provide periodic mock tests to track their progress and optimize their learning.
Depending on your student’s needs and target schools, we also offer customized Interview, Maths, Chinese, and Cognitive Test modules designed to support your students in:
Preparing for and practicing your child’s interviews with international schools
Building essential Maths terminology (in English) to tackle various question types
Boosting Chinese comprehension and writing for specific schools
Practicing common cognitive test areas including verbal, non-verbal, spatial, and quantitative reasoning
Since 2017, our program has seen over 80% of our students secure admissions from Hong Kong’s international schools, including Independent Schools Foundation Academy, English Schools Foundation schools, Canadian International School, Singapore International School, Kellett School, Victoria Shanghai Academy, Christian Alliance International School, and many more.
Our experienced teachers often leave a lasting impression on students. Take a look at what some of our past students have said about their experiences with our ISAAC program:
I think CANA’s teachers are generous, because they helped me to get into my favorite school, especially for the interview which was in just four days. I think the best things I have learnt in CANA are English speaking and how to be confident in an interview. I remember most of the “talking out loud” lessons and the reading comprehension with my teachers. Their lessons are fun and helped me to improve. Mani. (Kennedy School, ESF)
CANA teachers are very friendly and the lessons are interactive and creative. My English has improved drastically, especially in writing. I have also developed an interest in reading novels. Now, I feel more confident to speak in English! K.W. (ISF)
Most international schools in Hong Kong fall under the IB programme, UK curriculum, and US curriculum. Both the IB programme, offered at many schools, and US curriculum, offered at schools like Hong Kong International School, International Christian School, The Harbour School, and Christian Alliance International School, aim to provide students with a well-rounded, general education, suited to students who may not yet know their future career plans. The UK curriculum, offered at Kellett School, Harrow International School, Korean International School, and Han Academy, on the other hand, aims to provide students with deeper study in those specific subject areas that interest them.
Future academic path
Consider whether your child may pursue further education overseas. In general, schools with UK curriculum pave the way for students going to UK boarding schools and universities; whereas schools with the US curriculum link better to US universities.
Apart from English lessons, international schools usually offer lessons on foreign languages, such as Chinese, French, German. If there are specific languages that you wish your child to learn, check the school’s subject list.
Your child will need to travel to the school campus frequently, so consider the school’s location. Some schools have more than one campus, so look for the one for your child’s year group.
School clubs and activities
Each school provides various afterschool programs, activities, and clubs for the students. Look at the list and see if there are particular ones that match your child’s interests and strengths.
School fee and Debenture
The annual international school fees range from approximately $100,000 - $200,000 for primary division, and $150,000 - $260,000 for secondary division.
Apart from school fees, some international schools require new students to purchase a one-off debenture to support the school’s development. An alternative of debenture can be capital levy, which is paid annually.
Every school’s policy on debentures can be different. For example, debentures can be fully refundable, non-refundable, or refundable at a depreciating value. Remember to check with the school for the latest debenture arrangement.
If your child is considering transferring to an international school, remember to plan ahead. Overall, a good time to start is 18 months before your child aims to start in the new school. This way, you will have sufficient time to research and visit different schools, which will allow you and your child to get acquainted with admissions staff as well. Also, applying early increases the chance of admissions, as occasionally vacancies may open up throughout the year.
Every year, most schools only have a few places per year group available for transfer students. The number of available spaces changes every year, so it is best to apply to more schools to increase your chances. Choose the schools strategically and consider picking schools that match your child’s ability as well as some less competitive schools.
Most schools include entrance tests (written or computerized tests) and interviews as part of their admissions process. It is important to allow your child to have sufficient time to prepare for the entrance test by boosting their English and Mathematics, as well as getting familiarized with the test styles. Apart from content knowledge, most younger students have little experience with public examinations or formal interviews, so it is equally important to equip them with exam skills.
Entrance tests are used by international schools to identify students with strong language and mathematical ability, as well as good logic and reasoning skills.
In most entrance tests, there will be elements to test a student’s English and Mathematics levels, either in the form of a written test or computerized test.
For English, comprehension and writing are the most common formats. Students are typically asked to read a grade-appropriate short fiction or nonfiction passage, and answer questions based on the text. For writing, primary students are likely to be asked to write a piece that is creative, reflective, or based on a picture prompt. Meanwhile, secondary students may be asked to write in styles such as creative, reflective, argumentative, newspaper writing, and speech writing.
Some schools, like ISF Academy and Chinese International School, also include Chinese components. Others, such as German Swiss International School, Harrow International School, and Kellett School, require students to complete logical reasoning assessments as well.
Some international schools, such as Harrow International School, German Swiss International School, Kellett School, may include a logical reasoning test component in the entrance test.
A reasoning test does not focus on knowledge, but rather on a student’s thinking and problem-solving skills. It can include verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, spatial reasoning, and quantitative reasoning.
Verbal reasoning involves words, and questions can range from figuring letter codes, finding antonyms from a list, and matching word pairs that have the same correlation. Non-verbal reasoning involves pictures, diagrams, and patterns, with questions such as identifying the right sequences, or spotting similarities and differences. Spatial reasoning involves shapes and test students’ ability to visualize objects, such as visualizing how a 2D shape will look when rotated. Finally, quantitative reasoning involves numbers, and questions can be finding patterns or a missing number in a series of numbers.
Since reasoning tests are usually new to students, practice prior to the entrance test is very helpful, and allows students to acquire techniques and shortcuts to navigate the questions.
First and foremost, students need to prepare for common questions such as self-introduction, why they want to transfer to this particular school, and what their interests are. They need to be familiar with these questions, and at the same time prepare to face unexpected or challenging questions. When they run out of ideas for an answer, a few easy tips are to describe the “why”, “how”, or give an example to expand their own views.
Fluency & Presentation
When students are nervous, they tend to speak single-word answers, choppy sentences, and exhibit nervous gestures, all of which will give a negative impression to the interviewer. Practicing how to give longer answers using specific answer formats, and rehearsing speaking calmly without nervous fidgeting go a long way in helping students perform well in interviews.
Often, parents apply for a new school for their children, so students may not fully understand why they should change a school, and what the new school is like. It is important to communicate with students about the change, do school research together, so students become more motivated to prepare and perform well during the interview.
Here at CANA Elite, we truly believe that every student is unique and has the potential to reach their goals with the right guidance. Academic excellence is derived from both passionate teachers and eager students. That is why we provide a unique learning experience tailored to each individual student. Named after the location of the first miracle in the Bible, we hope CANA elite can be the place of miracles for all our students, allowing them to achieve their dreams.