YCIS Year 12 Counsellor Letter

 Year 12 Counselor Letter

“Important Considerations & What to know in starting this important year…”

Here are 5 topics to consider to increase your chances of university acceptance and ways to have a most successful year.

    Classes and Grades

Ø  The Year 12 selection of classes — and the grades you receive in them — is very important because it is most likely the last full year of academic work university admissions will look at – So do your best!  (90% of applications are sent by winter break of Senior year)

Ø  Get to know a few teachers well to prepare for college recommendations in 12th grade especially those in subject areas your interested in studying in college.

Ø  Plan ahead! Make a collection of your best work to show your talent as a well-rounded student and have personal academic goals to achieve your greatest success.

     Standardized Tests

Grade 11 is filled with standardized tests! 

Ø  PSAT Mid-October  Tests include: critical reading, math problem-solving, & writing

o    Questions are taken from used SAT tests in all 3 areas so it’s a valuable indicator of actual SAT success. Use it to prepare and be ready to take SAT in January.

o    It’s an excellent resource to begin requesting information from colleges & access to quality resources at collegeboard.com: My Road & College Quick Start.

o    If you are a US Citizen, your score may qualify you for merit scholarships.

Ø  SAT I & II: Plan to take the SAT 1 this year: Dates (Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, May, June). SAT 1 is a reasoning test while SAT 2s are individual subject tests. Plan to take both in G11. AIS offers both SAT 1 and 2 on each test date. You need to sign up early 1 month in advance on collegeboard.com and use AIS codes: #670435 as your High School #62189 as your Test Center. As a private center AIS provides the SATs only to its students: We always have a place for you!

Ø  TOEFL: Is an English based test demonstrating the ability to succeed in an English speaking university classroom. It can be taken any week of the year at test centers around Hong Kong. Please register at: http:/www.toefl.com.

(Unless otherwise specified: it’s optional only for US & Canadian citizens.)

Ø  AP Tests: Plan & prepare to take AP tests in Grade 11 if possible. They are an excellent way to show universities your academic talent and help you stand out!                It’s particularly helpful to take in G11 as G12 scores will not be published until after admission results are known in the USA/ Canada. While AP Scores (minimum of three AP’s: 4/5) are a critical component in acceptance to the best universities in Hong Kong/ UK/ and Australia.
Ø  The Iowa Test is a good indicator of your progress in comparison with other students across the United States in several key academic areas. It may be used as an Indicator of university preparedness.

     College Planning

 Focus on building a University List of those you may want to apply to in Grade 12: Come to AIS & other university events – use all the college resources provided on the application portal & start thinking of your options.

Ø  Please review Application Portal to find quality websites for all aspects of college planning. Criteria to consider in choosing a university may include: academic quality and ranking, accreditation, job and graduate-school placement rates, costs, and financial aid. 


Ø  Also, by taking formalized tests, you will be on the mailing list of several universities that will share with you their programs and process of admission. Take time to review the colleges according to your interests and their academic programs.

Ø  Also in getting to know universities, take advantage of the university fairs and visits at AIS and in Hong Kong to become familiar with several different styles of universities face to face. At such fairs, plan to meet college representatives to discuss your university options. You can find information regarding these fairs from Mr. Gartz or your advisor.

Ø  A Sample of Questions to ask these Representatives Include:

1. What programs do you offer and why are they of good quality? 2. What are you doing as a university to improve student life? 3. What opportunities do students in your university have to work with professors in their first year of college & are there student-research opportunities with these professors? Do you offer financial assistance to international Students? What are the academic expectations of an incoming student: grades/test scores? How many international students are on campus and what services are provided to them? What are your job placement/ graduate school statistic rates? etc. 

    Career Search

Since university choice is the first step to your career it has a big impact on the list of colleges you consider, so narrow down your career possibilities.

Ø  You may: Conduct research, take career assessment tests, talk with your family and other adult family friends, meet with your teachers and guidance counselor, and evaluate your interests.

Ø  American International School’s list of local and international Summer Programs is a great way to learn such options to future career paths. You may find this on the AIS Moodle Site under Student Support Home – where the ISP is stored.

    A Few YCIS University Resources 

YCIS University Seminar
 Our weekly advisory sessions are designed to help you begin the university search and application process. 

       Naviance http://www.naviance.com/students/

We will introduce Naviance to you soon as part of this semester’s advisory program.

Naviance is a college and career readiness platform that helps connect academic    achievement to post-secondary goals. It is full of resources and helpful links to organize and begin your college planning.