The ACT is one of the accepted standardized tests required by all the top universities in the USA, which is taught by IST tutors. In fact, more students take the ACT each year, even though the SAT has a more recognizable brand and is more popular in the media. IST recommends that Hong Kong students, who are stronger in Science, but weaker in American-style grammar and language analysis essays, take the ACT instead of the New SAT (2016). The Science section of the ACT does not necessarily ask questions that require specific knowledge of Biology, Chemistry, or Physics; but rather asks questions that require general knowledge of scientific method, interpreting data, analyzing and evaluating research, and drawing scientifically reasoned conclusions based on comprehensive scientific readings. Although the ACT Writing section, which is most often an argumentative essay, is optional, it is required by most of the top universities. Ivy League universities like Brown do not require two SAT Subject Tests if the ACT is taken; the ACT Writing section is strongly encouraged. Columbia, does not require the ACT Writing section or the SAT optional essay section.Like the SAT, IST tutors have found that there is high correlation between the time spent preparing for the ACT and the excellent scores achieved by students in Hong Kong. Therefore, we recommend HK students begin preparing for the exam as early as possible. Most student will take the Pre-ACT in the autumn of the sophomore or junior year, the ACT in the spring of the junior year, and in the autumn of the senior year, in September, October, or December, if necessary. January 1 is the application deadline for most of the better universities, while November 1 is the application deadline for Early Action for most of the top universities. We advise that HK students register for all three autumn dates if they did not achieve their desired score on the spring test because the autumn ACT dates fill up very quickly. It is very easy to cancel the dates once a high score is achieved, but it very difficult to register for the next ACT test, if a low score is obtained because of the tight registration deadlines and limited seats available. Hong Kong students should check if they can take the ACT at their schools, otherwise HK students may take the ACT at the HKEAA.

Principal ACT Tutor, 2005 – present

Don Ho, who is the Principal of International Scholars Tuition School, has been tutoring ACT and SAT students, and advising them on their Common Apps since 2005. Most of Don’s students prepare for and take both the ACT and SAT, and plan to use the higher score in their applications. Most often, the IST students achieve a higher score on the ACT. Many of the students have gone on to receive offers from some of the top universities in the USA. Students from Canadian International School were tutored in how to understand conflicting viewpoints questions, while students from Lawrenceville School were tutored in trigonometry, algebra, and coordinate geometry. Don has also tutored students from DGSDBS, and La Salle College to apply their rhetorical skills to better understand the grammatical mechanics type questions of the English section. Data representation and research summaries style questions were tutored to HKIS and CIS students. To students from FISGSIS, and Milton Academy, Don has tutored complex mathematical word problems, punctuation, and sentence structure. Island School and Discovery College students were tutored in prose fiction organization and strategy, while International Christian SchoolAmerican International School, and Creative Secondary School students were tutored in answering higher level humanities and social and natural science questions.

ACT Tutor, 2014 – 2019

In June 2014, Dr Sam Szeto joined International Scholars Tuition as an ACT Tutor. He studied Biochemistry at the University of Alberta (CAN), where he earned both a Doctorate of Philosophy and a Bachelor of Science Hons. (First Class standing). Dr Szeto has been awarded numerous scholarships and prizes for both research and academic excellence. These include a University of Alberta Med Star Award, a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship and an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Studentship.

Previously, Dr Szeto was at Department of ChemistryUniversity of Hong Kong carrying research as a Postdoctoral Fellow and spent three years working in Singapore at the A*STAR Institute of Medical Biology. During his time at the University of Alberta, Dr Szeto also took on teaching positions as a Guest Lecturer for the Department of Biochemistry and as a Sessional Instructor for the Department of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene.

Dr Szeto possesses extensive academic research experience, with his research being published in a number of internationally recognized peer-reviewed scientific journals such as the Journal of Proteome Research and Journal of Biological Chemistry. With this extensive training in analyzing, interpreting scientific data and presenting it in a clear and concise manner, he is well prepared to provide insight and guide students through the data presentation, research summary and conflicting viewpoints formats that comprise the ACT Science reasoning exam.

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