Our Academic Counseling Program guides students through their secondary school experience with the goals of:
a. Preparing the student for higher education in such a way that the student will succeed in university and develop their potential throughout their professional lives
b. Helping students reflect on their strengths and their weaknesses in both academic and personal areas
c. Helping students develop study skills and life skills that directly affect the way they approach their academics and extra-curricular activities
d. Creating an environment that is inclusive, respectful, and community-oriented
e. Advocating for the students with respect to
i. Standardized testing
ii. The needs of international and Chinese students
iii. The needs of the individual student
The Academic Counseling program at PKUES (JX) is highly individualized, dynamic, and engaged. The Counselor and student develop a close relationship in order to provide the necessary support for each student to reach their academic and personal goals.
The Academic Counselor meets in a classroom setting with grades 12 and 11 three times a cycle and with grade 10 once a cycle. The Academic Counselor also meets with students regularly on an individual basis.
The Academic Counselor also educates and engages the parents about the international higher education process through group meetings and family conferences. The Academic Counselor pays careful attention to the needs and wishes of the student’s family.
What we offer:
o Academic counseling & personal guidance
o Teacher mentors
o Assistance with all application materials
o including guidance on personal essays
o Resources and tools for researching universities
o References from highly qualified faculty members
o Test preparation guidance
o IELTS classes
o Preparation for interviews and university visits
o Visits from university representatives
o Exposure to other university events (university fairs)
The international application process…
o is complex and wholistic, meaning that students are expected to develop qualities beyond good test scores.
o It is highly necessary to understand what these qualities are and how to encourage students to develop and showcase these qualities in the application process.
o requires a cultural understanding and appreciation.
o demands honesty and integrity.
o requires support over a long period of time.
At PKUES (JX), we maintain relationships with universities and institutions around the world, but we do not have explicit connections with or automatic acceptances at any of the places we may recommend. Instead, our process is student-centered and therefore we focus on the “best fit” for the individual student.
Students are encouraged to consider the following categories of assessments and questions in thinking about what interests them as well as what distinguishes them from other students. Self-assessment and self-reflection are key components to this process.
What are my goals and values?
● How do I spend my time when I’m not studying?
● Am I an independent, intellectually curious learner?
● What kind of students would I like to have around me?
● What topics do I like to discuss with friends and family?
● Do I challenge myself academically?
● How do I define success?
● What do I choose to learn on my own?
● Do my grades reflect my ability and potential? Why or why not?
● What are my academic strengths and weaknesses?
● What are my favorite courses?
Activities, interests, and character:
● What activities do I enjoy the most?
● What extracurricular activities do I participate in?
● Do I take a leadership role or do I just like participating?
● Do I feel passionate about a cause, a subject, an activity?
● Do I have a special talent or interest? (playing music, singing, chess, etc.)
● Am I an independent individual who is able to organize myself and take initiative?
What do competitive universities expect from IB Students?
It is important to note that there are no guaranteed acceptances to universities abroad, especially in the US and the UK where many of the top universities only accept 5-10% of all applicants. The standards at the top 200 universities are extremely high and do not just focus on IELTS and TOEFL. The most important part of a student’s application is their predicted IB score, but the essays and teacher/counselor recommendations are also extremely important. The application process is wholistic and cannot be predicted according to simple mathematical calculations.
For example, the top fifty universities in the US will require above a 100 on TOEFL or above a 7 on IELTS, above a 700 on both the math and reading/writing sections of the SAT, above a 38 on the IB, outstanding recommendations from teachers, an excellent, authentic essay (or multiple essays), and evidence of involvement in leadership roles, community service, and other activities. Top universities in the UK, Canada, and Australia will require the same components aside from the SAT.
The top 200 universities around the world will receive hundreds of applications with the most qualified applicants. The issue for these universities is differentiating students and deciding who they want to join their community. If a student has only focused on their scores and shows little development of personal and intellectual interests, they will likely be rejected.
It is most useful to remember that the application process is a culmination of the development of the individual over a long period of time. The process is challenging, but exciting, and presents students with some of their first major life decisions. Students require comprehensive support, but they are ultimately the one responsible for their education.