How to Plan Ahead the Preparation Timeline for Overseas Admissions?

Information regarding typical application deadlines and the latest dates to submit an overseas application are always available on the Internet. Nevertheless, students may underestimate the importance of how and what they should prepare well in advance of such deadlines. . In fact, early preparation work with a detailed “preparation timeline” in mind is essential to students who wish to stand out from the crowd of applicants and secure a seat in a prestigious university.


Typically, a student’s secondary school years can be categorized into three stages. The first one is the period for discovery of interests and directions from Secondary 1 to 3 (or international equivalent); It will be followed by the second phase of career exploration period from Secondary 4 to 5. The final one will be the period of application finalization and submission in Secondary 6. Universities in recent years have focused more on students’ personal experience and growth since it is another way for them to assess and standardize a student’s suitability to the subjects. At the beginning stage of Secondary 1 to 3, students may want to be exposed to the fields of science, art, music and sports, etc. to enrich their portfolio and discover future aspirations. Since identification of life/long-term goals is a long-haul process, it would be better if students could narrow down the scope of their desired fields of studies as soon as possible.

From Secondary 4, students are generally more aware of their future pathway, whether it is medical-related, scientific research, law, art or business. They should then start participating in relevant activities and competitions to deep-root their understanding of the corresponding subjects. For instance, internationally or locally recognized essay competitions can provide a wide range of subject topics for students to select from medicine, law to engineering. Not only students’ language and critical thinking skills can be cultivated, but their subject knowledge can also be strengthened by conducting in-depth research during preparation. In addition, students should take advantage of the summer vacation to participate in pre-college programs and look for internship opportunities. These will enable students to grab a brief idea and understanding of their future aspirations and familiarize with the features and uniquenesses of different career/subject paths. Before entering the final year of secondary school, students should have already targeted some universities and courses and prepared for a good portion of university application materials such as personal statement, university essays, admissions tests and interview preparation. It is worth mentioning that students should take reference from the achievements and activities they have completed and utilized their values in the essays.


In the final year of secondary school, they should have already established their tertiary education’s direction along with a list of reach and safety universities. Application materials should be finalized and submitted as soon as possible given the preparation work done well in advance. The primary goal of this stage is to fully engage with the upcoming public examinations and students are advised to devote their full power to them. Parents and students are welcome to contact Helios Education for professional advice on the suggestions and implementation of suitable extracurricular activities and a tailor-made timeline.Parents and students are welcome to contact Helios Education for professional advice on the suggestions and implementation of suitable extracurricular activities and a tailor-made timeline.



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