Monthly Archives: February 2013

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春聯: 自動自覺溫功課 不知不覺考入咗 (二)

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Posted on February 19, 2013 by

昨天說到家長如何協助子女入讀心儀大學,說到尾家長如何投入,入學最終還看學生本人。

除了家長日常與子女的相處,學生只要稍稍改變自己的讀書習慣,亦有助輕鬆踏進大學之門。

在大學工作,讓我有機會接觸不同的教授。之前聽過科大風險管理及商業智能學課程主任蘇家培教授的建議,相信對各位準大學生也很有用︰

  • 善用時間;
  • 保持好奇心 — 例如:多讀書、多發問;
  • 注重家課的質多於量;
  • 持續培養創意;
  • 留意身邊世事 — 例如:養成每天閱報習慣;
  • 改善溝通技巧 — 例如:多與別人討論有趣話題,或參與社會服務等。

看起來並不算艱難。這小小的改變,正是你成功的開始。

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巧合剛看到高皓著的《通向大學之路》,當中提到的「平日當考試,考試當平時」說得很中,實值得分享。

高皓提到平日做功課或做練習時都當作考試一般看待,迫自己在限定時間內完成。由於時間所限,你必定會專心一致地完成題目,不知不覺中提高了你理解問題和作答的速度。這樣更可做到蘇教授所說的善用時間。習慣成自然,當你坐在考試桌前,便不用緊張,因為根本和你平日做功課時無異。

在壓力下做事,誰都總會較容易失手。就由今天開始,把自己裝備好,在重要關頭,從容不迫地面對,必定事半功倍,發揮自如,輕鬆過關。

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Betty Law
科大本科招生及入學事務處副處長
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ustbetty

Happy Chinese New Year

春聯: 自動自覺溫功課 不知不覺考入咗(一)

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Posted on February 18, 2013 by

春聯(一)好一對應節春聯!相信上聯是父母的心聲,下聯是中六同學的願望。一切都「自動自覺」和「不知不覺」,不費吹灰之力達到理想固然好,但似乎有點不切實際。

父母在給予子女空間、「放手」的同時,亦切記要推動及鼓勵他們,為他們打造有利的環境和條件。以下的一些建議是我從科大教授身上學到的,希望有助你的子女入讀心儀大學:

  • 多與子女分享和討論每天所見所聞,習慣閒話家常,別只顧問功課和考試分數。在談話間,試從甚麼(what)引伸到怎樣(how)及為甚麼(why)。要容得下不同角度,不同見解。不要隨便握殺子女天馬行空的想法,創意正是他們最強的武器。
  • 造就他們學習去學習 (learn to learn),例如一起嘗試用新方法去解決舊問題,或用舊方法去解決新問題。
  • 協助他們培養內在的發奮動力 (intrinsic motivation),打、罵、責備、埋怨等肯絕非最佳方法。不管成績如何,亦要欣賞他們付出的努力,具體讚賞他們的策略,選擇等。多給予有建設性的評語,例如分享可如何處理或改善事情。
  • 鼓勵他們多閱讀,可 從閒書開始,簡短的讀物亦無妨,既可舒悶減壓,又可提升語文能力、創意和思考力。
  • 鼓勵他們與三五知己組織研習小組,一起温習,一起討論,一起閒聊。

以下一些書籍,值得各位家長一看:
Daniel H. Pink (2005) A Whole New Mind
Daniel H. Pink (2009) Drive
Simon Sinek (2009) Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Happy Chinese New Year

Betty Law
科大本科招生及入學事務處副處長
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ustbetty

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The sky is the limit — two stories

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Posted on February 15, 2013 by

Sky is the Limit

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It is important to have dreams no matter who you are. Don’t worry about how people see you. Firmly believe that “YOU CAN” and the sky is the only limit.

There is a chance that you are a late starter (with no demonstrable accomplishments yet). It could not be too late for a late teen or young adult to start having a dream and working towards it. It does not matter if it seems far from reach at the moment. Aim high and for sure you won’t land too low.

Let me tell you the story of Prof Shain-Dow Kung (孔憲鐸教授), a person that I have worked directly for. He was a vice-president at HKUST. He grew up in Shandong during war time and had no more than one full year of schooling in total. He was a factory worker in HK at his teenage. By self-studying with a torch under the blanket in the factory dormitory, he managed to get into a degree program … This is not the beginning of a straight forward academic career … When it came to his PhD research, his finding was too stunning a breakthrough to be accepted … Anyway, he started his career at the age of 40. He became a renowned plant biologist and a well-respected educator.

So, regardless of who you are and where you now stand, and regardless of the circumstances, always be hopeful, trust yourself and work hard. (To know more about Prof Kung’s story, simply do a web search by typing 孔憲鐸 and 背水一戰.)

背水一戰

Here’s another true story that I like. It is about an American woman. Her teachers told her that she is just not college material and she should think about becoming a secretary. She went to college anyway. Probably, she was not smart enough to know the difference between a secretary and a Secretary. She really became America’s 25th Secretary of Labor. She is Hilda Solis.

For whatever reasons, do not kill your dreams. Visualize yourself running for them. Fight hard for them.

Betty Law
Associate Director, Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions Office, HKUST
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ustbetty

HKUST Info Day

在龍尾談聯招龍尾

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Posted on February 8, 2013 by

HKUST Info Day

望著龍尾送走龍年之際,想起同學和家長都很想知道大學在聯招收生時,如何排「龍」?這條龍到底有多長?考生如何可以穩佔一席,不致落在龍尾。

同學們一般以為一個學科的收生名額就等於該科的「龍」的長度。舉例,某課程收生名額50,同學往往以為自己的考試成績必須位列全港所有報考該科的考生的首50名,否則入讀該科的機會相當渺茫。

果真如此嗎?

事實上,「大學聯招處」只會將考生所選擇的課程歸入五個組別(Band),然後提供予院校。因此,所有大學在排收生名單這條「龍」的時候,只知同學按組別(Band)的意願,而並不知道實際次序。舉例,以下為某考生的Band A 排序:

Band A Choice
1. 甲大學X課程
2.  乙大學Y課程
3.  丙大學Z課程

甲大學只知道某考生的Band A 選擇中包含該大學的X課程,而不知道X課程到底是考生的第1、第2還是第3選擇。

在未能掌握考生的確實次序下,當文憑試放榜後,院校一般會將所有選擇了該校課程的同學,以成績優劣及其他表現來排列收生名單。由於課程所屬的Band在某程度上反映同學對該科的興趣,亦可能是排龍考慮之一。

如果所有高分的學生都將科大提供的課程/學院(JS50XX)放於第1志願,那就太好了,科大課程就可以盡數取錄成績最優秀的學生。但如果科大課程所排的收生名單上,最前列位置的考生,其實並沒有將科大放於他們第1志願,而是第2或第3呢?通常這些學生會被自己選擇較前的志願的課程取錄。因此,即使他們在科大收生名單的「龍」頭位置,我們也只能望而興嘆,無緣取錄他們。

因此,我們排的「龍」,比大家想像的要長許多、許多。科大採取學院制收生,一個打算收數百學生的學院(JS5001, JS5002, JS5003),所排出來的「龍」,動輒包含數千、甚至過萬位考生。

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那麼,我們的學院又依據什麼來排列收生次序呢?主要是文憑試4+2X的分數。各學院的計分方法,已詳列於 http://join.ust.hk/local/jupas/apply_jupas_entry_subject.html

為方便同學計算以文憑試成績報考科大不同學院的得分,大學特別設立計分器,同學只需填寫有關科目成績,計分器就會自動根據所選學院的收生方程式,計出總分,供同學作為參考。

S6同學在未來數月可考慮按計分比重,分配溫習時間。又,學院或會視乎同學的其他表現 (例 如面試表現、額外的選科及OEA等),略為加分。

新春將至,祝各位考生考試順利,成績更上層樓!

Betty Law
科大本科招生及入學事務處副處長
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ustbetty

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A Dream Program vs A Choice within Reach

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Posted on February 1, 2013 by

A principal asked me to encourage her students to aim high in a JUPAS talk. I love encouraging young persons (including my own girl) to dream big.

When it comes to the distressing time to finalize the  JUPAS program choices, it is not uncommon that students forgo their dream and settle for a “safe” No.1 choice. There is nothing wrong to think of choices within reach. However, is it a rational decision to put a “safe but not preferred” choice on the very top of the list?

A One-Million-Dollar Question
A safe choice probably means “sure win” to you if you put it as the No. 1 choice. What if you change it as the No. 2 or No. 3 choice instead? The answer of “lowering the chance” seems too obvious. But, let me tell you that it will not be lowered. There is nothing to lose if you put the more preferred choices before it as long as you keep it in Band A.

You got to trust me on this!

20130102 Betty03_Sundial__

Simply put your dream programs (best to be JS50XX) as your top Band A choices. Don’t underestimate your ability. Don’t give up your dream too easily. Every year, it is heartbreaking to see strong candidates lacking the confidence to put UST high on their JUPAS list.

Call for Action
I do not want to see you getting stuck with an unwanted No. 1 choice! So, get the JUPAS process work for you.

Action 1 (before mid-July): Check out how the JUPAS iteration works vs your perception. (http://www.jupas.edu.hk/en/j4/useful-material –> “flash demonstration” –> go to “process”.)
Action 2 (when HKDSE results are out): Do not replace your No. 1 dream program with a “safe but not preferred” choice. Your chance of getting into a UST program could be much higher than what you perceive. We recruit 400+ or 600+ into JS5001, JS5002 and JS5003. The large intake is an important PLUS factor for you. And, when you look at the median score for last year, note that there are still 2-3 hundreds below this line who managed to get in.

Betty Law
Associate Director, Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions Office, HKUST
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ustbetty