Tag Archives: Program Choice

Psychological traps 6

Psychological Traps (2/2)

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Posted on July 3, 2013 by

The Confirming-Evidence Trap

Psychological traps 5

We may give too much weight to information that supports our existing point of view and too little to conflicting information.  We tend to decide what we want to do before we really find out why we want to do it. So, please check if you are gathering information to help you make a smart JUPAS choice, or just looking for evidence to confirm what you think you want to do.

Psychological traps 6

 

 

Examples of confirming-evidence:

  • When we hear some rumors, we tend to find every bit of supporting details.
  • Some students may fancy about getting into a certain profession without giving thoughts to the practical working environment, to how life would be like in such a profession …
  • You may have the perception that a certain program is not of interest to you.  However, there could be a lot of interesting aspects unknown to you.

The Framing Trap

Your decision is much affected by how you look at your choices or how you frame the question around it.  Right before you make your final JUPAS choices, I am sure that many parties will offer their advice.   Always think about how they framed the problem.

Examples of how you may frame your JUPAS decision:

  • I am going to find a program to best invest the next four years of time.
  • I want to win this JUPAS game.
  • I must not disappoint my [parents/teachers/peers …].
  • I want to get into a degree program, whatever it may be.

Important note: in my point of view, not all of these ways of framing are advisable.

My advice for you:

  • Stay open-minded.  Look at things from different angles.  Be honest to yourself.
  • Gather more information to make a smart choice, even on programs that do not seem to be of interest to you at this point.
  • Think about your goal in life.  In your JUPAS list, only include programs that you will be happy to join.

Psychological traps 8

Click here to read Part I

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

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Psychological Traps (1/2)

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Posted on July 3, 2013 by

Psychological Traps (1/2)

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I have recently attended a training workshop on Managerial Decision Making.  It has been very useful to me.  I am particularly keen to share with the admission-seeking students what I learned about psychological traps in decision making.  Let’s take a look at some of these traps which may affect the important but tough decisions like finalizing the JUPAS choices (or making a decision among non-JUPAS offers from different universities).

 

The Anchoring Trap

In the process of making a decision, the mind gives particularly heavy weight to the first impression or advice from an “authoritative party”.  This is called the ‘anchoring trap’. Here are some examples of the ‘anchoring trap’ and how to avoid them:

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Click here for Part II

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

WISE Summer Camp

文憑試後的WISE Summer

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Posted on May 4, 2013 by

WISE Summer Camp

WISE Summer Camp

同學考完文憑試,相關成績大概心中有數。不管成績好壞,亦要好好利用這漫長暑期,計劃將來。可以放鬆,但卻不宜鬆懈。

我認識一個已入大學的同學,當年會考成績不俗。高考放榜成績有A有B。照想,他應當歡喜若狂才是,不料卻是恰恰相反。原來他預科兩年只顧讀書和預備考試,沒認真研究大學課程五花八門的選擇,沒有認真思考自己的興趣是甚麼,沒有深思熟慮聯招選擇排序。

到高考放榜,最後決擇過程困難,原來不限於成績稍遜的同學。這同學的成績優秀,幾乎什麼課程都必入,但因在選校選科上「未做足功課」,在僅有的一兩天時間內從眾多選擇中定下第一志願,實在是始料不及的一個痛苦決擇。

我們收生,很強調「知情」的選擇,同學未來四年是把寶貴的青春和時間投資,更應謹慎選擇。但這些年,聽過、見過不少和這位同學一樣的情況:沒有掌握充分資訊、沒有思考自己的興趣所在的情況下選科。可幸的是,中六同學現在仍充分有時間「補做功課」,好好利用悠長的暑假,多去不同去院校瞭解大學課程、校園文化等等。

剛考完文憑試主要科目的同學,中四、五同學請留意,科大五月將舉辦五場聯招升學講座,分別由各學院負責收生的副院長主講,讓同學了解各學院收生要求與程序等,歡迎同學、老師、家長參加。下星期五第一場由理學院主講,在將軍澳區舉行。                                                                       詳情與登記:http://join.ust.hk/local/visit/calendar.html

每年暑假,科大專為中六同學舉辦各種類型、幫助同學了解科大的活動。有意入理、工的女同學更可參加我們的WISE 夏令營。WISE Camp的營友由教授和作為「組媽」的師姐帶領下,在科大的課堂學習與理、工、科技領域的新發展,在科大實驗室進行認真但有趣味性的實驗,入住科大學生宿舍,體驗科大校園生活。去年不少營友表示WISE營的學習內容遠超她們印象,有營友說:「之前都唔知工程可以咁有趣添!」(http://wisesummer.ust.hk/

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA WISE Campers at UST Coastal Marine Lab

我昨晚參加了一個晚飯聚會,鄰座是Dr John Kwok,他是著名腦科醫生,亦是我校機械工程系的兼任教授。相信一般同學從未想過機械工程學和腦科醫療竟然有關,並有重大貢獻。建議同學真的要投資部分暑假的時間,從不同角度了解各學科及體驗科大學習,這絕對是為自己創造 一個WISE Summer的明智選擇。

科大暑期活動:http://join.ust.hk/local/apply/summer_programs.html

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

Which university or program suits me best...?

Smart questions to ask

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Posted on March 20, 2013 by

Which university or program suits me best...?

Which university or program suits me best…?

We often unknowingly make decisions based on perceptions.   However, the gap between our perception and the fact may be incredibly large.

About perception, let me first ask you a question.  Which do you think is a safer place?

A.     Hong Kong

B.     Middle East

For us in Hong Kong, we definitely know that Hong Kong is a safe place, if not the safest place, in the world.  Naturally, we think that everyone on earth would definitely choose the answer “A”, like us.  You may be surprised that people in the Middle East in general are concerned about safety in Hong Kong.   People in the Middle East in general think that Hong Kong is now a communist society and may not be a safe place to visit.  Unbelievable, isn’t it?

In making higher education choices, it is important that we decide on facts rather than perceptions.

Have you ever thought about the following?

Microsoft Word - 20130320 Betty06_perceptions_table

Perceptions can be deceiving.  We must ask smart questions about the program and the area of study.

 

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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

20130102 Betty03_Sundial__

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

UST Prospectus

那一課程最易考入?

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Posted on January 25, 2013 by

UST Prospectus

有些家長問我:「那一門課程最易考入?」

我明白部份同學或家長會考慮先考入一所大學,或者某個課程,然後再看是否有機會轉科、轉系,甚至轉校。

雖然聽起來較難入耳,但我通常會直說:「我不喜歡回答這個問題。」

大家首先要知道大學資助委員會不鼓勵院校收轉校生,轉校這一道後門是不太容易打開的。

但更重要的是心態的問題。我認為做父母的應該協助孩子訂立較高目標,並努力向目標進發。太輕易去考慮後備「後門」方案,容易令年青人失去動力,豈不是不戰而敗。

我再三強調,我們不應用輸贏的角度去報考大學。真的是不管讀什麼,只要考得上大學就贏了嗎?其實,跨入大學之門只是另一階段的開始,我們眼光要放遠點。同學必須喜歡所讀的大學和課程,起碼為自己的能力和選擇略感自豪,樂意投放四年時光,每天都熱切地享受課堂內外的大學生活。這樣的話,不論修讀什麼課程,前途必定一片光明。

如只為入大學而入大學,即使成功又如何?考入不喜歡的課程,每日都只得自嘆自艾,試問怎會積極投入學習呢?壓力自然大,成績必然不會彪炳,自我形象固然不會高吧!

話說回來,科大現採用學院制收生。同學首先進入學院,修讀過不同範疇的課,然後才揀選主修。學院制收生下,理、工、商學院各收數百學生,堂堂正正由正門而入並非大家想像中難,根本用不著開啟「後門」。

考大學好比參加游泳比賽,既然跳進了池,不要再左顧右盼想太多。唯一而又最好的策略是朝着目標,全力以赴,做到最好。

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