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SAT/ACT and US Admissions Support at ITS

ITS helps students and parents in all aspects of the US admissions process. This often begins with SAT or ACT prep to help students optimize their standardized test scores. We provide both group classes and bespoke private tutoring in order to give students the fundamentals, test-taking strategies, and practice they need to succeed. If you have not taken an official or mock SAT/ACT and want to know your baseline score, please come into ITS Central’s Exam Center for a free mock test!

The process of applying to US universities goes far beyond a good SAT or ACT score. Students must perform admirably in school subjects and engage in meaningful extracurricular activities. We help students identify passion projects that help further understand their intellectual curiosities. We help them choose universities, build portfolios, and source meaningful recommendations. Most important, we help students craft narratives around their experiences and personalities. If you want to come in to discuss the application process with an ITS admissions counsellor, please sign up for a free consultation!


SAT/ACT preparation should start 3-6 months before a first exam. Of course students who spend upwards of 12 months on diluted preparation will realize their full potential on the exams.

You only need the SAT or the ACT, though you can try both. Some schools like NYU, though a decided minority, are letting students apply without SAT/ACT scores.

There are differences in the duration and number of questions in each section. The ACT has a scientific reasoning section that is tested sporadically in both the English and Math SAT sections. The essays are very different - the ACT is argumentative while the SAT is explicative. We offer a first SAT and ACT mock free at ITS Central’s Exam Center.

This depends on the schools which you apply to. Generally, more selective schools are more likely to have SAT II requirements (2 or 3 tests).

US admissions counselling is an easy way to benefit from the expertise of those who have went through dozens of application cycles. Assembling the best possible applications is a highly involved process of building an overarching narrative through which the admissions committee can have a palpable sense of who the student is and what s/he cares about. Many US universities sort through tens or hundreds of thousands of applications each year and they are not easily fooled. Students who have invested in self-discovery and self-expression not only put forward a strong argument for admission, but also orient themselves confidently towards their futures.

We work with students up to four years before application deadlines - the majority of students start about a year before applications are due. In the earlier years, we are mostly focused on extending students academic curiosities beyond the classroom and into the world at large. In the last two years, there is more specific emphasis on activities, classes, and student writing. Naturally the last year, and particularly the last four months, are an exhausting process of writing and rewriting.

The major components of our US application service are broken down below:

Counselors monitor student grades to stay abreast of student performance. If a student needs a subject teacher, we provide only teachers who are currently teaching in secondary schools, graduates of the subject they teach, and/or IB examiners.

Students need to stay active and engaged in their community, but not in menial positions of mere participation. We help students find activities that might precipitate meaningful experiences.

This is the most bespoke aspect of our service. A student who follows an academic or artistic curiosity towards hard-earned knowledge can become an irresistible university candidate.

For students interested in arts, counsellors provide a sounding board for investing meaning into practice, technique, and execution.

This often coincides with a student’s foray deeper into their true passions and subsequent rationale for going to university. The intended course of study dictates the ideal palette of university applications.

Helping students get the most out of their relationships with mentors and teachers who might be targets for letters of recommendation.

The process of writing is not one of recording and observing. It is instead one of discovery, a continual and iterative process that elicits insights unique to each student. This is the most essential aspect of the entire application process. We like to see students spend at least 10 months focusing intensively on their self-awareness and self-expression.

Many parents are going through the process for the first (and sometimes) only time. Work with those who have gone through dozens of application cycles with students of all variety of background and interest.

This plays only a minor role in the US undergraduate admissions systems. However, we prepare our students for the semi-informal chats that us Americans love to have.

Still have questions? Email us or come in for a Free Consultation!

Michael Li Director of US Admissions

Mike studied at the University of Colorado – Boulder with coursework at Harvard University (Math and Economics), while also doing statistical research for Colorado State University. Mike moved to Hong Kong in 2009 to work in the finance sector, but after two years of working in and with regional hedge funds and private equity funds, he decided to direct his efforts towards education. Mike teaches math at all levels, coordinates SAT classes at ITS, and oversees all student applications to universities in the US.

If you or your student is planning to apply to university in the US, come in for a free chat with Mike. You can email us at [email protected] or call us at 2116 3916.

Related Article: Preparing for SAT in Hong Kong

Please contact us for any further information about the SAT or help with other parts of the application process to US Universities and Colleges.

[email protected]

Our services include:

  • USA University Application Support
  • USA Admissions Consulting
  • Ivy League Preparation Hong Kong
  • How to get into a top USA university
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