Every parent wishes the best for their child. If you are reading this you are probably of the opinion the best is to send them abroad for university. It’s true that most are of the opinion that graduating from a good university will get you a good job and moreso, especially in this day and age, a good income in a different currency other than ringgit. Many send their children abroad in hope for more exposure to an international environment turning them into a more well-rounded and adaptable individual, become more employable and have a better future financially and socially. If this is you too, you would probably want to give them the best chance at this dream. So what can you do to prepare them for entry into a promising, world-class university?
There is no right or wrong pathway for this, you could try the national school route, the chinese school route or the international school route, or a mixture of all three, because as statistics have shown, many Oxbridge graduates are of varied education backgrounds – some have even stepped out to Singapore for their secondary schooling in hope for a better education experience and therefore a better future in general. But whichever way you choose there are some fundamental skills that your child must pick up on the way, whether it be in or out of school, so that by the time they arrive at university application stage, they are ready and competitive enough as an individual to get in. At PrepWorks, we have seen time and time again what are the most important factors, aside from good grades, that make a student competitive:
1. They need an excellent command of English – to be able to read and comprehend, write not just well but beautifully, and speak with confidence. These skills carry you forward not just at university stage but in life so to invest in either their formal education or extra-curricular in this arena will pay back many-folds for their future. If they haven’t reached 17 years yet, one hugely beneficial way to get them strong in this area is to start them young reading good literature / fiction and non-fiction books, and attend some additional English reading & writing classes, such as our:
CRITICAL READING & WRITING class and PUBLIC SPEAKING & DEBATE classes:
The former is formulated by an English Oxford graduate to significantly improve your child’s Critical Reading & Writing skills. This includes the appreciation of the many thematic layers and underlying values of a novel, as well as appreciating the language and techniques used by masterful authors. The other is to improve his or her command of the spoken word, to communicate effectively across his or her opinions and in a confident manner.
2. They need to have a thirst for knowledge – the ability to learn effectively through questioning, with the mindset that there really is ‘no-stupid-question’, to have a passion for something (hopefully the subject they apply for) and reading around the subject by going through newspapers, scientific journals, other publications and off the internet. To have a hand in current affairs and what is going on in the wider world around them, and to empathise with many issues they may never come across in their comfortable lifestyles. And to love doing it all. If school classes are boring this does more harm than good in this area, and they may see studying as something of a chore. At PrepWorks we want to turn learning into laughter and fun, to engage not just the mind but the emotions and awareness, to create a hunger to know more, and allow an environment where all students can freely speak and question anything without apprehension or fear. And to put the spark back in learning. This we are trying to do with our upcoming holiday workshop:
MATHS FOR REAL LIFE: www.prep.works/mathsforreallife
As well as CRITICAL THINKING: www.prep.works/keylifeskills
Critical Thinking is also the pinnacle key skill for interviews – to have structured thoughts and logical reasoning, and the ability to think through an issue in terms of breadth and depth, and to draw upon his or her general knowledge in doing so and come to a reasonable conclusion.
3. They need to be confident – In most activities, in order to excel, confidence is half the battle. If they were to speak in public, if they were to write a story, if they were to tackle any challenge, the ‘can-do’ attitude will take them a long way, again, not just at application stage but throughout life. Reading many education articles, to instill confidence you have to praise your kids more and criticize less, expose them to new activities so they know themselves that they can still thrive being out of their comfort zone, and show them there is pride in being themselves and not someone else. To have them appreciate their own worth and their own talents, and to confidently apply those talents in different scenarios particularly the wider community. To show them they have the ability to make an impact. And coming to the application, this is indeed a key aspect of interviewing. This we hope to achieve through our:
LEADERSHIP & CONFIDENCE class: www.prep.works/keylifeskills
4. They need to thrive for excellence – In whatever they do, they need to show they have a drive to work hard and excel in some if not most areas of their life, be it at a sport, a musical instrument, a cause. They need to put in their best effort into something and reap the rewards. Because nothing great comes without hard work, including a degree at a top university. Therefore finding what your child’s strengths are early proves useful because as parents, we should support that and do all we can to grow that strength. But also praise them for effort and not just the outcome, because in doing so, they will keep trying and not give up, and that characteristic itself will bring them through many hardships in life.
We brainstorm how all the above can be achieved through our education counseling, so visit us and book your first free half hour consultation now at [email protected]