Your Questions

If you have ANY question, and would prefer to speak to someone rather than read it here, please don’t hesitate to call us.

What makes AMG different?

AMG is smaller than many centres and our staff, both in teaching and administration, are highly experienced and well-qualified. When looking for staff, we don’t rely only on qualifications, but strive to find people who are genuinely interested in teaching. This is the main reason that you’ll find many AMG ex tutors in key positions in International schools both here in HK and globally. The staff are not just looking to be in Asia for travel, but are actively improving their teaching range. We do not promise the impossible. We focus on your goals. We keep it simple. We enjoy what we do.

When should I start tuition for my child?

When it is necessary for your child. AMG starts offering tuition at 9.5 years, because some children require help towards the 11+ Common Entrance examination for UK Independent Secondary Schools, or need encouragement to understand the importance of reading as a habit. However, this does not mean that all children should have tuition at this time. The best way to establish whether or not your child needs help is to come in for an assessment. Once we know your goal, we can assess whether or not tuition will be helpful. Childhood should involve periods of unscheduled (and off-screen) play time, wherein children may get bored, because boredom is crucial for creativity. This means tutoring should only play a part in a child’s life where it will bring benefits that such play will not.

Do I need to involve an agent to get my child into the UK system?

Some schools, such as Harrow UK, insist on HK parents using an agency. All UK schools’ websites contain contact information for their admissions teams. If you are in any doubt, either contact the school directly, or contact AMG. AMG is not an agent. We pride ourselves on our impartial advice, but will happily contact the school on your behalf should this be necessary.
Here are some of the more well-known independent senior schools in the UK and their status regarding agency use. This information is readily available on their websites.

Winchester College

Agent not required. Boys should be registered any time after their eighth birthday and before the end of Year 5 (9+ to 10+). They are usually at least 13, but under 14, on 31 August in the year of entry to the School.
Registration forms are available from the Deputy Registrar, Mrs Philippa McComb (; telephone + 44 (0)1962 621247.

Eton College

Agent not required. Application for 2018, 2019, 2020 is closed. Applications for 2021 need to be sent before 30th June 2018

Tonbridge School

Agent required. Parents should register three years before the expected date of entrance (i.e. when your child is around ten years old). As the Entrance tests are held with Academic Asia, contact Ms Battie Fung.

Harrow School (UK)

Agent required. An applicant at school in Hong Kong should register with Ms Battie Fung at Academic Asia in Hong Kong. An applicant at school in mainland China should register with UK Boarding Schools Admissions Service. Tel: 0086 (0) 21 6330 6270

What are Computerised Pre-Tests?

UK Secondary schools are now using a raft of computerised tests to ‘pre-test’ applicants when they are in junior schools at the age of 10 years old. These tests are designed to assess the students’ current profile, and often include batteries of questions that test the following areas:

Verbal Reasoning

Non-Verbal Reasoning

Numerical Reasoning or Mathematical reasoning

Spatial reasoning

English Skills

The most common tests are the ISEB Common Pre-test, the UKiset and the CEM Durham Test.

To find out which test your chosen Senior school requires, it is best to visit their website.

Can I prepare my child for these tests?

The simple answer is that there is no need to try to boost your child’s academic level to meet the test requirements. The reason for this is that the tests are adaptive – which means that the questions will get progressively harder if your child answers them correctly. However, familiarity with question types IS valuable, simply because the adage ‘forewarned is forearmed’ holds true for any new situation.

If your child is not familiar with word problems in mathematics, or unfamiliar with non-verbal reasoning question structures, they will be disadvantaged compared to UK peers, whose prep-schools will have exposed them to much pen on paper and online practice.

How can I familiarise my child with such tests?

AMG offers students a chance to take the CAT4 (Cognitive Abilities Test). This test’s statistical analysis of a student’s Verbal, Non-verbal, Numerical and Spatial reasoning closely correlates with the scoring on the UKiset. In addition, the test makers are the same as the test designers for the ISEB Pre-test, so the format of the test will feel familiar. The CAT4 Test The test lasts between 50 minutes and 1.5 hours, depending on the length of breaks between each battery (the student/parents can choose a break time that suits them). There is also no need to take the entire test in one sitting. Once the test has been taken, we receive a report which lays out in detail the students age standardized ‘score’, which reflects their result compared with their UK peer group. Once we have this test result, we can give further advice on suitable schools.

Arranging a CAT4 test at AMG

To arrange a CAT4 test at AMG, simply call or email us. The test costs HK$350. The printed report is a further HK$150. The consultation after the test is free of charge.

How do the computerised pre-tests differ in content?

UKiset extra requirement – WRITING

For students facing the UKiset, AMG advises that the student write a 30 minute timed essay based on titles that we provide. This essay allows AMG to diagnose English proficiency, which is a part of the UKiset assessment. The UKiset also tests grammar, syntax and Listening skills.

ISEB Common Pre-test (CPT) extra requirement – READING COMPREHENSION Reading comprehension is a major part of the CPT. AMG advises that students aiming for this test learn active reading techniques with our tutors. This cannot be learned in only a few sessions, so we advise parents to get in touch with us for an assessment, to check your child is reading at the required speed and with the required ability to read for inference.

Can my child take the ISEB Common Pre-test with AMG?

Yes. The Senior School needs to give their permission, as the child’s log-in details are held by the Senior School. Once you have registered for the test with the ISEB, and are in contact with your senior school, it is just a case of asking them for the test to be sent to AMG.To date, no school has refused this permission.

What are UK secondary senior schools looking for in their written tests

These schools are selective. They are looking for children who are above average in their academic abilities, and as they are able to compare candidates, they can choose from the ‘cream’. To succeed at entrance, children need to be able to prove that they can function strongly in an English classroom setting, can voice their ideas clearly and support them logically. For Mathematics, the independent secondary schools require higher standards, and a good guide to expectations is to look at the website under Common Entrance 13+ Mathematics syllabus Level 3 and CASE columns (CASE = Common Academic Scholarship Examination)

Download PDF

Which qualification does my daughter/son need to get a Tier 4 visa for study in the UK?

To gain a Tier 4 visa, a student must have passed an approved Secure English Language Test (SELT). The IELTS examination is the best and most widely accepted test for UK admissions. English_Language_Tests_and_Test_Centres.pdf

Will tuition at AMG help me?

If you are prepared to come to each lesson with questions, yes. If you are just beginning a course, or need help revising key points, or want to go into a particular area in greater depth, yes. If you’re preparing for a specific exam and we have a tutor who specializes in that exam format, yes. Please ask in advance of booking tuition. But, if you want the teacher to do your homework or assignment for you, no. If you want guidance for a piece of work, or feedback on a draft, yes. If you want to know more, whatsapp us on 9519-2434.

Will I get homework from the AMG tutor?

We appreciate that you have a homework workload already, so the tutor will be sensitive to this. If you know you have too many pieces of work outstanding for that week, please let your tutor know.

Can you help me with my school work?

AMG tutors are happy to discuss ideas that you have for your work, and are capable and willing to look over work that you have done to make suggestions for improvement. However, please don’t ask your tutor to write something that you require for internal or external assessment. This is not allowed. For oral coursework, our tutors are happy to help you think through ideas and rehearse your points to improve the clarity of expression.

Is one-to-one tuition tiring?

It is certainly intensive. There are no moments when your attention can wander, so the ‘microsleeps’ that we all take in class at school just can’t happen in one-to-one. This means that for every hour in one-to-one, you get to cover vastly more than you would in an hour in a large class situation. In addition, the focus is on you and on your ideas and your difficulties, so you can achieve an awful lot. If you find your lesson tiring, then discuss the matter with us.

If I have a question between my lessons, can I ask my tutor?

Yes. You can email AMG, and we will forward your question to your tutor. If your questions is urgent, please let us know in advance, so we can alert the tutor and get back to you as fast as possible.

Will AMG tutors mark pieces of work outside of lesson time?

Yes, but if it is a very long piece that requires a lot of editing, we will call the account holder first as there may be an additional charge. We normally suggest that once marking has taken place, that there is a session for making improvements to the writing where you can discuss possibilities with your tutor. Note that during peak busy periods at AMG, the tutors may not have time to get back to you within a day. It is always best to call us or whatsapp us to find out – 9519-2434.

If I’m late for my lesson, should I still come?

If you’re less than ½ an hour late, please come. However, usually, if you are more than half-an-hour late, AMG policy is that this is a missed lesson, and it will still be charged. Remember that the tutor has prepared a one-hour class for you and that to deliver this class may not be possible in the remaining time. If you can call/text us to give us an ETA (estimated time of arrival) that is really helpful, and the tutor will wait.

Can you help me write my UCAS personal statement?

We can certainly give you advice on how to write this important document. We can discuss your ideas and help you phrase it effectively. You, however, need to come up with the draft ideas, because it is specifically a statement of your motivation and suitability to a particular course at a particular University or College selected by you. Once you have written your first draft, that is the time to contact us.