Frequently Asked Questions 

  • General Questions

    How many lessons are needed for my child?

    This is entirely dependent on the foundation of the student and the subject(s) that he or she is studying. If a test date is getting near, then frequent and concentrated lessons may be beneficial. Otherwise, students can normally take lessons once a week for individual subjects. A diagnostic test can pinpoint the right amount of instruction your child needs.

    Can a student join a regular course in the middle of a term? Is this a detriment to the student's progress?

    If a student has taken our diagnostic test and the result shows that his or her level is appropriate for that particular course, teachers may recommend the student to join mid-course. Students joining mid-course may experience some initial difficulties due to missed lessons. However, this can be easily resolved as new students can request teaching materials distributed in previous lessons. Nonetheless, we strongly recommend students to join our courses from the beginning or as close to the start of the term as possible.

    What happens if the student cannot attend a paid lesson?

    The rescheduling of lessons can only be granted if the reschedule request is made with 10 days' prior notice. Special and extenuating cases are also permitted for rescheduling. For example, if a student has fallen ill, NTK can reschedule the lesson at no extra charge within 7 days provided that there is an official doctor's note. Otherwise, paid lessons are not eligible for rescheduling or refunds. Please understand this is our company policy and is applied to every student.

    What is the difference between a private lesson and a regular course?

    In a regular course, the timeslot, teacher and teaching materials are fixed according to the subject and specific syllabus. Students are recommended to join a regular course because it closely resembles a school study environment. Courses are also less costly.

    Private lessons are comparatively more flexible as students can choose their preferred timeslot, teacher and which syllabus to follow at their own pace. Private lessons are especially ideal for students whose academic level is higher or lower compared to their peers. Private lessons also cater to higher level specialized subjects for which NTK does not currently offer courses.

    Do the teaching materials and syllabuses from our lessons correspond with the curriculum that my child follows from school?

    For courses, teachers use a pre-determined course syllabus (with accompanying material), which may or may not follow directly with the students' school syllabus. However, apart from teaching core content to students, teachers also devote some attention to helping students with their own homework or answering individual questions.

    Most students enrolled in private lessons, prefer teachers to help them with their school curriculum. Students and parents can easily request that our teachers prepare materials according to the syllabus they would like to follow. It is paramount that students and parents communicate clearly and early with teachers about the curriculum they desire. If teachers are not informed which syllabus or materials to use, they will prepare lessons to strengthen core content using their own materials.

    Why can't I arrange lessons with the teachers directly?

    Teachers are solely responsible for academic matters. All scheduling and payment related issues are handled by NTK's administration staff. Teachers are full-time employees of NTK and their schedules are subject to school timetables.

    How do I register?

    You will need to fill in a registration form for the enrolling student. This can be done in person at our Learning Center at 7/F, 18 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay or at 2/F, The Avery,16 Hau Wong Road, Kowloon City.

    When should I confirm the following month's lessons and how?

    You may confirm a lesson with us by calling our Customer Relationship Officers at 2577 7844 (Main campus) or 2718 3000 (Kowloon campus) during office hours. Please note that all lessons must be confirmed by the 20th of each month for the following month.

    How can I pay for a lesson?

    NTK offers a range of payment methods, including:

    • Online Payment visa
    • By phone (Please call 2577 7844 (HK Campus) / 2718 3000 (KLN Campus))
    • By post
    • PPS via
    • In person ( WeChat Pay, Alipay, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Union Pay, EPS, Cash or person cheques)
    • By ATM 
    • By Bank Transfer

    You may also learn more details about our payment methods.


  • Questions about SAT & ACT

    When is the best time to start SAT preparation courses?

    It is generally recommended that students start at least one academic year prior to the date of their first scheduled SAT exam. Some students may choose to start two years in advance. Most of NTK's students begin SAT preparation around Grade 9 and 10 (Year 10 and 11). Many local students require an extended period of time to prepare adequately for the critical reading and writing sections of the SAT.

    How many times should my child take the SAT?

    This is entirely dependent on the diagnostic report of the student and his or her target score. There is no limit to the number of times a student can take the SAT exam; however, there are a few considerations to take into account. While some universities ultimately see the cumulative score of a student's multiple SAT exam results, it is generally not recommended to take the exam more than three times. Constantly preparing for SAT re-examination can divert a student's energy from important school work and impede his or her overall performance.

    Are ACT results recognized by US universities?

    All four-year universities in the United States (with a few rare exceptions) recognize ACT results with equal weight as SAT results. However, it is important to check the details of each university's admissions requirements.

    Which test should my child take, the SAT or the ACT?

    This depends on the particular strengths and weaknesses of the student. The current SAT places more emphasis on verbal reasoning and typically uses tricky language in its questions, but its Mathematics section is easier than the ACT's. ACT questions tend to be much more straightforward than the SAT's, but the ACT has an additional Science section which the SAT does not have. International school students seem to be more suited towards the SAT, while local school students may feel more suited to the ACT.

    How many lessons does my child need to prepare for the test?

    This is entirely dependent on the results of the diagnostic test and the timing of the exam date. Usually, it is recommended that students join a general course and attend on a regular basis. These courses typically run from September to June of the next year. This consistent enrollment in a course can build a strong foundation at an effective pace. If the test date is imminent, intensive drilling courses are ideal to quickly prepare students in content knowledge and time management for the exams.

  • Questions about SAT Subject Tests

    Why should students take SAT Subject Tests?

    Some universities require a certain number of SAT Subjects Tests to be taken in order to meet the application requirements. It is important to check the individual requirements of each university about SAT Subject Tests. A higher score in the Subject Tests will always weigh more favorably towards acceptance. It is important to note that SAT Subject Tests are separate from the SAT Reasoning Test, which assesses Critical Reading, Writing, and Math.

    How should a student choose which SAT Subject Tests to take?

    Students should generally choose SAT Subject Tests according to their academic strengths, especially subjects that they have had the most experience with in order to maximize their chances for a high score. Each Subject Test has its own syllabus and students should prepare in advance.

    Some universities not only require a certain number of SAT Subject Tests, but also require tests in certain fields of study. For example, Massachusetts Institute of Technology requires students to take two Subject Tests: Math I or Math II, and one in Physics, Chemistry, or Biology.

  • Questions about IB courses

    My child is currently enrolled in an IBMYP curriculum. Is that enough preparation to succeed in IBDP?

    A student taking IBMYP should generally be prepared for IBDP; however, there are specific and unique factors for each student to consider. IBMYP is the designed, precursory curriculum for students around Grade 6 to 10 (Year 7 to 11) before embarking on the IB Diploma Programme in Grade 11 and 12 (Year 12 and 13). While IBDP courses follow strict rubrics to prepare students for final exams, IBMYP curricula is left to individual schools to decide how best to prepare students for the future IBDP material. The IBMYP is due to undergo a major overhaul, with a number of changes being implemented in 2015. We recommend starting IBMYP students early with additional tutorial lessons in order to develop essential critical thinking and writing skills needed for success during the IBDP years.

    What is TOK?

    TOK stands for Theory of Knowledge and is one of the three core requirements in the IB Diploma Programme. NTK's TOK course is in essence an epistemology class that ties together the variety of subjects that IBDP students study with a philosophical approach to the understanding of knowledge itself. TOK can be interpreted as a philosophy course that trains students “how” to think within and beyond an academic setting.

    What is the Extended Essay?

    The Extended Essay (EE) is another one of the three core requirements in the IB Diploma Programme. It is an in-depth independent research paper of up to 4,000 words, focusing on a topic of the student's choice normally in one of the student's six chosen subjects for the IB Diploma. The IBO states that the EE “provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (a teacher in the school). This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen.” The supervisor provides the student with advice and assistance in formulating a well-focused research question and acquisition of research resources, as well as monitoring the progress and authenticity of the student's work.

    Can I apply to US colleges with an IB score only?

    The IB Diploma is recognized in 75 countries around the world. The IBO provides an online searchable directory of information with a list of over 2,000 tertiary institutions in the world that recognise the IB. On the whole, almost all major universities and liberal arts colleges in the United States will accept an IB Diploma; however, this does not exempt a student from taking other required admissions tests like the SAT Reasoning Test, other SAT Subject Tests or the ACT.

  • Questions about AP courses

    Why do students need to take AP courses?

    Unlike the IBDP or IGCSE curricula, the US-based curriculum is not centered on requisite final exams for the attainment of a diploma. The Advanced Placement exams (administered by the College Board™, the same test board of the SAT Reasoning Test and Subject Tests) provide students following US-centered education to be able to set themselves apart from other students by taking these challenging university level equivalent courses that culminate in a final exam.

    When judging applications, many elite universities heavily factor the number of AP courses and exams a student has taken. They also note the success (or lack thereof) of the exams taken. By challenging themselves to take AP courses, students can show college admissions boards that they are motivated and self-driven, with the skills and ability to succeed in college. On the contrary, students without AP qualifications may be viewed as not having the motivation to take on an accelerated course load. As a result, excelling on the AP is no longer a choice, but an important prerequisite for gaining entrance into elite institutions.

    What are the AP scoring requirements for credit transfer in universities?

    AP exams are graded on a 1-5 point scale (5 being the highest). Many universities allow for credit transfer for AP scores that meet their standards. Each university and department has different requirements and it is important to check their respective criteria for credit transfer. Typically, a score of 4 or above can count as completion of a 100 level introductory freshman course in that respective field. Some university departments allow credit transfer for a score of 3. Scores of 2 and below generally have no eligibility for credit transfer.

  • Questions about IGCSE courses

    I'm not sure which exam board my child is following. Can NTK help find out?

    NTK keeps as up-to-date as possible on the syllabuses of HK and UK boarding schools. However, because international schools in Hong Kong and UK boarding schools tend to frequently change their examination board providers, it is hard for NTK to keep track. Even so, we can definitely help you to obtain the latest information. The most efficient way to find out what examination board your child is following is to contact the school directly and request a school syllabus.

    Should I take Chinese 1st or 2nd Language?

    Your placement in 1st or 2nd Language courses is entirely based on your ability and diagnostic test results. If you are a borderline student with an average ability for 1st language, but above average ability for 2nd language, you have the option to take both.

    I'm a self-study student. Which exam board should I choose?

    What exam board you choose to take should be entirely based on your strengths and weaknesses. Different exam boards ask for different skill sets. For example, English 1st Language CIE puts heavy emphasis on writing skills and creativity, whereas English 1st Language Edexcel provides less flexibility in exam questions and you have to pre-learn many anthology texts.

    What's the difference between Science Double and Triple Award?

    Science Double and Triple Award are both awarded by the Edexcel exam board. To receive Science Double Award, students need to sit three papers: Physics Paper 1, Chemistry Paper 1 and Biology Paper 1; to receive Science Triple Award, students need to sit not only Paper 1, but also Paper 2 for Physics, Chemistry and Biology, totalling six papers.

  • Questions about GCE AS/AL courses

    What exam boards and modules are available?

    There are many exam boards and a combination of many different modules depending on the school — the best thing to do is directly contact the schools and ask them to provide the syllabus, or alternatively, check online. 

    I'm a self-study student. When do I need to take the exams?

    This depends on the exam board, subject and student's choice. Year by year dates are available from the websites of each exam board. NTK can keep you up-to-date depending on the above factors.

    How does a GCE AS / AL qualification help in applying for a university in Hong Kong or overseas?

    GCE is a necessary, higher level qualification. There are other options like BTECH, HND and IB, so it really depends on what your strengths and weaknesses are. A GCE qualification is a well-recognized higher level qualification that will help your chances of getting into university in Hong Kong and overseas.

    What is the difference between an AS and AL module?

    The A Level is a two-year programme –- the first year is called the Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level, which you must complete in order to progress into A Level.

    Why there are so many different exam boards? Is there an "easier" exam board I can follow so that I can obtain higher marks?

    What is deemed easier or harder depends entirely on your strengths and weaknesses. In order to assess this, NTK can look at your previous grades, give you a diagnostic test or set up a consultation to see what exam board best suits you.