Checklist for University Search Process

Year 11: Engage in learning and focus on academic work and co-curricular interests

Term 1
  • Attend DC University and Career Fair in September and speak with admission representatives, start a research portfolio
  • Register for and take the PSAT in October
Term 2
  • Attend resume writing and cover letter workshops organized by HEO in preparation for work experience
  • Complete Personality & Career Profile
  • Meet with HE Counsellor to discuss subject selection and pathways for Year 12
Term 3
  • Arrange meetings with HE counsellor to become familiar with HE resources
  • Get prepared for summer and attend sessions on summer programmes
  • Log onto BridgeU and explore future options
  • Reflect on work experience and & future pathways


Year 12: Get serious about researching. Engage in learning and focus on academic work and co-curricular interests

  • Meet with your HEC to discuss IB subject selection
  • Attend the Australian Education Fair in Hong Kong
  • Visit the UK University Exhibition and Clearing in Hong Kong
  • Make sure you visit the HEO Blog regularly
  • Register for the September ACT or October SAT if intending to apply to US universities
  • Get involved with an after-school activity, but don’t overload yourself Concentrate on your academics, study skills, class preparation & time management
  • Attend the University Fair at DC and speak to representatives
  • Register for the October ACT or November SAT and/or SAT subject tests
  • Take the October SAT if applying to the US
  • Begin attending the university fairs and numerous representative visits
  • Set up your portfolio – you should be researching about 30+ universities at this stage
  • Register for the December SAT
  • Complete Strategy Advisor in BridgeU
  • If applicable, take the November SAT Languages with Listening
  • Take the November SAT
  • Register for the December ACT
  • Take the December SAT and/or ACT
  • Register for the January SAT
  • Begin familiarizing yourself with the resources available in the HEO
  • Take the January SAT
  • Attend the ESF University Fair
  • Attend the British Council Fair in Hong Kong
  • Develop your short list of universities on BridgeU
  • Complete the student brag sheet and return to the HEO
  • Begin creating a list of important factors/criteria for your university search and exploring different majors/courses of study that match your ‘career vision’
  • Attend the British Council Fair in Hong Kong
  • Attend the IDP (Australian) Exhibition in Hong Kong
  • Begin your research into summer programmes and internships
  • Make regular appointments to speak to your HE counsellor
  • If applicable, register for the TOEFL/IELTS test
  • Begin reviewing entrance requirements for universities that you are interested in
  • Meet with your HEC
  • Continue your research into summer programmes
  • Register for the May SAT
  • Oxbridge/Ivy League applicants: become familiar with the earlier application timeline
  • Work on your Personal Statement/ application essay. READ around your subject
  • Arrange to visit universities over Easter Break
  • Register for June SAT
  • Meet with your HEC to discuss the university application process
  • PLAN your summer – summer programme or work experience?
  • Oxbridge/Ivy League applicants: complete the first draft of your Personal
  • Statement/application essay
  • Begin your first draft of personal statement/application essay (except
  • Oxbridge/Ivy League applicants)
  • Finalize list of reference books that you will read or review over the summer
  • Review  current prospectus catalogs from your selected universities via their websites
  • Registration for UKCAT opens
  • Take SAT
  • Concentrate on drafting your personal statement/application essay
  • Begin narrowing down your university list; build a placement portfolio with your university guidance counsellor
  • Identify two current Year 12 subject teachers for recommendations ONLY if applying to the US
  • Inform HEO of the 2 referees you would like to write your USA/Canada recommendation
  • Register for June ACT
  • Take the June SAT
  • Mock Oxbridge interviews take place (Due to COVID – Reschedule to Mid Aug) 
  • Finalize your short list of universities/colleges on BridgeU
  • Read college/university application instructions carefully to find out what information is required and the deadlines for applications
  • If you are planning to travel over the summer, arrange to visit some universities
  • Refine personal statement/application essay
  • Finalize your work placement. Applying to study Medicine for Law in the UK or HK? Then, work experience is mandatory
  • BMAT/LNAT/UKCAT and all that. Do you need to take an admissions test? Find out and start preparing. Search the websites, register for the tests
  • Renew your passport if it’s expiring within 6 months
  • Take TOEFL/ IELTS test (if applicable) over the summer holidays if you haven’t done so
  • Register for July ACT


Year 13: Finalise and submit your  applications

Term 1
  • Attend meetings with HEC and finalize the list of final universities
  • Submit final drafts of essays
  • Complete and submit applications by deadlines set for each region by the HEO
  • Mock interviews take place (individual and MMIs)
Term 2 & 3
  • Receive decisions from universities
  • Think very carefully about your final choices
  • Giving back – participate in a panel discussion for Year 12 on your university search process
  • March:  deadline to reply to UK offers
  • May: deadline to reply to US offers
  • June – Pre-departure Briefing workshop (Due to COVID change to online webinars – Uni Ready Programs) 
  • July – Receive IB results