Capstone Prep Education | Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions:

1. What is Capstone? How long has Capstone been established?

Founded in 2003, Capstone is one of Asia’s leading education firms. We focus on providing ambitious and high performing students with a solid foundation in writing, debating, critical thinking, and problem solving. We also offer admissions consulting services for students targeting top private schools, boarding schools, and universities in US, UK, and Hong Kong.

2. What is Capstone’s mission and teaching philosophy?

We believe our role is to teach students to solve life’s challenges confidently and succeed in the future while being mindful of their short-term academic needs.

 

To do this, our curricula focus on helping students obtain (1) a strong advanced English base, (2) mastery of critical and applied thinking, and, finally, (3) support to enter and succeed at elite universities. With the attainment of these three areas, our students will excel academically and continue towards professional, long-term success.

3. How many branches does Capstone has? Where are they all located?

Currently, we have primary and secondary offices open across Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen.

4. What is the best way to contact Capstone for quick inquiry?

For quick inquiry, please contact us via the following emails:

 

Hong Kong: info@capstoneprep.com

Shanghai: shanghai@capstoneprep.com

Beijing: beijing@capstoneprep.com

Shenzhen: shenzhen@capstoneprep.com

 

For weekly updates, please subscribe to our WeChat official channel: capstoneprep

5. What programs or services does Capstone offer? What age groups are appropriate for those offerings?

Capstone offers preparation in four interconnected areas:

 

(1) Advanced English Programs: Reading, Writing, Public Speaking and Debate programs for students from Grade 1 to Grade 12

(2) Thinking and Problem Solving Programs: Research, Analysis, & Problem Solving (RAPS), Scholars, and Writing, Discussion, & Thinking (WDT) for students from Grade 3 to Grade 12.

(3) Subject / Test Preparation: SSAT, SAT, ACT, IB, AP, A-Levels, etc. available as 1-on-1 in person, online, or intensive courses during holiday breaks.

(4) Admissions Consulting: US & UK University Admissions, US & UK Boarding School Admissions, HK International School Admissions

 

Our students in Hong Kong are mainly from Grade 1 (Primary 1) to Grade 12 (Form 6).

In China, our students are mainly from Grade 3 (Primary 4) to Grade 12 (Form 6).

6. Where are our teachers from? What are their qualifications?

We have a dedicated team of over 40 full-time instructors who hold Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate Degrees from the best universities in the world, such as many of the Ivy League universities, MIT, Stanford, Yale, and more. Each year, Capstone receives over 1000+ applicants and make offers to less than 20 applicants. From this group, Capstone recruits instructors with incredible backgrounds from top universities to seek out individuals who can serve as both academic and personal role models.

 

Enrichment Program Questions:

1. How does Capstone apply critical thinking to its programs?

We engage our students with some of today’s most interesting and challenging issues. Student gradually learn to speak, write, and debate about heated issues from balanced, nuanced perspectives. With an active awareness of both significant historical contexts and current world affairs, our students understand how to ask questions, develop opinions, and solve both conceptual and physical problems.

2. What do Capstone programs focus on? How does Capstone program help my child in school?

Critical thinking, logical analysis, problem solving, and effective communication (written and spoken) are at the core of our curriculum. Capstone courses prepare students to analyze, debate, research, persuade, and present. Our students become both innovative thinkers and adept communicators – skills that are essential to their success during their academic and professional lives.

3. What does a typical Capstone class look like?

Capstone prioritizes interactive classrooms and discussion-based learning, and allows each student to participate and contribute in a small class-size setting. In our classes, students are challenged to take a stance, defend their opinions or present their work, lead and contribute to discussions, and present with confidence and clarity.

4. How do I know where to place my child in the program?

Capstone has a custom-created assessment that measures a student’s reading, writing, speaking, and logical thinking ability. We welcome students to come in for this assessment test, which is then used for placement.

 

All new students across all Capstone offices are required to take this assessment before enrolling in our ongoing courses to ensure they are on a path that optimizes their development pace and caters to their most needed areas.

5. How long do Capstone programs run for? What is the typical size of a Capstone class?

Our Advanced English and Critical Thinking programs typically run once a week for 2 hours throughout the entire academic year. For more program details, please refer to program descriptions and course schedules on our website or contact the office your child is based in.

 

Our small-sized class is limited to a standard 8-to-a-room setup. This is a number that guarantees students receive the attention required for their personal academic growth.

6. What resources or materials does Capstone use? Do students have to purchase any books?

Capstone staff and instructors develop all our programs’ curricula. There is no additional material needed. Every lesson plan is only available at Capstone and designed for our students and their specific needs, abilities, and ambitions. Our full-time instructors devote more than 25% of their time every week to improve and adapt lessons to ensure that our curricula are relevant and impactful to our students’ development.

7. Can my child join your classes anytime?

Capstone understands the need for scheduling flexibility. Therefore, we offer a variety of entry periods for our courses. Students may join an enrichment course according to their assessment results, subject to course availability.

 

Different sections of the same classes are offered in the afternoon on weekdays and all day on weekends. After your child’s assessment, a development plan and the relevant courses and schedules will be provided to help transition your child into our programs as soon as convenient.

8. Does Capstone offer intensive holiday programs apart from regular enrichment programs?

Yes, we offer Christmas, Easter, and Summer Intensive programs. The intensive programs offer a wide range of enrichment courses designed to help students maintain their academic excellence over holiday breaks.

 

For China offices, Capstone also offers intensive courses during Golden week in specific offices.

 

Admissions Consulting Questions:

1. What admissions consulting services does Capstone provide?

Capstone offers strategic, personalized admissions planning for students applying to top US and UK boarding schools and universities. Taking a holistic approach, we work with individual students to develop their own unique application strategy, achieve competitive academic records, and build strong personal narratives and student profiles for the application process.

 

Our targeted services include essay editing, story and profile development, course/school selection, interview preparation, and all major components of an application where strategic insight and input helps to elevate the candidate.

2. What are the benefits of working with a consulting team for boarding school and university admissions?

Working with a professional consulting team ensures that students gain the competitive advantage by having access to comprehensive resources and support throughout the application process, which can be difficult for parents and students to navigate by themselves.

 

Capstone’s consulting team helps parents and students address questions that cannot be answered by school counselors or teachers alone, and we offer a diverse range of personalized packages tailored to the needs of individual students.

3. Why are Capstone consulting services more successful?

We believe in a hands-on and individualized approach to admissions consulting services. We make sure to understand our clients on a personal level in order to best present both their past achievements and future potentials to the schools. Our tried-and-tested approach has led to many of our clients gaining acceptance into top schools well above their statistical range.

 

By proportion of success (number of offers vs. total number of clients), Capstone is among the highest performing admissions advisory service in Asia. We get similar numbers of Ivy League, Stanford, and MIT offers each year with our handful of students as compared to firms with 10 to 20 times more clients.

4. What is the procedure for Capstone consulting services?

Our comprehensive admissions consulting services begin with a profile assessment, in which our Lead Consultants provide an overview of the client’s immediate status and range, as well as some urgent areas that must be immediately addressed. Then, after engagement, each student is presented with a tailored roadmap that establishes a specific application strategy and schedule. Based on the strengths, interests, and aspirations of the student, we advise on course selection, summer activities, and extracurricular opportunities. As students enter the application season, we help them select schools to apply to, and provide thorough support on all components of the application process, including personal statement, interview coaching, and preparation for standardized tests.

5. How does Capstone consulting team help students get into top boarding schools and universities?

Our consultants spend a great amount of time getting to know our clients on a deeply personal level and, as important, understanding what schools are looking for and what our clients’ competition looks like. By understanding our clients’ backgrounds and passions, we are able to get students to present the most compelling narrative of themselves for their applications. With years of experience working with top students from all over China and Hong Kong, we know how to discover the distinct qualities of each of the student. Using our expertise, we give a uniqueness to our clients that lets them stand out against their academic peers. Our approach is to frame our clients’ existing statistics in the best light while augmenting their profile with elements we know admissions committees are looking for.

6. What kind of test preparation does Capstone provide?

We offer a range of test prep services, including Early Test Prep (G7-G9), SSAT Bootcamp (G7-G9), ACT/SAT Bootcamp (G9-G11). In addition to comprehensive group classes, we also offer private lessons on a one-to-one basis for AP and IB exams, UKiset, SCAT, 11+, 13+, and other standardized tests.

 

Capstone guarantees a personalized approach to teaching test prep, adjusting our curriculum based on each student’s strengths and weaknesses. We work with only a handful of test prep clients annually, but in almost all cases, our students consistently achieve either high marks (for example, typical scores on the ACT are 34 to 36 for most of our clients), or have outsized gains between their diagnostic and final scores.

7. How do I get started?

For ongoing academic development, contact us to schedule an assessment for your child. Afterwards, please meet with our staff to interpret that performance. A development plan and the relevant courses will be provided based on our instructors’ recommendations.

 

For admissions consulting support, contact info@capstoneprep.com and ask for a first appointment.