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Frequently Answered Questions

Last Updated: Aug. 24, 2021 14:15 (GMT+8)

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Where are you from?

I am from Guangzhou, China but my hometown is in Guangxi Province.

Where do you live in?

I live in Phoenix City, Guangzhou, China. It is a living area at the edge of Guangzhou. There are many foreigners so that I have an opportunity to practice English.

I have introduced Phoenix City, Guangzhou on this page on my website to enable foreigners to know information about there.

How is your English ability?

I passed Cambridge KET and PET, but I am going to fix my English pronunciation problem for several months.

I also have had an IELTS test, with a band 6.0 score. (Listening: 7.0; Reading: 5.5; Writing: 6.0; Speaking: 5.5)

Why does your English grammar or pronunciation usually wrong?

I am from China and I have a lot of Chinese Classes. Also, I didn't study well until 2019, so I need some time to improve my English skills.

Do you use English or Chinese to talk with my schoolmates?

When I talk with my new schoolmates, I will use English first because it can improve my English communication skills. Then use Chinese only if they cannot speak English.

Also, my new school will use English to teach knowledge at all.

What is 1603?

It was my personal password previously since 2013, but it becomes my personal code / PIN since January 2018. It can identify me by this number, so my usernames use “kendeng1603” instead of “kendeng” to avoid the conflict.

Tip: You can search “Ken Deng 1603” or "Ken's Study Journey" on Google or Bing to find me easily.

What Apple devices do you have?

I have the following Apple devices:

  • MacBook Air 2017 (acting as the main unit of my home PC)
  • Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse (with my home PC)
  • MacBook Pro 2020 (Intel chip; 4 Type-C ports)
  • AirPods Pro
  • iPhone X
  • 3 AirTags (on my backpack, pencil case and keyring)

I like using Apple devices because they are better than other Windows and Android devices and I feel convenient while studying. For more information, please read this article.

School and Study

What is the name and the website of your school? Where is it?

My new school is called: Guangdong Country Garden School (GCGS).

It is located in Foshan, Guangdong, China, which is adjacent to Guangzhou.

It has a website:

Why don't you go to SCIE (Shenzhen College of International Education) and failed its entrance exam?

This is because my fundamental knowledge in the primary school is not enough as I didn't know the importance of studying and hence I did not study consciously and listen to class carefully.

However, over a long period, my scores are higher and I made such big progress since Grade 8 in my junior high school and hence I have been praised by many teachers and parents and I opened this website and blog to share my study strategy.

Now, I regret that I didn't study well once upon a time. As a result, many knowledge is difficult and unacceptable for me.

Do you need to have accommodation in senior high school?

It is essential to live in the school during my senior high studying journey because any of the senior high schools I want to go into is far away from my home, whatever the school I will be in.

I will live in school on weekdays and go back home at weekend.

What is the type of your course?

The type of my course is Cambridge International AS and A Level, in which I can learn many knowledge based on my interests.

What courses do your study in your school?

There are a wide range of courses I study in my school. Apart from compulsory courses, I attend part of them according to my interests.

Compulsory: Mathematics (9709), Further Mathematics (9231), EPQ, PE, English as a Second Language (9093).

Optional: Physics (9702), Chemistry (9701), Computer Science (9618, 9608).

Does your school have uniforms?

Certainly. It has multiple colours and we wear different colours on different days.

Please note: It is against my school rule for not wearing school uniform or wearing it with a wrong colour.

Does your school allow or ban electronic devices?

My school bans electronic devices such as cellphones or iPads. It can prevent students from playing games all day, even in the class.

However, we may take our laptops and use them only when searching information on the Internet, preparing for exams and competitions, and making research projects.

Did you know?

At the start of 2021, the Ministry of Education of China banned students in primary and secondary schools from taking their smart phones into the campus.

I think it is a very useful and helpful rule and constraint because it restricts students from playing too many games. However, I have already made my (backup) study plan and routine for some special circumstances.

What is your study routine in senior high school?

There is more pressure during my senior high school life and it will follow this principle: remember English words and watch YouTube English videos after get up, listen to English audio and podcasts on transportations, read books for at least an hour every day, watch an English movie every Friday evening.

I have my excellent study approaches, reducing my burden on studying, improving my study efficiency, and having enough sleeping time.

What is your study plan for each grade in senior high school?

Grade 10 (the 1st year): Prepare for the IELTS exam.

Grade 11 (the 2nd year): Further prepare for the IELTS exam to safisfy with entry requirements of universities. Do some activities related to my major I will study in the university.

Grade 12 (the 3rd year): Apply for universities and prepare for studying in them.

What extra curricula do you attend?

I attend 2 extra curricula on Saturday.

In the morning (10:30 to 12:30), I have an IELTS speaking lesson to offset my weakness and improve my IELTS scores.

In the afternoon (14:00 to 17:00), I have a Python programming lesson to further enhance my programming skills.

Website and Blog

What type of your website is?

My website was previously a blog that was sharing my tutorials, personal routine and ideas.

Since August 18, 2021 after I have updated my website, it was changed to a website that shares study tips and experience of top students with not only blog articles. It can be an educational website.

As my scores are increasing continuously and I became a top student, being featured by schools and education institutes, I have started to share my excellent study tips instead of other types of articles.

What types of targeted audiences on your website are?

My website is targeted for some students, for example:

  • Students in international schools, studying international courses such as IGCSE, A Level, MYP, DP, AP, etc.
  • Students in the United Kingdom, studying GCSE and A Level.
  • University or college students.
Why did you start your personal website and blog?

I wanted to share my ideas and practice my English and writing skills.

Contents in WeChat public subscription accounts are written in Chinese and are commonly read by Chinese people while YouTube videos are commonly watched by foreign people. So, my website builds a bridge between students worldwide, sharing and exchanging our ideas in both English and Chinese.

Also, I have my own study strategy and tips, so I want to share them to others to encourage students to study effectively and get excellent results.

In addition, I want to make English friends worldwide.

How long will you keep your website running?

I estimated and promise that my website will keep running until at least 2035. It was established in 2019 when I was in Grade 8 in junior high school, and it will keep running throughout my study journey in senior high school (now) and university in the UK (since 2023).

After I graduate from university in 2027, I will keep my website running for a few years, like Ali Abdaal who keeps his website and YouTube channel running after graduating from the University of Cambridge.

What is the period for writing new articles of your blog?

Regularly, I write and publish new articles on my blog only if I have free time. This rule is implemented to let me focus on studying.

If you want to receive my latest study tips and articles, please subscribe to my email newsletter.

How to Unsubscribe from your Email Newsletter?

You just need to click the 'Unsubscribe' button at the bottom in any of my email newsletters.

If you have trouble unsubscribing from my email newsletter, you can contact me and I will remove your email address from the list.

Why do you use reCAPTCHA to protect your website?

My website received too many spam comments, messages and emails, and my server almost crashed.

Note: I have upgraded the reCAPTCHA to v3 from the old v2 checkbox to prevent users from being interrupted. My server has been recording the scores for reCAPTCHA v3 to prevent spam.

Why do the comments on your website need moderation artificially?

Since I started my website, I have received thousands of spam comments and emails (e.g. advertisements of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) services). A few months ago, some malicious robots successfully tried to evade automated anti-spam systems.

As I need to have accommodation in my school, I do not have time to respond to all comments on weekdays and I usually concern about the spam comments. I can moderate your comments as I read and reply to them.

What should I do if my comment has been rejected during moderation?

The comments I reject are some negative comments that can severely affect user's experience, reputations of me or my school, and my productivity. I have rejected 5% of comments sent to me.

You will receive an email if your comment has been rejected, which includes the reasons. You can delete negative contents and send your modified comment again.

If you don't know what kinds of content do I reject, please see the article 15 in my Terms of Service.

If you have any doubts about whether a content is prohibited, you may ask me by sending me emails. If you believe that I have rejected by errors, you can reply to the email received, along with your reasons, to file an appeal.

Why did you add the Chinese language to your website and blog?

I am going to give an opportunity to foreigners in China to practice Chinese. Also, many Chinese friends and my parents cannot use English. So, I made my website bilingual between English and Chinese-Simplified.

In fact, my website only has an English version after I have built my website on February 2019 until September 2019.

Why have you abandoned WordPress on your new website?

Recently, I have discovered a lot of bugs and restrictions on WordPress, along with some unnecessary features. These issues can affect user's experience and inject difficulties for me for maintaining my website.

I have sufficient programming skills, so I tend to write codes by my own instead of using APIs and templates. Also, I have started to reduce the usage of third-party APIs on my programming projects to further protect your privacy since September 1, 2021.

What kinds of APIs do you use on your website?

I am currently using the following APIs and frameworks:

  1. Google reCAPTCHA anti-spam system;
  2. Autonavi (Gaode) Maps;
  3. IP addresses big data;
  4. GoDaddy email subscription and domain professional email system
Can I post guest posts on your blog?

No. Any guest posts are not allowed on my blog because I need to keep the originality of the content on my blog.

Why does your website provide knowledge explanations?

I have started to provide knowledge explanations on my website since August 18, 2021 because I want to share my explanations of some knowledge I studied in my school to let students understand them easily and apply them in real life.

I usually discover knowledge in real life and share them on social media, but some people may not know the reasons behind, so providing explanations can enable non-students to dig deeper holes on the knowledge points.

Why your website does not use .cn or domain names?

The first language of my website is English, but not Chinese. Chinese websites with Chinese domain names (e.g. .cn, usually use Chinese as their first language.

Not only does my website have visitors in China, but also people outside China (e.g. United Kingdom, United States) usually visit my website. I think my website may lose visitors outside China if people know it is a Chinese website (because they may think that the website uses Chinese language).

Audio Articles

Why does your blog provide audio articles?

This is because I need to practice my English speaking and pronunciation and enable people who cannot or are not convenient to read the text to 'read' my articles.

My English pronunciation may be wrong because I am a Chinese student studying English. People can send your feedback by sending me comments in my articles or messages.

Since April 2021, all new articles have their audio version. The player is embedded at the top of each article. You can listen to or download them (MP3 file).

Note: Audio articles are available in English only.

What software do you use to record your audio articles?

I use Adobe Audition to record my audio articles.

Adobe Audition is software made by Adobe that can record voice or songs, make Podcasts, make audio files (usually MP3 format), analyse and edit audio files, and so on. Podcasters, broadcasters and singers can use it to record their voice and add some background music.

In addition, it has an advantage over basic voice recorder software in the OS that I can cut off sentences or paragraphs that has been read incorrectly and record them again. So, I do not need to record the whole audio again and again.

Do you offer audio script for your audio articles?

Yes, I also publish a copy of the audio script along the way I publish new articles and its audio.

There will be an 'Audio Scripts' button beside the audio player. You can open the PDF file and see what's are recorded in case you cannot understand the audio.

What devices, equipments and environments do you use to record your audio articles?

There is a microphone on the desk of my home's bedroom connected to my home PC. So, it is very convenient for me to read out the draft on the microphone directly.

Outside my home, I usually use either my portable microphone that can be clipped on my clothes, the internal microphone of my MacBook Pro, or even my Airpods Pro.

I always record my voice in a quiet environment (e. g. my home bedroom, hotel room). All of the devices mentioned above include a noise cancellation feature that removes the sounds apart from my voice.

My home bedroom can be acted as a voice recording studio because it is very quiet when the doors and windows are closed and hence I installed a microphone suitable for voice recording there.

Where do you find and download background music?

In YouTube audio library*. Here I can find and download copyright free background music.

I was previous a YouTuber, so I always find copyright free music there for my videos and audio articles.

* Note: The Audio Library link is now only available for YouTubers. You need to log in to your Google account to access it.