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A Level international exam / assessment is in progress. Ken's Study Journey hopes you can pass the exam and get outstanding results!

Frequently Answered Questions

Last Updated: 17 May 2022 12:30 (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 taken an IELTS exam, with a Band 7.0 score. (Listening: 7.5; Reading: 7.0; Writing: 6.0; Speaking: 6.5)

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, but I call it Mac mini)
  • Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse (with my Mac mini)
  • MacBook Pro 2020 (Intel chip; 4 Type-C ports)
  • AirPods Pro
  • 4 AirTags (on my backpack, pencil case, keyring, and luggage)
  • Apple Watch 7
  • iPhone 13 Pro

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.

Do you take naps at noon?

I don't take a nap at noon because we need to enjoy an all-day studying vibe. Also, some CAIE international exams take place at 13:00.

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 type of accommodation do you use?

I live in my school apartment instead of a dorm or renting a house outside since I have entered the Oxbridge College.

By the way, I can make some decorations around my apartment bedroom to build my own study environment. Learn More

Does your apartment have refrigerators?

No, my apartment does not have refrigerators.

It is not necessary for our A Level students since we do not need to store cold foods there.

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.

As well as CAIE, we also study Edexcel Further Mathematics.

What is the type of your class?

My class is a Completely-English class, which is a part of the Oxbridge College at my school.

Oxbridge College is a new type of class in my school, GCGS, which provides English courses to pursue students to enter University of Oxford or Cambridge.

For more information, please see this article.

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 (XFM01), EPQ, PE, IELTS.

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

I used to study Chemistry (9701). However, I have dropped the course since it is unrelated to my Computer Science major.

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 do inspectors of disciplines members of student union usually do at your school campus?

They usually inspect whether

  • students are wearing school uniforms correctly;
  • they have correct appearances according to school rules (e.g. we must not have dyed hair and earrings);
  • the full classroom cleanup on Thursday evening meets the criteria;
  • students are not late and running with measured pace during the morning running time.

The points can be deducted if students fail to meet the criteria.

Note: Checking whether students are using electronic devices improperly is not a duty and responsibility of the student union inspectors of disciplines.

What are the rules for using our laptop at your school?

There are some strict rules for using our laptops at school. These rules can compel students to focus on studying at certain times.

  • Everyone who do not fail an exam at school (getting C or above) is eligible for using laptops at school.
  • We must stick labels on our laptops written with names, student ID numbers and classes, which must be appeared on the school campus. We will receive laptop labels if we are eligible for using laptops.
  • Laptops are mainly used for studying, including finding resources on the Internet, preparing for competitions, and doing computer programming.
  • In addition, our screens must be faced outwards (to the direction of the door or window near the corridor) so teachers can inspect our behaviours easily.
  • We must not use our laptops during the first evening-self study lesson, when everyone must be in their classrooms.
  • We must not play any games and/or watch relevant videos on the school campus during school days.
  • We must not take our laptops into our dormitory.
  • In addition, we must not wear headphones during the whole evening self-study lessons.
What is your daily study routine at school campus?

At Oxbridge College, our study routine looks slightly different than before.

To learn more about my study routine, please see this article.

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?

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

I used to have a Python programming lesson in the afternoon, but now I have quitted the course since I can self-study programming contents.

Website and Blog

What type of your website is?

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

As my scores are increasing continuously and I became a top student since Grade 9, being featured by schools and education institutes, I have started to share my excellent study tips instead of other types of articles.

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.

What types of targeted audiences on your website are?

My website is targeted for some students, parents and teachers, 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.

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 spam comments without relevant information and 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 reason details as well as relevant rules.


My website encourages students to have trial-and-error strategy.

You can modify your comment content according to the email you have received and then send your new 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.


I may not send more emails for repeated violations to make sure that my website run normally.

Does your website display comment writer's locations?

No, my website does not display the IP address locations of comment writers.

Since all comments need to be moderated before displaying publicly on my website, spam and negative comments are rejected and hence not displayed.

My website also respects people's privacy. The IP addresses recorded on my servers are only reviewed by myself alone for anti-spam purposes and will not be disclosed.

In addition, international school students often use proxy servers to access more fruitful studying resources. This can change the IP address locations.

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 name 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).

What browsers does your website support?

In order to enhance the security and prevent attack, I have disabled all older TLS and SSL protocols (TLS 1.1 and below).

My website supports most up-to-date browsers on computers, iPads and phones.

It supports Firefox and Chrome 40 or above, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and so on.


Always keep your Operating System, browsers and apps up-to-date to enjoy the latest features and enhance the security.

Does your website support IPv6 network access?

Definitely yes. My website supports IPv6 networks and my server has an IPv6 address as well as the normal IPv4 address.

On 6 October 2021, I have tried to enable IPv6 on my server to take advantage to the latest technology. I got an IPv6 address from the ISP, bound it on my server and domain names (adding an AAAA DNS record) and I raised my server's bandwidth limit.

Note: Some APIs, like IPinfo IP addresses big database and Autonavi (Gaode) Maps, on my website do not support IPv6 so they may not working normally.

You can go to to test whether your network supports IPv6 protocol. Also, you can go to to test whether a website supports IPv6 access.

How many people visit your site via IPv6 network and why?

In fact, according to my website’s statistics, there are so few people (approximately 5% of total visitors) visiting my website via IPv6 around the world.

Although IPv6 is implemented on the global network, most WiFi routers do not support IPv6 protocol due to their outdated firmware or hardware.

According to my test results when I am at home and while I am travelling, IPv6 is not supported on a vast majority of WiFi networks, but it is supported on Mobile/Cellular Data.

Does your website support 5G network or 1,000 Mbps bandwidth? What is the speed limit of your server?

Certainly yes. My server’s maximum speed is 20 MB/s.

The maximum speed for 5G networks and 1,000 Mbps bandwidth should be at least 128 MB/s, but it may be unnecessary for my website and server and, of course, bandwidth are expensive.

The size of each webpage or article on my website is around 8 MB, so 20 MB/s is enough for my server.

However, the speed may vary around 4 MB/s during peak hours. This can be different between countries/regions, ISPs, bandwidth, and number of People using the WiFi.

Where are your servers located?

My server is located in a data centres in China and the United Kingdom because I live in China and I need to manage my website easily and quickly. I will also need to ensure people in western countries can load my website faster. It is hosted by Tencent Cloud and Alibaba Cloud, some excellent Chinese hosting providers.

I have 2 servers (nodes) in China (the second one is the backup) and another one in the UK. Normally, visitors in Asia will use my Chinese server and others will use my British server.

They will all synchronise data between each other. All visitors will be redirected to any other servers if one of my servers is down, ensuring that all visitors can access my website normally.

My website and Study Planner are available on both servers in both languages (English and Chinese-Simplified).

According to the test in my server, it is optimised for a vast majority of countries, regions and ISPs, like China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, United Kingdom, United States and Australia. Most of them have direct lines. So, visitors around the world can visit my website rapidly.

Note: I cannot guarantee that my website can load rapidly in all countries and regions. If the loading speed of my website is slow in your country/region, you can let me know.

Where are the funds of building your website and servers come from?

My website is non-profit so it does not contain any ads and affiliate links. My scholarships for studying hard are mainly used for the website and servers as well as other sources.

  • Scholarships (mainly)
  • Parent's Subsidy
  • Giveaway from Hosting Providers and ISPs
Where are the visitors on your website come from?

According to my website’s statistics, a vast majority of visitors (robots and search engine crawlers are excepted) come from China, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada. That’s why my server needs to optimise for these countries and regions.

What should I do if I see “The Server’s IP address is Not Found” error when visiting my website?

I am currently using a Chinese DNS resolution provider, DNSPod, so this problem seldom occurs recently.

You can change your DNS settings to or and try again (refresh the page).

What should I do if it displays “Network Error” when sending your comments on my articles?

This may happen if the reCAPTCHA anti-spam system is not working normally. The system is used for preventing robots from sending spam comments.

First, make sure that the reCAPTCHA logo at the bottom-right corner of my website is displaying normally. If it does not, try cleaning your browser’s cache, restarting your browser and refreshing the page.

If the problem continues, change your DNS settings to or and try again (refresh the page).

What should I do if I see an HSTS error when visiting my website?

My website has enabled HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) security measure to prevent hackers from intercepting the WiFi connections when visiting my website.

Public WiFis may ask you to login before using the Internet, you should visit or to test and login to WiFi first. Skip this if it is displaying a word "Success".

Don’t be panic if you are seeing the following error when visiting my website. Perhaps some hackers may intercepting the connection on the WiFi. Your browser will stop accessing the website if it is using HSTS. The only thing you can do is to change WiFi networks or use cellular data (3G, 4G or 5G) on your phone, except for public WiFis with a login page.

Website HSTS Error
Why don’t you use Cloudflare on your website?

In fact, Cloudflare and Akamai has its own frequency limits so that they can prevent DDoS attack. They will show a 5-second challenge or “Access Denied” page if you exceed their limits.

My website allows excessive times of access at the same device and IP address so students can enjoy my fruitful study tips. Also, different students in the same computer lab and/or same school/university are using the same IP address.

Note: I cannot guarantee that my website can load rapidly in all countries and regions. If the loading speed of my website is slow in your country/region, you can let me know.

Are there any frequency limits or restrictions on your website?

No, I don’t limit or discriminate any IP addresses, MAC addresses, countries/regions, browsers (except for some outdated and unsupported browsers and OS) since 2020.

My website and server do not have any frequency limits so every device and every IP address can load my website for unlimited times.

I also encourage students to see my fruitful resources about study tips throughout my website. Meanwhile, many devices at the same computer lab or WiFi network at school are at the same IP address.

Please Note: DDoS attack is prohibited on my website, according to my Terms of Service.

Did you know?

An excellent and popular CAIE past papers website, Frank’s C(A)IE Workshop, has a frequency limit.

We can only download 6 PDF papers per minute per IP address (Cambridge international schools are higher). This can prevent DDoS attack or reselling free resources.

Can I use AdBlockers or translation plugins on your website?

Certainly yes. My website is non-profit and free and there aren’t any ads. You are allowed to use AdBlockers on my website, but please note that some features may not working correctly under some AdBlockers browser extensions.

You can translate the content on my website to your languages using some translation extensions on your browser.

Can I copy or reblog your articles and knowledge explanations?

Yes. You can copy or reblog my contents without my permission, but you need to label the references, including my website, link and author’s name (Ken Deng).

If you are a student, be sure to follow the academic honesty rules when quoting my materials.

Note: You can view and copy the link by clicking the "Share via Link" button on my articles.


My website will display "Academic Honesty Reminder" popup when you copy my content.

It reminds students to follow academic honesty principle when quoting my materials and become a better student. You can ignore that if you are not a student, parent or teacher.


What types of content do you usually send on your newsletter?

I usually send my latest articles, knowledge explanations, study tips on my website, latest news, and so on.

You can subscribe to my newsletter so you do not need to frequently check my website.

Can I use Gmail to subscribe to your newsletter?

Yes, you can use Gmail on my website when subscribing to my email newsletter, contacting me and posting your comments.

As well as my web server in China, I also have cloud servers in the United Kingdom so they can send emails globally. If you are using email services that are unusable in China, like Gmail, my servers in other countries and regions will handle the email process.

How to unsubscribe from your newsletter?

You can simply click the “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email and follow the instructions to unsubscribe.

If you have some issues and cannot unsubscribe, you can contact me with your subscribed email address and I will remove you from the subscription list.

Ken's Study Planner App

How to sign up for an account and use Ken's Study Planner?

Just open and then click "Sign up" button at the bottom.

You can see the tutorials here.

What should I Do if Data Mis-synchronisation Occurred on Ken's Study Planner?

This phenomenon sometimes occurs when you use the Planner at different places, or when you use a proxy server. Users at different locations are directed to my different server nodes.

Data mis-synchronisation is that the data looks different when you use different server nodes.

Normally, I perform maintenance on my servers regularly to ensure the data is being synchronised normally.

If this occurs, please go to "Settings-About" on planner to see which nodes are you using (e.g. CN01) and then contact me.

How to delete my account?

You can delete your account if you no long want to use Ken's Study Planner.

Open Study Planner and log in to your account, click "Settings-Delete Account" and follow the instructions.

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.

Why there are no audio articles available on some articles?

As I am a senior high student, I have heavy study tasks so I don’t have much time to record audio articles. I only do that if I have extra free time.

Sometimes, I cannot record audio articles to prevent disturbing others in hotels or when there is no quiet environment.