Top-notch study rooms

Top-notch study rooms

Too many distractions at home? Chris Lau hunts down the city's best spots for revising …

A decent study room is a sacred sanctuary for students who can't focus at home. And as the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) exams loom, finding a reliable place to revise is increasingly important.

But a top-notch study room needs to be more than just a quiet environment.

Is it easy to get a seat during rush hour? Can you find places to relax nearby? Is it a convenient spot to grab a cheap lunch?

Even the cost of the coffee matters, says Sing Ying Secondary School student Harry Tam Po-man, who was recently crowned the Grand Prize winner of the South China Morning Post's Student of the Year Awards.

"Normally, a can of instant coffee would be around HK$8 at convenience stores," says Harry, who uses the study room at the Lam Tin Complex. "But here, there is a market down the road where my friends and I can get the same coffee from a local store for HK$6."

Opened in late 2012, the 201-seat study room is on the fifth floor of a futuristic-looking complex on Hing Tin Street. Each desk has a mini-wall erected around it to give students maximum privacy.

Harry prefers to go to a study room, rather than revise at home, because it helps him stay away from distractions. "Once you sit down and start revising, it's like you're in your own world," says Harry.

The rooftop of the complex boasts a cosy little garden, but what appeals to Harry the most is that the place seldom gets filled up.

A kindly reminder though: users of any government-run study room during the public exam period - from March to May - are advised to apply for an admission card, as cardholders will get first priority. The applications for this year, unfortunately, closed last month.

But if you don't have a card, it's by no means the end of the world. More than a handful of study rooms run by youth and social groups are also available across Hong Kong, if you're willing to dig around.

Across the road and tucked away from the bustling Plaza Hollywood in Diamond Hill, the local library is on the fifth floor of the Chi Lin Nunnery. The complex, which includes Chinese gardens, offers a relaxing study environment.

Those who like to ease their stress by gobbling down some sweet treats should head to EFCC - Grace Church Kai Tak Centre, at the junction between Prince Edward Road West and Argyle Street. The centre's study room is just a few blocks from the heart of Kowloon City, one of the city's best dessert hubs.

How about a chocolate soufflé after a long, hard day of study?

Meanwhile, the study room at Youth Outreach - a five-minute walk from the Sai Wan Ho station - can accommodate about 60 people around the clock.

Harry, who goes to the Lam Tim Complex largely because he lives nearby, says: "Whether it's close to home is also a determining factor, as you don't want to spend too much time commuting."

So if you're taking the HKDSE next year, start doing some research now. It could take longer than you think to find your ideal study room.

The Education Bureau has compiled a list of all registered study rooms in Hong Kong. Check out:

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Top-notch study rooms


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