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School information

Secondary school

American secondary schools are divided into public and private. Public schools usually do not accept overseas students, while private schools accept overseas students to apply for admission. In general, private schools have dormitories.

Junior high school runs from seventh to ninth grade and high school from tenth to twelfth grade. Those who have the right of abode or citizenship may enroll in public secondary schools and overseas students may enroll in one year of public secondary schools. Otherwise, students may consider enrolling in private secondary schools. The United States usually has a five-year or six-year primary school, a three-year Middle School and a three-year high school for a total of 12 years. Students need to complete 12 classes before they can apply to college, community colleges or tertiary institutions. U.S. secondary schools usually enrol students in the third through fifth grades. Some institutions require students to submit TOEFL scores or pass the SLEP / SSAT Test, as well as provide family financial information, etc., in addition to the applicants' last two or three years of grades. Most institutions provide accommodation and pick-up arrangements for students. Upon completion of the high school program, students may progress to a one-year university course, a two-year community college or a four-year university  program in accordance with their intentions and abilities.

Advanced Placement Examinations (AP)

The Advanced Placement Examinations (AP) exam is a pre-requisite high school exam offered by the College Board and APs are recognized in many universities worldwide for more than 3,600 universities in 55 countries including the United Kingdom and the United States. Universities, will give AP candidates school credit. AP exams are held every May in the world. Candidates from Hong Kong can apply to the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority. Details of AP examinations can be obtained from the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority Office each year.
The AP exam offers students in 36 different subjects, including arts, English, history and social sciences, mathematics and more. AP exams are mostly two to three hours, usually the first test is a multiple choice test, where you choose from four or five answers. The second part of the exam usually consists of an article or problem solving in the form of free exercise of the subject. In addition, some AP test scores are assessed through work and computer tests.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

International Baccalaureate (IB) is an internationally-recognized high school diploma. The two-year course focuses on students' understanding and logical thinking to help students adapt to university learning. The content of the IB course is far more extensive than the entrance exams and the requirements are even more difficult. Students must have excellent reading and writing ability to cope. IB's diploma is therefore highly regarded by universities around the world and students can enroll in excellent universities around the world, especially in the United States.

IB's course is divided into 45 points, of which the highest score of each subject is 7 points plus 3-point bonus points for the dissertations. Most universities require 30 IB points for entry, which is about GCE A-Level 3A. The IB program requires students to take six major subjects and complete the study report within two years and to participate in extracurricular activities and public service. Students may choose six different groups for the six subjects they study: Native language and foreign languages, personal and sociology, science, mathematics and computer science and electives. Studying the IB curriculum is challenging and requires students to have excellent performance in all aspects.

One year college / university pathway

The one-year university foundation course ensures that students can connect to degree programs in the United States. The main subjects are English and math. Majoring in engineering, humanities, law, business and science is also possible afterwards.

Two-year college / community college

Community colleges offer different types of courses, including short courses, one-year or two-year certificate programs and two-year transfer or associate degree programs to meet the needs of different individuals. The two-year transfer of school or bridge program,  gives students a pathway to a bachelor's degree program. Students who have achieved satisfactory grades and accumulated sufficient credits may continue their studies in a four-year university for three years. Two-year colleges are divided into public and private, private colleges usually charge higher. Hong Kong students enrolled in two-year colleges are required to complete at least Form Seconary 6 and obtain a TOEFL of about 45-61 (iBT).




American universities generally require students to complete Secondary 6 and have test scores of TOEFL 80 (iBT) or above. Universities with more stringent requirements will require students to graduate from Secondary 7 and pass the American University Admission Test (SAT and SATII) tests. American universities take a credit-based education system, with 3 credits for general courses. Full-time students must attend at least 12 credits each semester, while the most standard class option is 5 lessons per semester (15 credits). An associate degree can be obtained up to 60 credits and a bachelor degree can be obtained up to 120 credits. Students must pass internal English and math skills before beginning their studies. If the scores are not up to standard, you will need to attend additional classes. Such as ESL or EAP English intensive classes or calculus preparation classes. Although there are no credits in these classes, students still have to complete further credit for compulsory English and math classes.


Tuition fee (one year)

Private secondary schools: about 19,000-39,000 US dollars;
Community College: Approximately $ 6,000-10,000 USD;
Private colleges: about 20,000-30,000 USD;
University: about 15,000-50,000 USD


The weather and the time difference

The United States has a vast territory and a complex topography. Depending on the region. The climate in the east coast is characterized by four seasons, with relatively cold winters and not too hot in summer. In the central region, the climate has relatively low humidity and dryness, the weather does not change much between seasons. In the Western area, the temperature difference is larger, during summer it is hotter and cooler during morning and evening.

Time Difference

Due to the large size of the United States and the terrain across multiple regions, different cities in the United States will have different time differences with Hong Kong. There are also winter time (November-March) and daylight saving time (April-October). Generally, the time is 12 – 16 hours behind Hong Kong.


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