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Advanced Study Programs at Xiwai

2020-04-02

 

Xiwai International School is a certified member of both Cambridge Assessment and the College Board. These two prestigious global organizations represent the highest standards of rigor and excellence in international education. As a member school, Xiwai is able to offer high-level students from Grades 9-12 the opportunity to gain globally recognized qualifications by taking part in three elite programs: Cambridge IGCSE in Grades 9-10, which provides a powerful academic foundation in a wide range of disciplines; and a choice of either Cambridge A Levels or U.S. Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Grades 11-12, which allow students to demonstrate their ability to excel at college-level academics. All of these programs are recognized and accepted by schools throughout the English-speaking world. They are highly challenging, require outstanding English language, critical thinking, and study skills, and give students a distinct edge when applying to top universities abroad.

THE CAMBRIDGE PROGRAM

Cambridge Assessment, an international qualifications provider connected with the world-famous Cambridge University, offers in-depth study programs from primary all the way up to high school. At Xiwai, we currently offer Cambridge courses for students in Grades 9-12. In the first two years, students can take a range of IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) courses. These may be taught over a 1- or 2-year period. At the end of each course, students take an examination that is marked externally by Cambridge Assessment. Students who pass the exams are awarded a certificate for that subject. These certificates are recognized by high schools and universities around the world; they indicate that a student has achieved a high level of proficiency in that subject, and is prepared to continue his or her studies at a more advanced level. IGCSE courses provide a strong foundation for further study in many programs, including A Levels and AP.

IGCSE students are expected to take a combination of humanities, math, science, and art courses. To help students build a well-rounded IGCSE portfolio, we offer the following selection of courses for Grade 9 and Grade 10 students:

IGCSE Mathematics
IGCSE English as a Second Language
IGCSE English Literature
IGCSE History
IGCSE Biology
IGCSE Chemistry
IGCSE Physics
IGCSE Economics
IGCSE Computer Science
IGCSE Drama

In Grades 11-12, students who wish to continue in the Cambridge program have a choice of several A Level courses. A Levels are taken over a 2-year period, and like IGCSE courses, they are assessed through challenging exams which are externally marked by Cambridge Assessment. Outstanding A Level exam results demonstrate extraordinary academic achievement and are a prerequisite for admission to many U.K. and Commonwealth universities. We currently offer the following A Levels (and plan to open more in the future):

A Level Mathematics
A Level Physics
A Level Chemistry
A Level Economics

While IGCSE and A Level courses are ideal for students who plan to study in the U.K. or in Commonwealth countries, Cambridge qualifications are recognized by virtually all universities around the world, including in the U.S. Wherever students plan to go for further study, Cambridge courses are an excellent way to demonstrate their academic ability and competitiveness and prepare for the rigors of university.

For more information about Cambridge courses, please visit
http://www.cambridgeinternational.org/programmes-and-qualifications/.


Xiwai students achieved excellent results on their IGCSE exams in the May/June 2019 series. 84.5% of our students received an A*/A in IGCSE Mathematics (Extended).


In addition to IGCSE courses, our students have also registered for the GCE AS&A Level Mathematics、GCE AS&A Level Physics、GCE AS&A Level Chemistry, and GCE AS&A Level Economics exams in the May/June 2020 series.


As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve rapidly, and students and teachers' safety and wellbeing are the highest priority. Cambridge Assessment International Education has taken the difficult decision to cancel international examinations in the May/June 2020 series around the world. This includes Cambridge Checkpoint, IGCSE, O Level, and AS & A Level.

 Since students have been working very hard towards these exams, Cambridge Assessment International Education will be working with schools to assess students’ achievement using the best available evidence. Students will receive a grade and a certificate from Cambridge International.



THE AP PROGRAM

The Advanced Placement (AP) program is a selection of highly demanding, year-long, university-level courses – now 34 in all, spanning a broad range of subjects – which qualified students take during high school. The courses are designed by the College Board, the same U.S.-based academic organization which creates and administers the SAT. Each course has the same academic requirements and level of difficulty as a first-year American university course. By taking AP classes, therefore, students are able to demonstrate to university admissions staff that they are capable of producing college-level work in English. Studying AP also shows that a student is hardworking, self-motivated, and an independent learner willing to embrace new challenges – all qualities that universities prize when evaluating applicants.

There are two components to every AP course: the course itself, which takes a full year to complete, during which time students are given coursework and are graded by their teacher just as in any other class; and the AP exam, which students take in May and which is marked externally by the College Board. By completing an AP course, students are eligible to receive AP credit on their transcripts; by doing well on the AP exam, they can also gain credit from American universities toward their undergraduate GPA, and can even graduate from university early. While AP is ideal for students planning to study in the U.S., the exceptional quality and rigor of the AP program are recognized by universities around the world. Performing well in a number of AP courses therefore gives students a competitive edge no matter where they choose to apply.

At Xiwai, AP courses are taken in Grades 11 and 12. The following AP courses will be offered in the coming school year:

AP English Language and Composition
AP English Literature and Composition
AP European History
AP Chemistry
AP Physics 1 & 2
AP Microeconomics
AP Macroeconomics
AP United States History
AP Calculus (AB)
AP Calculus (BC)
AP Statistics
AP Psychology

In the coming years, we plan to open additional AP courses in diverse subjects based on student interest. As every AP course demands a great deal of time, work, and commitment, students should choose AP subjects where they are already strong academically and which they are genuinely interested in. That said, taking a good range of courses shows that a student is well-rounded and can excel in multiple disciplines. Some AP courses may also be recommended or required for entry into specific degree programs, so students should research the universities they want to apply to thoroughly before taking AP.

For more information about AP for international students, please visit https://international.collegeboard.org/prepare-to-study-in-the-us/ap-in-china.

Xiwai students also achieved strong results on their AP exams in May 2019.  77% of students earned scores of 4 or 5 in AP Calculus AB, while 41% students got a top score of 5 in AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics.

For the AP exams in May 2020, the health and safety of students and educators are the AP Program's highest priorities. As schools and communities navigate the challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, AP program has announced some updates to the 2020 AP Exam administration in March. College Board is working on the AP Exam administration plan and working to make the instructional resources accessible in China and intend to update it by April 03.
The school is also paying close attention to it and will inform students and teachers in time after receiving the official notice.

 

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