US high school advantage
US high school system
- Middle School Grade 6 – 8 (equivalent to P.6 to F.2 in Hong Kong)
- High School Grade 9 – 12 (equivalent to F.3 to F.6 in Hong Kong)
From August/ September to the following June, every academic year is divided into two semesters (August/September to December for the Fall semester; January to June for the Spring semester).
Each academic year includes two main longer holidays (summer break and Christmas) and two shorter ones (Thanksgiving and Spring break).
The graduation requirements for each secondary school are different. In general, core subjects in the US high school curriculum are English, Mathematics, Science, History, Foreign Language, Physical Education, Computer, Health Science, and the rest are, Electives. Students can freely choose their electives according to their interests and strength, such as Marine Biology, Geology, Astronomy, Psychology, Theater, Public Speaking, Driver’s Training, Wood Work, etc. Additionally, high-achieving students may be invited to take Honor courses or college credit-bearing Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
Unlike Hong Kong, high school students in the US are not graded only based on one assessment. Besides exams and tests, students’ homework, pop quizzes, class performances, attendances, etc., will also be considered for scoring purposes.
High schools in the US, same as colleges, are using the Grade Point Average (GPA) as their students’ academic indicator:
A (full score) = 4.0
B = 3.0
C = 2.0
D = 1.0
Every subject that a student takes counts. Simply put, the sum of the grades obtained in all subjects divided by the total number of credits taken will be the student’s GPA.
Tips when choosing a school
There are as many as 3000 private high schools in the United States. Students and parents can choose their best-fit school based on the following factors:
- School ranking, reputation
- Location, environment, weather
- Courses, special programs offered by the school
- Facilities and support provided by the school
- Accommodation arrangements by the school
- Student’s academic ability and interest
- Affordable tuition and living expenses
- (Middle school) 12 – 13 years old, currently studying in F.1 – F.2
- (High school) 13 – 16 years old, currently studying in F.2 – F.5
- Recent 3 years’ school reports
- Personal statement
- Parent statement
- Teacher recommendation
- School admission test/ SSAT/ TOEFL Junior/ iTEP SLATE/ English Language Test for International Students (ELTiS)
Annual tuition and fees
- Day School: HK$177,000 – $390,000
- Boarding School: HK$260,000 – $728,000
*Fee includes tuition, room and board, airport pickup, student medical insurance