Teaching & Learning Overview

Teaching & Learning at the High School

High School Curricular Departments

Advanced Placement Program

HKIS's High School AP Philosophy

As with all courses in the high school, the primary goal we have for our students is to provide opportunities that stimulate self-motivated learning, respect and responsibility and collaboration. Advanced Placement (AP) courses extend these opportunities by providing rigorous, college-level courses for students with a high level of motivation and a deep passion for learning. We believe that any student who is motivated to take on this level of challenge should have the opportunity to take AP courses providing course prerequisites and/or teacher recommendations have been met. Please click here to download our full AP Philosophy document for more information.

The May 2020 Administration

The 2020 Advanced Placement Program was impacted by COVID 19 in several ways...

  • Because of potential loss of content time, course exams did not cover the final unit(s)
  • Exams were formatted as 45 minute written responses
  • No Multiple Choice section
  • Administration was moved to an on-line platform outside of school
  • In order to accommodate the College Board need for test security, our students took their exams at either 12, 2 or 4 am The May 2020 administration

463 students took 1,144 AP Exams with an average score of 4.2

“Success” on an AP Exam is defined as an exam score of 3 or higher, which represents the score point that research finds predictive of college success and college graduation. These findings have held consistent across the decades.

96% of our students had a score of 3 or above on at least 1 exam
78% of the exams taken had a score of 4 (well qualified) or 5 (extremely well qualified)

2020 AP Scholar Awards *Based on total exams taken in HS career

54 AP Scholars
 - Score of 3+ on 3 or more exams

51 AP Scholars with Honor
 - Ave. score of 3.25 on all exams taken and scores of 3+ on 4 or more exams

168 AP Scholars with Distinction
 - Ave. score of 3.5 on all exams taken and scores of 3+ on 5 or more exams



34 AP International Diplomas
 - Score of 3 or higher on 5 or more AP Exams in 3 or more Subject Areas

5 AP Capstone Diplomas
 - Score of 3 or higher in Seminar & Research plus 4 additional AP Courses

1 AP Capstone Certificate
 - Score of 3 or higher in Seminar & Research with 1-3 additional AP Courses

HKIS's AP Policies

  • Students in Grade 10 are counseled to take a maximum of one AP credit while students in Grades 11 and 12 may take up to three (3) AP credits in an academic year. Any exceptions would come through a counselor to the Associate Principal for Teaching & Learning.
  • All students enrolled in an AP course must take the associated AP Exam in May.
  • A student may take an AP Exam even if not enrolled in the course at HKIS.
  • A student who receives a “1” on an AP Exam will be required to meet with their counselor, the Associate Principal for Teaching & Learning and possibly the AP instructor to be considered for enrolment in any other AP course.

Our students are counseled to take a maximum of 3 AP CREDITS a year and must take the corresponding Exam.

  • We continue to offer an AP Support database for use in class and for student review.
  • Course Resources and Checks for Progress available to students and teachers through “myap” in College Board accounts.

Why should I take AP?


  • Helps develop better study habits
  • Improve writing skills
  • Sharpen problem-solving abilities
  • Prepares students to tackle the academic rigor of college classes.

Credit *Granting of credit is dependent on the college/university.

  • Entering college with AP credits gives a student the potential to
  • move into upper level courses in fields of interest
  • pursue a double major or even study abroad possibly move students ahead of others in registration


  • Students are not locked into a program of study for 11th and 12th grade
  • Students are free to choose courses independently of each other based on interest
  • HKIS offers 29 AP courses


  • More than 90% of 4-year colleges and universities in the US grant advanced placement, credit, or both for successful scores on AP exams, and 85% of selective institutions report that a student's AP experience favourably impacts admissions decisions.
  • AP is recognized by more than 3,600 universities worldwide.
  • including 55 countries outside the US.

The AP designation for an HKIS course indicates that an external exam at the end of the year will be taken.

AP Pass Rates at HKIS

60% of HKIS students took 1293 exams covering 27 subjects in May 2019. All students enrolled in an AP course are required to sit for the exam.

95% of our students received 3, 4 or 5 on one or more exams

Overview 2019 AP Result

The Advanced Placement International Diploma (APID)*

The APID is a globally recognized certificate for students with an international outlook. The APID challenges a student to display exceptional achievement on AP Exams across several disciplines.

*Source: The College Board, AP: A World Class Experience. 2009