University Acceptances Profile



The International School of Tianjin (IST) is a not-for-profit, college-preparatory day school for Nursery to 12th grade students of the international community in Tianjin. Tianjin is a major industrial and commercial city just 30 minutes south of Beijing, China, with a metropolitan population of over 10 million. Founded in 1994, IST currently has approximately 500 students from 33 different countries and regions, with American, Danish, French, German and Korean students making up the largest percentages.


The school is an IB World School authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (Grades 11-12), the Middle Years Programme (Grades 6-10), and the Primary Years Programme (Grades NPK-5). IST is fully accredited by both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in the USA and the Council of International Schools (CIS) in Europe. IST graduated its first class in 2005. The school year begins on August 13 and ends on June 7, with 180 student contact days. The school year is divided into two semesters. There are eight, 40-minute class periods per day with double periods in most academic subject areas.


There are 65 full-time and four part-time faculty members. All teachers have bachelor degrees and appropriate certification, with 31 of the faculty having advanced degrees. Teachers are supported by 27 Chinese teaching assistants, all of whom have university degrees. The faculty has previously taught at 163 different international schools around the world and has an average of 13 years teaching experience.


IST offers a wide variety of co-curricular activities, including drama, choir, strings, band, yearbook, chess, translation services, community and service, Model United Nations, and leadership conferences. Through the Student Council and other student-initiated activities, students have the opportunity to assume and develop leadership roles. IST is a competitive member of the Beijing-Tianjin ISAC Sports League, as well as a participant in the China-wide ACAMIS Sports, Culture, and Arts Leagues. Students also participate in ‘Week Without Walls’, a program that offers our students genuine and meaningful exposure to, engagement and interaction with, and appreciation of, our host country China.


The minimum expectations for an an IST Diploma are: Language A, 4 credits; Language B, 4 credits; Humanities, 4 credits; Science, 4 credits; Mathematics, 4 credits; Physical Education, 2 credit; Arts 2.5 credits; Technology, 2 credit; and Electives, 2 credits. We also give one credit each to TOK, CAS, Personal Project and Extended Essay (these are all required credits for IST graduates).

In total 32.5 credits are required by all students, with 17.5 required from studies in grades 9 and 10 and 15 credits required from grades 11 and 12. Each credit is a full year course.

The IB Middle Years Program curriculum provides a set schedule for all 6th-10th grade students with a full course of eight subjects per semester. English is the language of instruction, with French, German, Danish, Chinese and Korean also offered as mother-tongue courses. The majority of the students study Chinese as a second language.

All students are expected to commence the full IB Diploma at the beginning of Grade 11 (viz. 6 academic subjects of which 3 are SL and 3 are HL, Extended Essay, TOK and CAS). However, in certain circumstances individual needs may dictate that students would be better suited to the IB Certificate IST Diploma (viz. 4/5 SL courses and 2/1 HL courses, along with participation in TOK, CAS and a modified Extended Essay. All three IB Core components are internally assessed.) Note: At the end of Grade 11, student in either stream may be placed in a purely IST Diploma stream (i.e. no formal IB certificates and therefore no externally moderated examinations,) or in an IST/IB-Certificates Hybrid stream.

Grades 9 and 10   Grades 11 and 12      
Grade Descriptor Letter Descriptor Band GPA
7 Excellent performance A+ Exceptional 96-100 4.33
6 Very good performance A Excellent 86-95 4.0
5 Good performance B Good 71-85 3.0
4 Satisfactory performance C Satisfactory 56-70 2.0
3 Remediation Required D Remediation Required 46-55 1.0
2 Incomplete I Incomplete 0-45 0.0
1 Incomplete        
  • IST’s High School program has two different grading systems: Grades 9 and 10 use the IB – MYP grading system, with marks given out of 7, while Grades 11 and 12 use a letter grade as shown in the tables above. Please note that Grade 11 and 12 grades relate to work completed during a given semester and reflect the student’s current standard, relative to that expected of a student at this stage in their studies within the context of the IST Diploma. While these grades correlate with an IB Diploma student’s likely final performance on the IB Diploma 7-point scale, they do not formally predict it.
  • For the purposes of marking and calculating Grade Point Averages (GPAs) IB Diploma classes and non-IB Diploma classes are treated separately. IB Diploma classes receive weighted grades where IB High-Level courses count at 1.6, Standard Level are the base unit 1, and TOK is .67. Non-IBDP students receive unweighted grades and they do not factor into the rankings or averages for the IB Diploma classes. We do not provide a specific class ranking of our students.
  • IST graduates who have successfully completed the full IB Diploma have received final scores ranging from 24 to 44. IST has achieved an average 95% pass rate in the IB Diploma with IB diploma scores averaging 34 since our first graduating Diploma class in 2005. The world average is approximately 30.