AP Schools in China

Check what is AP program and why you should consider work at an AP school in China

Introduction to Advanced Placement (AP)

What Is an AP School?

Advanced Placement, abbreviated as AP, are pre-university courses and exams taken by high school students or students with equivalent academic ability all over the world, mainly for high school students who plan to go to the United States to study for undergraduates.

Public or private high schools that are authorized by the College Board to provide 38 Advanced Placement courses and teaching qualifications will be classified by TTJ as "AP school certified by the College Board". See our Glossary for detailed explanations on definition.

What Is AP Program?

Advanced Placement, a program set up by the College Board (the SAT maker), allows students to study special high school courses to earn university credits and/or qualify for more advanced courses at the beginning of the university.

So what are special high school courses? AP courses are designed to allow students to participate in American entry-level university courses experience at the high school stage. At the same time, students who have achieved excellent results after passing the AP test can directly earn university credits for the course. However, as a certificate course, the AP course is generally embedded in the student's main course, and it is necessary to cooperate with the high school diploma before applying for college. The AP course was established in the mid-1950s to narrow the gap between high school and university. The College Board formally took over the course in 1956 and named it the College Board Advanced Placement Program.

With the rapid development of the AP program, more than 2.8 million students currently take exams in 38 subjects in 7 categories each year. So what are AP exams? Based on the content of the subject, the AP test tests students and scores them from 1 to 5, and a score of 3 or more is considered a pass. Usually, students will choose 4-6 subjects related to future application directions to help prove their academic ability and exchange university credits. Although the AP exam is open to all students (even if they have not received the school's AP course training), it is strongly recommended to take the corresponding courses, which will help to achieve better grades and gain more professional knowledge.

Participating and passing the AP course can show students' ability to handle university-level jobs, which is extremely helpful for students' university applications.

What Is AP Capstone?

In order to compete with the IB diploma, AP launched its own diploma program AP Capstone™ in the fall of 2014. So what is AP Capstone™ (The AP capstone official website gives a detailed introduction)? AP Capstone™, which includes the two basic courses of AP Seminars and AP Research, is a two-year diploma program designed to enhance four topic-specific AP courses (any subject) for a total of six AP courses.

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What Are the AP Subjects?

AP program are divided into 22 categories and 38 subjects. In order to facilitate understanding, TTJ divides 38 subjects into seven categories, as shown in the following table.

CapstoneArtsEnglishHistory &Socia ScienceMath & Computer ScienceSciencesWorld Language & Cultures
AP ResearchAP Art HistoryAP English Language and CompositionAP Comparative Government and PoliticsAP Calculus ABAP BiologyAP Chinese  Language and Culture 
AP SeminarAP Music TheoryAP English Lierature and CompositionAP European HistoryAP Calculus BCAP ChemistryAP French Language and Culture 
AP Studio Art: 2-D DesignAP Human GeographyAP Comupter Science AAP Environmental ScienceAP German Language and Culture 
AP Studio Art: 3-D DesignAP Macroeconomics AP Computer Science PrinciplesAP Physics 1AP Italian Language and Culture 
AP Studio Art: DrawingAP MicroeconomicsAP StatisticsAP Physics 2AP Japanese Language and Culture
AP PsychologyAP Physics C: Electricity and MagnetimAP Latin
AP United States Government and PoliticsAP Physics C: MechanicsAP Spanish Language and Culture
AP United States HistoryAP Spanish Literature and Culture 
AP World History
Table1: AP Subjects

IB versus AP

The difference between IB and AP will be compared from four directions: applicability, content, test requirements and university credits.


Because it is a program launched by the College Board to apply for American universities, more than 20,000 American high schools offer AP courses as elective courses, while only less than 1,000 American schools offer IB programs. On the contrary, IB diploma programs are more common internationally, with 5000 schools in 158 countries/regions offering IB courses. Therefore, AP courses are more suitable for high school students who specifically apply for undergraduate courses in American universities, while the scope of application of the IB program is more global.


AP and IB are extremely different in the structure and content of the course. The IB program is more structured and requires students to attend classes and do homework in the IB school within two years to complete the 6 subjects students have chosen. In addition, IB pays more attention to students' high‐level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity. On the contrary, the AP program does not have a structured requirement. Students are free to choose the subjects they want, and they are not forced to study in AP schools or must complete courses, and the test results are only determined by the last exam.

Test Requirements

Compared with the IB program students must register for the IB course to take the exam, high school students preparing to take the AP exam do not need to take the relevant courses, which means that students can pass the AP exam through self-study. Some students who sign up for IB courses may also take AP exams at the same time to compare their scores.

University Credits

The opportunity to earn college credits through IB scores or AP scores may be one of the most attractive parts of these two programs. Although different universities have different rules for obtaining credits, under normal circumstances, students can earn university credits if they obtain an AP score of 3 or more (AP score is 1-5), and the IB requirement is usually at least 4 Points (IB score is 1-7).

SAT versus AP

AP and SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) are both provided for high school students who are going to pursue undergraduate education in colleges and universities. There are two major differences between them.


Both tests are launched by the College Board for high school students to apply for American universities. AP courses are offered by most high schools in the United States and many international high schools around the world. However, SAT does not have any particular course. Students usually need to study SAT by themselves before the exam. 

SAT scores are exclusively used for college admissions, and AP scores are mostly used for college credits. Generally, SAT tests are required before applying for colleges and universities, while AP tests are optional for students.


The structure and content differences between AP and SAT exams are significant as well. AP tests are set up to prepare students for achieving college-level understandings and analytical skills. Each AP test focuses on one single topic. For example, AP physics will only test you on physics knowledge. AP test is graded on a 5-point scale. In most universities, a grade of 4 or 5 can usually earn college credits.

On the contrary, SAT is a standardized test that mainly covers two topics: evidence-based reading and math (including an optional essay portion). Each part of the test is worth 800 points, which constitutes a maximum score of 1600.

Schools with AP Programs in China

An Overview of the Distribution of Chinese Schools that Open AP Projects.

Since the AP program is not an independent course, but an elective course based on the school’s original curriculum system, that is, students of any curriculum system can apply for the exam. Therefore, it is very popular among Chinese international schools, private schools, and especially the international department of public schools. According to data from AP China’s official website, there are currently more than 268 AP schools in China (excluding schools for foreign children)(This link leads to the official website of AP test centers in China, so it is in Chinese. All the College Board authorized schools are listed), which is far more than IB schools.

268 AP schools are located in 61 cities in 25 provinces of the country. Among them, there are 43 schools in 10 cities in Jiangsu Province, the largest number in the country. From another perspective, the number of public school's  international departments offering AP courses is as high as 196, which is more than twice the number of private schools, which is quite different from the distribution of IB and Cambridge schools. At present, the vast majority of IB schools in China are private schools, and private schools that provide Cambridge programs also account for the majority.

AP Schools in Beijing

From a city perspective, Beijing has the largest number of schools offering AP projects in the country. Almost all the top public schools offer AP courses, such as the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China and Beijing No. 4 Middle School.

AP Schools in Shanghai

Shanghai is the only city in China where there are more private AP schools than public AP schools. As the birthplace of private education, Shanghai has 19 private AP schools and 9 public AP schools. The more outstanding AP schools include the Star River Foreign Language School and the private Pinghe Bilingual School.

AP School List

Since new schools are obtaining AP certificate all the time, this list may not contain some latest changes in AP schools. Please be sure to check the last update time.

Tips: Copy the name of the school and use School Search to find more information about more about the school.

Ningbo Binhai International Cooperative SchoolNingbo2013
Georgia School NingboNingbo2019
Shenzhen College of International EducationShenzhen2003
Shanghai Ivy SchoolShanghai2013
Guangya School at Luxehills International CommunityChengdu2008
Beijing Luhe International AcademyBeijing2005
Harbin ShunMaiHuaMei Foreign Language SchoolHarbin2015
AIDI International SchoolBeijing1999
Limai Chinese American (International) SchoolBeijing1995
Beijing Royal SchoolBeijing1996
Beijing Haidian Kaiwen AcademyBeijing2016
Beijing New Talent AcademyBeijing1995
Camford EducationBeijing1993
Beijing Saint Paul American SchoolBeijing2007
Shanghai Liaoyuan Bilingual SchoolShanghai1992
Hong Qiao International SchoolShanghai1997
Shanghai Honor SchoolShanghai2017
RDF International SchoolShenzhen2015
Sendelta International AcademyShenzhen2011
Alcanta International CollegeGuangzhou2011
International Department of SSDFZXi'an2009
Guangdong Country Garden School (GCGS)Foshan1994
Shenzhen International Foundation CollegeShenzhen2004
Shenzhen Academy of International Education (SAIE)Shenzhen2014
Jurong Country Garden SchoolZhenjiang2013
Jining Confucius International SchoolJining2009
Depu Foreign Language SchoolChongqing2015
San New SchoolWuhan2015
Wuhan Haidian Foreign Language Shi Yan SchoolWuhan2015
Wuhan Britain-China School (WHBC)Wuhan2000
Wuhan Yangtze International School(WYIS)Wuhan2003
Chengdu Meishi International SchoolChengdu2002
Changsha Aibo Cambridge schoolChangsha2007
The Second Foreign Language School Affiliated to Shanghai Normal UniversityShanghai2000
The International Department of Shude High SchoolChengdu1929
Shenzhen Foreign Languages SchoolShenzhen1990
Beijing SMIC Private School & KindergartenBeijing2005
Beijing Concord College of Sino-CanadaBeijing1997
Beijing National Day SchoolBeijing2004
Shanghai Pinghe Bilingual SchoolShanghai1996
Chongqing No.1 International Studies SchoolChongqing2003
Chengdu No.7 High School International DivisionChengdu1999
Chengdu Foreign Languages SchoolChengdu1989
Nanjing Foreign Langauge SchoolNanjing1963
Suzhou Foreign Language SchoolSuzhou1994
Suzhou North America High SchoolSuzhou2013
Suzhou Science & Technology Town Foreign Language SchoolSuzhou2015
WFLS Meiga AcademyWuhan2007
South West Weiyu Middle SchoolShanghai1993
New Oriental AcademyBeijing2010
Nanning No.2 High SchoolNanning1906
Hangzhou No.14 Middle SchoolHangzhou1904
International Department of Beijing No.35 High SchoolBeijing2012
Beijing 21st Century International SchoolBeijing1993
Beijing Haidian Foreign Language Shi Yan SchoolBeijing1999
Educhina International School BeijingBeijing2018
Hebei Normal UniversityShijiazhuang2010
Wuxi Big Bridge Academy, International DivisionWuxi2012
International School of Nanjing Yuhuatai High SchoolNanjing2012
Vanke Meisha AcademyShenzhen2015
Huzhou Paddington Bilingual SchoolHuzhou2017
Tianjin Yinghua International SchoolTianjin2000
Zibo Experimental High School International DepartmentZibo2009
The Affiliated Foreign Language School Of SCNU, GuangzhouGuangzhou2015
Xiwai International School affiliated to Shanghai International Studies UniversityShanghai2004
Vanke School PudongShanghai2017
Beijing Xin FuXue International AcademyBeijing2016
Shenzhen Experimental Chenghan  SchoolShenzhen2007
International High School China-UK College ShenzhenShenzhen2014
Tsinghua International SchoolBeijing2009
Shanghai United International School, Wenzhou CampusWenzhou2016
North America International SchoolShanghai2017
Shanghai Soong Ching Ling SchoolShanghai2008
Shanghai Experimental School International DivisonShanghai1986
Shanghai International Studies University Bilingual SchoolShanghai2001
Jiaxiang Foreign Language School Attached to Chengdu No.7 Middle School International High School DivisionChengdu2000
Shanghai Gold Apple Bilingual SchoolShanghai2000
Shanghai Wenlai International SchoolShanghai1994
Chengdu Experimental Foreign Languages SchoolChengdu1963
Shanghai Jinshan World Foreign Language SchoolShanghai2017
Springboard International Bilingual School of BeijingBeijing2000
Mianyang Dongchen International SchoolMianyang2000
Beijing Chaoyang KaiWen AcademyBeijing2017
Jinling High School Hexi Campus International DivisionNanjing2009
Nanjing Dongshan Foreign Language School International DepartmentNanjing2003
Kang Chiao International SchoolSuzhou2002
Wuxi Foreign Language SchoolWuxi1998
Clifford SchoolGuangzhou1996
Qian Huang International College, JiangsuChangzhou1939
Yangzhou Shuren SchoolYangzhou1999
The Houde Academy ShenzhenShenzhen2016
Olive Tree International Academy affiliated to Beijing Foreign Studies UniversityHangzhou2017
Country Garden Silver Beach SchoolHuizhou2015
Nanchang No.3  Middle School, International DivisionNanchang2013
Hailiang Foreign Language School JinhuaJinhua2002
Zhoushan Greentown Yuhua (International) SchoolZhoushan2017
Chengdu Shishi Tianfu High School International DepartmentChengdu2011
Suzhou Industrial Park Foreign Language SchoolSuzhou2011
Kunshan Economic and Technical Development Zone International SchoolSuzhou1996
High School Affiliated to Nanjing Normal University Jiangning Campus International DepartmentNanjing2011
Zhangjiagang Ivy Experimental School International DepartmentSuzhou2005
Zhengzhou Kinglee High SchoolZhengzhou2008
Shenzhen Chinaus SchoolShenzhen2009
Zhongshan Sanxin  Bilingual SchoolZhongshan2001
Liyang Foreign Language SchoolKaifeng2003
Capital Normal University High SchoolBeijing2008
The international Division of No.2 High School of East China Normal University (Zizhu Campus)Shanghai1999
The Barstow School Ningbo CampusNingbo2014
Dulwich International High School, SuzhouSuzhou2012
Qingdao Galaxy International SchoolQingdao1993
Pegasus California School, QingdaoQingdao2016
Jinan Foreign Language School International Curriculum CenterJinan1996
Shandong experimental high schoolJinan2011
Ningxiang Country Garden SchoolChangsha2014
Xiamen Yingcai SchoolXiamen1955
No.2 Middle School of Yantai Shandong International DivisionYantai2012
New World International School of No.1 High School, GuiyangGuiyang2009
Minhang Crosspoint High School, ShanghaiShanghai1994
Guiyang Happy Valley International Experimental High SchoolGuiyang2014
Glocal Elite International School, ZhengzhouZhengzhou2000
Zhengzhou No.1&8 United International SchoolZhengzhou2008
Xi'an Gaoxin No.1 High SchoolXi'an1995
Northeast Yucai Foreign Language School, ShenyangShenyang1998
New Oriental Acdemy, BeijingBeijing2010
Meisha Acedemy by HalleyburyGuangzhou2017
Bojun SchoolChengdu2018
Gezhi High School ShanghaiShanghai1874
Zhengzhou NO.47 Middle&high SchoolZhengzhou1996
Zhengzhou Foreign Language SchoolZhengzhou1983
Xi'An Tie Yi International DepartmentXi'an2009
Lianyungang Foreign Language SchoolLianyungang2000
Nanjing Jinling High SchoolNanjing1888
Wuxi No.1 High SchoolWuxi1911
Beijing New Oriental Foreign Language School at YangzhouYangzhou2002
Stuyvesant International High SchoolShanghai2006
Educational Center of International Curriculum — Jian Ping High SchoolShanghai2010
Zhixin High School International DivisionGuangzhou2012
Harbin Wanbang SchoolHarbin2003
Tianjin Foreign Languages School Affiliated to Tianjin Foreign Studies UniversityTianjin1964
Senior Highschool Attached to Dalian University of TechnologyDalian1957
Northeast Yucai SchoolShenyang1949
The Affiliated Middle School of SCNU International DepartmentGuangzhou2004
Guangdong Experimental Middle School International DepartmentGuangzhou2013
The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of ChinaBeijing1950
RDFZ Xishan SchoolBeijing2009
Beijing NO.80 High SchoolBeijing2002
The Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal UniversityBeijing1917
No.8 Middle School of BeijingBeijing2013
No.12 Middle School of BeijingBeijing1934
Guangzhou No.6 Middle School International DepartmentGuangzhou2000
Affiliated Middle School of Guangzhou University International DepartmentGuangzhou1950
Guangzhou Xiangjiang High School International DepartmentGuangzhou2009
Shenzhen Senior High School International DepartmentShenzhen1997
The No.Three Senior High School of Shenzhen International DepartmentShenzhen1996
Shenzhen Mingde Experimental SchoolShenzhen2013
ShiJiaZhuang Camford Royal SchoolShijiazhuang2011
Shijiazhuang Innovation International ShcoolsShijiazhuang2012
Zhengzhou Cornerstone High SchoolZhengzhou2007
Zhuhai No.1 High SchoolZhuhai1960
International Department of Huizhou Hua Luogeng High School  and Huizhou Comprehensive High SchoolHuizhou2013
Guangdong Jiangmen No.1 Middle School International ClassJiangmen1760
Qinhuangdao No.1 middle schoolQinhuangdao1929
Hebei Tangshan Foreign Language SchoolTangshan1955
No.1 Middle School of CangzhouCangzhou1913
Zhengzhou Middle SchoolZhengzhou1997
Henan Experimental High SchoolZhengzhou1957
No.1 Middle School of ZhengzhouZhengzhou1949
Zhengzhou No.4 Middle SchoolZhengzhou1938
International Department of Wuhan No.6 Middle SchoolWuhan1903
ZhengZhou Huimin Middle SchoolZhengzhou1948
No.7 Middle School of ZhengzhouZhengzhou1950
No.19 Middle School of ZhengzhouZhengzhou1956
Yichang Yiling High School International DepartmentYichang1962
International Department of Jingmen No.1 High School of Hubei ProvinceJingmen2013
International Department of The High School Attached to HNUChangsha1905
Changjun High School International SchoolChangsha2002
Yali High School International DepartmentChangsha1906
The First High School of Changsha, Hu'nan International DepartmentChangsha2004
Changde Foreign Language School PGA International ClassChangde2009
Hengyang No.8 High SchoolHengyang1907
Chongqing Bachuan International Math & Science SchoolChongqing2012
Chongqing Stilwell Foreign Language SchoolChongqing1993
Chongqing Bashu IVY SchoolChongqing2003
Chongqing Foreign Language School International High School ProgramsChongqing1998
High School Affiliated to Southwest University International DepartmentChongqing1914
Chongqing Yucai Secondary SchoolChongqing1939
Chongqing Nankai Middle School International LessonChongqing1936
Suzhou Experimental High School AP CenterSuzhou1994
Shanghai Foreign Language SchoolShanghai2016
Shanghai Tianjiabing High SchoolShanghai2014
North Cross School ShanghaiShanghai2011
Shanghai Datong High SchoolShanghai2009
Ningbo Foreign Language School International DepartmentNingbo2011
Basis International School NanjingNanjing2019
Basis International School HangzhouHangzhou2018
Basis International School GuangzhouGuangzhou2017
Basis International School Park Line HarbourHuizhou2018
Guangdong Overseas Chinese High SchoolGuangzhou1930
The MacDuffie SchoolShanghai2015
Nanjing Foreign Languages School XianlinNanjing2002
Olive International SchoolBeijing2015
Guangdong Guangya High SchoolGuangzhou1888
Nanjing Yuhuatai High SchoolNanjing1957
China America International SchoolShenzhen2018
Shanghai Thomas SchoolShanghai2018
Jinan Thomas SchoolJinan2017
Kang Chiao International School Hefei CampusHefei2020
Ambright-Hefei Thomas SchoolHefei2010
Guanghua AcademyShanghai2017
Cogdel Cranleigh School ChengduChengdu2019
Shanghai Starriver Billingual SchoolShanghai2012
Guangzhou Foreign Language SchoolGuangzhou1963
Tsinghua University High School InternationalBeijing2015
Tsinghua Zhiqing International (High School)Beijing1989
The Second High School Affiliated to Beijing Normal University (International Division)Beijing1953
Beijing No.4 High School International CampusBeijing2012
The High School Affiliated to Beijing Normal UniversityBeijing1901
Tsinglan School, DongguanDongguan2017
Zhejiang Hangzhou High School (International Division)Hangzhou2014
Beijing 101 Middle School International DivisionBeijing2011
The Affiliated High School of Peking UniversityBeijing1960
Chengdu No.7 Wanda High SchoolChengdu2011
Ambright-Jinan Thomas SchoolJinan2010
Ambright-Shanghai Thomas SchoolShanghai2010
Jiangsu Meicun Senior High School International DivisionWuxi1913
Ambright-Nanjing Thomas SchoolNanjing2010
Beijing Haidian Foreign Language Shi Yan School Hainan CampusQionghai2015
Grand International School, QingdaoQingdao2002
Menaul School QingdaoQingdao2017
Wuhan NO.6 High School Internaltional DepartmentWuhan2012
Yuncheng Royal SchoolYuncheng2018
Qingdao Baishan SchoolQingdao1993
The High School Attached to Northwest Normal UniversityLanzhou1901
Chengdu Shishi High SchoolChengdu2018
International Division of No.2 Middle of HohhotHohhot2010
Hangzhou Foreign Language SchoolHangzhou1964
Table2: AP School List (Updated 11th Nov. 2020)