The 68 members of the Keystone Academy Class of 2020 continued to demonstrate a relatively strong academic showing despite the local and global challenges faced by all this year.

Keystone’s third cohort of graduates gained a pass rate of 92% in the May 2020 International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) examination season and obtained an average score of 33.48 out of the possible full total of 45 points. The global average score for this year is under 30, and so Keystone seniors are placed creditably in the range of students and schools worldwide. At the top end, four Keystone students obtained 40 points or more, with the highest individual score being 45. The full span of Keystone students’ scores is wide, as the school allows students to enter for the full Diploma even when it knows that this will be a severe challenge.

92% of this year’s cohort were awarded the IB’s prized Bilingual Diploma, an accolade highly valued by universities. This is one validation that Keystone students are linguistically and culturally adept, well prepared for the challenges in globalized and interconnected environments in China and around the world.

The Keystone Class of 2020 did well, but not as well as anticipated. In March, the IB canceled this year’s May DP examinations, scheduled between April 30 and May 22, in response to the spread of the pandemic worldwide. During this time, Keystone teachers and leaders continued assisting the school’s third graduating cohort through online teaching and revision, and consultationsand webinars organized by the Office of College Counseling, the High School Office, and the Center for Student Development.

In the absence of traditional exams, a revised form of assessment had to be implemented by the IB.Some of Keystone’s results were delayed, but now that all have been announced, a few Keystone students are contesting their grades, supported in every case by Keystone’s administration. This is a pattern in many schools across the world.The IB is responding thoughtfully to queries from schools, and so some final grades might well move upwards in the next month or two.

Members of the Keystone Class of 2020 who were in Beijing returned to campus on April 27 to deliver their Character and Community presentations, the final requirement for their Keystone Diploma.The award of the Keystone Diploma requires demonstrated proficiency, in addition to academic achievements, in all our three keystones.

The Keystone Class of 2020 received more than 300 offers from leading colleges and universities worldwide, including several Ivy League institutions in the United States and prestigious universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. In addition, several members of this year’s group gained full merit and financial need scholarships for the first time among Keystone’s three cohorts.

Head of School Malcolm McKenzie says that this year’s graduates, from Keystone and other schools all around the world, are a “uniquely global class.”

“Forget COVID-19. Think COVID-20: the Class Of Vitality, Independence, Determination. In years to come, when you meet others who graduated in 2020, from the north or from the south, in June or in December, anywhere and everywhere, you will know without any need for comment what you have in common,” he adds.

Mr. McKenzie also declares that Keystone students’ results in both the IB and Keystone Diplomas “highlight the robust and special Keystone education that blends the best of Chinese, American, and international academic, service and residential approaches and traditions.”

“Keystone graduates are independent and resilient ‘new world thinkers’ who combine intellectual, cultural, and emotional fluency in ways that enable success in their academic pursuits and on their professional and personal journeys, while also allowing them to be part of the development and improvement of their communities,” he states further.

Keystone is still planning a formal graduation ceremony for its third cohort and their families, possibly in the middle of August.


Percy Jiang

Percy Jiang has extensive experience in college counseling.



Amanda Yan

Amanda has extensive experience in college counseling.