Keystone Class of 2021 Diploma Exam Results Surpass Expectations

Keystone Academy celebrates yet another milestone as its Class of 2021 exceeds expectations in the recent examination season.

From among Keystone’s fourth graduating cohort of 76 students, 73 took the full IB Diploma and achieved a remarkable set of grades across nearly all subjects despite learning under trying conditions, especially during the 2019-2020 academic year.

The class obtained an average score of 37.6 out of the possible full total of 45 points, making them the most successful IB Diploma cohort since the founding of Keystone. This score was clearly higher than this year’s global average of 33.02 and also Keystone’s May 2020 results of 33.48. Of those who took the full Diploma, 96% achieved 30 or more points, 74% gained 35 or more points, and a remarkable top group of 42.5% were awarded 40 or more points, including one who attained the full 45 points.

The Class of 2021 also gained a pass rate of 98.6%, compared to  88.96% worldwide and Keystone’s previous rate of 92%. In addition, 96% of the cohort were awarded the prestigious IB Bilingual Diploma, an accolade highly valued by universities. It is a validation that Keystone students are linguistically and culturally prepared for the challenges they will face in global, interconnected environments, both in China and around the world.

“As in the past, we are proud of our graduates and feel certain that they have the preparation they need for the challenges ahead,” Head of High School Dr. Diana Martelly expresses. “I believe that our school’s focus on learning and our five shared values is responsible for much of the success of our students. The aim is not high results; the best results are a consequence of students and teachers focusing on what really matters.”

Assistant Head of High School and IBDP Coordinator Nick Daniel says the results are “a testament to the creativity and resilience of our community,” especially these are “achieved under sometimes difficult conditions, in particular during the 2019-20 academic year, when much teaching and learning took place remotely, either fully online or within hybrid classrooms.”

Before the IBDP examinations, the Keystone Class of 2021 engaged in several activities to celebrate their growth, resilience, and success over the past several years. In early April, 33 students in the DP Music, Theater Arts, and Visual Arts courses presented a spectacular display of talent during the “Life Outside the Box” arts show, the culmination of their two-year foray into Keystone’s visual and performing arts courses. During the Character and Community Exhibition later in the month, the entire class presented “artifacts” that best embody the second keystone of character and community throughout their years at Keystone. Their presentations were the final requirement for their Keystone Diploma, an award that requires proficiency, in addition to academic achievements, in all of the Academy’s three keystones.

Amid interruptions in the current school year, the Class of 2021 underwent a rigorous college and university admissions process. They have received offers from over 140 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 cohort gained full scholarships.

During the class graduation on May 22, Head of School Malcolm McKenzie shared his appreciation to Keystone’s newest graduates for their contributions to the school “so far”.

“I say ‘so far’ deliberately, because ‘so far’ has been a relatively short period of time, the few years that you have been in our school … [and] you have many more years of contributions to make to Keystone, the wonderful school that has nurtured you,” Mr. McKenzie expressed. He also encouraged the members of the Class of 2021 to “be a teacher, teaching others about life and how best to live it, whatever career you choose.”


Nick Daniel

Nick Daniel has worked in IB schools across the world for two decades, including postings in Peru, Argentina, Thailand and China.