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A high school diploma is an internationally recognized level of educational achievement that gives you the ideal start for progression to one of the best universities or colleges in the US. It is studied over the course of four years, from Grade 9 to Grade 12. You can join CATS Academy for one year, or for all of the four years.

Quick facts:

  • Average class size: 12–15 students
  • Age: 14–17+
  • 88 electives including 18 AP courses
  • Start dates: September or January
  • Course length: 1–4 years

See the list of electives by department

In this program, you will:

  • Gain an internationally recognized qualification
  • Prepare yourself for entry into a US university
  • Study curriculum in English
  • Study five core subjects plus two electives
  • Develop critical thinking skills
  • Become an independent learner
  • Prepare for SAT, ACT and TOEFL test

Entry requirements

Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12
TOEFL 40 (IELTS 4.0) TOEFL 50 (IELTS 4.5) TOEFL 60 (IELTS 5.0) TOEFL 70 (IELTS 5.5)
Age: 14+ Age: 15+ Age: 16+ Age: 17+
September or January start September or January start September or January start September or January start

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Graduation requirements

In each Grade you will study up to 5 core academic classes and 2 electives. Your core academic classes ensure that you meet the requirements for the award of your High School Diploma and graduation from CATS Academy Boston.

To graduate, students will be expected to have completed the following at minimum:

English Literature - 4 years
ESL (English as a Second Language) - up to 4 years 
Arts - 1 year
World Languages - 3 years for all native English speakers 
Mathematics - (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II) - 4 years
Science - 3 years (including 2 years of a lab science)
Social Sciences/History - 3 years (including one year of US History)

College Prep, Honors and Advanced Placement courses

We offer three levels of classes appropriate to your education level. Unlike many other U.S. schools you will have exposure to a wide range of challenging Advanced Placement courses.

College Prep

These are the standard level courses and are suitable for most students. You can expect to get 20–30 minutes homework each night per elective.


Honors courses offer highly motivated students an opportunity to study a specific course in greater depth and at a faster pace. Students in Honors courses are expected to produce more work and to develop higher level critical thinking skills. You can expect to get 20–30 minutes homework each night per elective.

Advanced Placement (AP)

Advanced Placement courses are college level courses that prepare students to take College Board exams in May to establish advanced placement in college courses or credit toward a college degree. Department approval is required for enrollment in Advanced Placement courses. Most American universities take AP results into consideration in the admissions process. You can expect to get 60 minutes homework each night per elective.

CATS Academy offers the following Advanced Placement courses:

AP Studio Art: 2-D Design AP Studio Art: Drawing AP Art History
AP English Language and Composition AP Calculus AB AP Statistics
AP Computer Science A AP Computer Science-Principles AP Biology
AP Chemistry AP Environmental Science AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
AP Physics C: Mechanics AP Macroeconomics AP United States History
AP Human Geography AP Microeconomics AP Spanish Language and Culture

How the levels are graded

Each of your courses will be given a GPA (grade point average) and this is the calculated average of the grades you receive from your courses. The U.S. GPA is on a 4-point-scale, with 4.0 being the equivalent of an ‘A’.

At CATS Academy Boston we don’t weight our GPAs based on the level of course you take, as we know that every university and college will look at your application and individually assess it against its own entry criteria. Our College Counselors make sure you have the best possible application and include our School Profile Document to ensure Admissions Advisors can easily assess your level of achievement.


You can choose your electives from a wide range of subjects that will allow you to try new areas or develop a subject you enjoy or want to study at university or college. Your teachers will help you to select electives to ensure you make the right choices and are building a great profile for your university and college applications.

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Our signature programs

Scholars Program

Each month you will have the opportunity to attend lectures, conferences, workshops, and performances given by highly acclaimed experts in the fields of science, history, politics and the arts to engage in dialogue about current issues and innovations with experts in these areas.

CATS Innovation

An integral part of the curriculum is the CATS Innovation program: specialist elective courses that prepare you to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Electives in the program provide you with hands-on experience in entrepreneurship, social justice, innovation, and environmental responsibility. Through CI, you can explore interdisciplinary areas of interest which give you insights into potential areas of study in college. These courses enhance your college readiness by developing your communication, teamwork, leadership, and decision-making skills.

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University Admission Test Preparation

SAT and ACT test preparation

We offer classes to improve your performance on the SAT or ACT. You will practice the core skills to be tested on whichever exam you choose to take. We will familiarize you with strategies and methods in order to tackle the exam to your best ability. Reading comprehension, writing and grammar, mathematics and science. You will also be provided with practice tests, additional study time and additional support if needed, allowing you to reach your true potential.

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This class is designed to work in conjunction with ESL to best prepare you to take the TOEFL iBT test and generally improve your English proficiency. You will practice general core skills such as reading comprehension and grammar, as well as TOEFL-specific instruction to improve performance on the TOEFL reading, writing, listening, and speaking tests.

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Sample schedule