GAC Newsletter

The Quarterly Newsletter of the ACT Global Assessment Certificate Program

In Focus: Hejia GAC Academy: Shanghai Star-River Bilingual School

Hejia GAC Academy: Shanghai Star-River Bilingual School (SSBS), a private, co-educational pioneer school located in Shanghai’s Minhang District, focuses on combining the strengths of the Chinese and international educational system in order to explore a hybrid teaching theory suitable for local students. SSBS opened in fall of 2012 and currently enrolls 1800+ students in grades 1-12. 

In SSBS, balance in curriculum is achieved through an emphasis on international-style elective courses, taught fully in English, while incorporating local high school compulsory courses taught in Chinese to its students, the majority of whom come from local backgrounds. SSBS high school (Grades 10-12) is dedicated to creating a unique education program for Chinese students through a balanced integration of the most advanced Chinese and international educational practices. It provides Sino-US comprehensive courses, AP courses, practice-exploring curriculum and activity-focused curriculum. In 2020, ACT Global Assessment Certificate Program was launched in SSBS and GAC TopUP courses were integrated in the school’s curriculum.  

SSBS has a near perfect matriculation record for 4-year college and university enrollment worldwide. For Class of 2022, more than half of the graduates who applied for UK universities received at least one offer from G5 universities. And over 95% of the students who applied for US colleges were admitted by US Top 30 universities (US News or QS ranking). 


Quick Facts

Campus Location: Shanghai, China 

Founded: Fall 2012 

Enrollment: 1800+ students in Grades 1-12 


GAC School Testimonials

Dary Saka Permadi (Saka)

Student, Kinderstation Senior High 

"When I first entered high school, I had no clue what the GAC course was all about. Upon receiving the books, I noticed that the subjects were a bit different than what I had studied before. The Study Skills and Communication Skills modules were new to me; I had never been taught those subjects as their own classes, but once I thought about it, it made sense. The GAC course, I eventually learned, was all about college preparation, and in that regard, I think it does a great job. 

It is noticeably oriented towards teaching practical skills, such as the aforementioned study skills and communication skills. This is reflected even in assessment events. For example, in Listening and Speaking, we were assessed not by exams that see how well we memorize facts and trivia, but by performing a roleplay, which put our skills to the test. 

When I advanced to level 2, I questioned the addition of the Business module, asking questions such as “Why do I need this?” and “What if I don’t want to start a business?” But then I realized, this too is practical knowledge. As the modern world is dominated by corporations and businesses, it is important for us all to learn how they function and how they influence and are influenced by our lives. 

It has now been two-and-a-half years since I signed the contract that officially enrolled me in its course. While we faced challenges such as lagging behind on assessment events, the GAC course has taught me both more and less than I expected. That is, more practical skills for college and less memorized specialized knowledge."

Dary Saka Permadi (Saka)


Hengky W. Kurniawan

Teacher, Kinderstation Senior High School

Teacher for GAC Academic Reading & Writing and Study Skills for Independent Learning

"Being given the opportunity to teach the ACT Global Assessment Certificate Program (GAC) program for the last two years has always been a delightful and motivating experience for me. The modules provided during this program indeed equipped students with the essential and practical skills they will need to perform in order to succeed in their undergraduate studies. Dealing with new challenges on each course, students consistently showed improvements in confidence and competence as an independent learner. 

The GAC program also significantly developed students’ academic skills such as public speaking, critical thinking, doing research and academic writing. In terms of the last one, I have seen some positive outcomes in the students’ reading and writing ability compared to theirs in the last few years. They appeared to show more interest in reading journals of their interest and more confident in expressing ideas in a more structured format. 

Moreover, the project-based learning as well as the opportunities to join international competitions given by the GAC program offered them valuable experience to enhance their leadership and teamwork skills.  

I personally have been so motivated to improve my professional skills when seeing the students’ effort on completing the program as well as on their effort to pursue their dream university. It is clear that they will adapt well to university life and might be ahead of their peers since the program has been fundamental in getting them future ready. Lastly, I highly recommend this program for educational institutions which are dedicated to providing the students with university preparation, especially at international levels."

Hengky W. Kurniawan


Aditya Wahyu Wijanarko 

Graduate from Budi Mulia Dua International High School 

"I graduated from Ritsumeikan University College of Policy Science Department of Community and Regional Policy Studies. I have learnt a lot of things inside and outside of the university. Pursuing my study in Japan gave me a life changing experience that has built up myself.  

Firstly, I would like to appreciate GAC that has impacted my college life. It has done exactly as GAC’s purpose which is for university preparation. I entered GAC program at Budi Mulia Dua International High School. I came to realize the impacts of GAC when I started studying abroad at Ritsumeikan University. The three most influential subjects from the GAC during my college study was “Listening and Speaking”, “Business”, and “Reading and Writing”. I was thought to give direct and efficient presentations which led me to be the best presenter in some of my college’s projects. I was able give distinctive presentations compare to other international students. Then when I took economic subjects in my college, many topics including micro-economic and macro-economic that I have learned from GAC appeared. I was also familiar with academic writing including its guideline such as citation. GAC made me one step ahead from some of my colleagues and helped me to safe time for better understanding of the subjects at the college. To this day, some of the soft skills learned from GAC are still useful for me. 

I was part of several organizations inside and outside the college. Being in different organizations have taught me to manage schedule, programs, and people. I had to be able to create, to present, and to execute different programs. My interpersonal and management skills had really been useful.  

Furthermore, I worked as a Verbatim Transcriber at ATR-TREK in Osaka, Japan. I help clients to transcribe thousands of audio files in Bahasa Indonesia and Malay in timely manner. Then, I was also a Creative Designer at Monocram of CyberAgent. I was entrusted with a client which was one of the biggest social media companies in the world. I created creative online advertisement materials and analysed each material’s digital marketing metrics (i.e. cost per impressions) to create efficient and cost-effective of materials."

Aditya Wahyu Wijanarko


Rong Kangxuan 

2021 graduate of the 2nd High School Attached to Beijing Normal University 

University admitted: Cornell University 

"GAC listening and writing courses are of great help to my English learning. The listening materials with different accents were sometimes played, helping me to get used to the different accents of college professors that I might have foreseen. The paper assignments had trained my writing ability and how to write a research report. In addition, GAC helped me adapt to the study and life in university. I practiced some common activities, such as presentations and daily communication exercises. At the same time, I came into contact with a group of lovely and interesting foreign teachers through GAC. They gave me a lot of valuable advice on learning English and living in a foreign country. In terms of English learning, they recommended many interesting films and books. Advice on life and learning matters the most to me, especially in a turbulent time like 2021. I really appreciate their company and teaching in the past three years."

Rong Kangxuan 


He Shuhan 

2021 graduate of the 2nd High School Attached to Beijing Normal University 

University admitted: Imperial College London 

"The three years I spent in the 2nd High School Attached to Beijing Normal University can be said to be my most colorful experience in more than ten years. When I first came here, I doubted my value because of the devastation of essay and presentation. But later, I could see the value behind these assessments. At the most difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the environmental field investigation of GAC023 made me rediscover the little things around me. For the first time, I personally touched the soil of the community and explored the natural scenery in this ordinary land full of popularity. At the end of the application season, foreign teachers led us to learn and appreciate the rich cultures all over the world. In the fierce verbal discussion and thinking collision, the vivid faces of each country appeared in our minds. The story will never stop here. 

There is the school, 
There is a place beyond a school. 

There is the harbor, 
There is a place for “dream” to set its sail."

He Shuhan  


Daniela Velázquez 

UCO Prepa Contemporánea, Mexico 

University of North Alabama 

"My name is Daniela Velázquez, and I am a GAC student who graduated from the international program at UCO Prepa Contemporánea, located in Querétaro, México. The GAC program was an excellent experience that helped me improve my English and gain different useful skills, such as time management, public speaking, and report writing.  
The GAC program opened the opportunity for me to study abroad; its high academic standard made me feel more secure when studying in another country. With the program requirements, you feel prepared to apply to universities and ready to maintain a strong academic performance during college. GAC provided me with every necessary tool to gain scholarships and get into university."

Daniela Velázquez  

GAC Center News

New GAC Approved Teaching Centers in China

Partner University Spotlight

University of Missouri 

Founded in 1839, the University of Missouri (Mizzou) is a major, comprehensive research university, and one of only 35 public U.S. universities to hold membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities. Located in the friendly Midwest region of the United States in Columbia, Missouri, Mizzou provides international students with an excellent American university experience. Columbia is a safe and welcoming environment in which to study. Mizzou’s location also provides students with great value as the cost of living in the region compares favorably to other parts of the United States. 

Students that earn the GAC graduation certification can earn up to 29 university credits based on their GAC coursework. Exact credit and grade requirements can be seen on our international student admissions webpage: Course Equivalency and Credits // Mizzou Admissions // University of Missouri 

University College Birmingham

Studying at University College Birmingham means being right at the heart of one of the most dynamic cities in the UK. 

University College Birmingham is a small, friendly and fully inclusive institution in the heart of one of the UK’s biggest, youngest and most dynamic cities, dedicated to making sure you have the very best opportunities when you graduate.  Business-facing and entrepreneurial, our students go on to forge successful careers focused around business, hospitality, tourism, food, health and social care, computing and digital, finance and accounting, teaching, physiotherapy and sport. There is a whole new range of exciting and highly-relevant courses, including cyber security, engineering and sustainable construction.  

at University College Birmingham is delighted to confirm that the Global Assessment Certificate Program (GAC), a certificate program offered to high school students worldwide by ACT and Act Education Solutions, has been revied and accepted by University College Birmingham (UCB) as a pathway program for the international students direct admission into our university. 

Academic Requirements and Special Offer for GAC Students 

  • First year undergraduate program direct entry for successful GAC students with 2.6 GPA 
  • Free English Proficiency test 
  • Free application 
  • £1000 scholarship for Latin American students