Hong Kong teens get top scores in exam

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 12:00am

Five LOCAL teenagers topped the world scores in June's International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) exams.

Organised by the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), the IGCSE is an international academic assessment for students aged 14 to 16. The standard is equivalent to the British GCSE and GCE O Level.

Three students from French International School scored highest mark in the world across a subject - Natalie Kwan Yuk-kei came first in geography, English literature and Latin; Maura Claire Krause matched Natalie's mark in English literature, and Edith Chan was tops in the world for physics.

Shantayne Chan from German Swiss International School came first in economics while Island School's Joseph Wong Wai-ho achieved the top mark in design and technology.

Natalie and Edith were also the first and second best students in four IGCSE subjects among the 1,580 Hong Kong candidates. Clement Ho Sun-man from the Chinese International School was third.

Altogether, 16-year-old Natalie scored 10 straight As in the exam. She was surprised by her outstanding result.

'I didn't open the envelope myself. My mum did, by mistake,' Natalie said. 'She was overwhelmed and I was surprised. I spent most of my time [studying] history and English literature as they are the most difficult [subjects].'

Natalie, who stressed that she was not a bookworm, shared some of her secrets of success.

'Paying attention in class really helps as you won't needto spend so much time revising your notes after school,' said Natalie who prefers spending her spare time doing sports, such as jiujitsu (a Japanese martial art) and sailing.

'Planning ahead also helps as you won't need to panic before the exams. And teachers' support is important. All my teachers worked hard in helping us and I am really grateful to them.'

Christine Cayley, CIE's director for Asia-Pacific, was pleased with the Hong Kong candidates' results.

'The number of students [taking] Cambridge IGCSE exams continues to grow worldwide and many of them achieve outstanding results,' said Ms Cayley.

'It is the first time we have hosted an award ceremony to recognise and celebrate Hong Kong students' achievements. I hope they will keep up the good work and continue to do well in the future.'