Hong Kong schools

Hong Kong schools get International Baccalaureate exam results, 38 pupils bagging full marks

Total of top scorers up on last year’s initial count, Diocesan Boys’ School in Mong Kok beating its own internal record with seven sets of full marks

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 July, 2018, 4:08pm
UPDATED : Monday, 09 July, 2018, 1:07pm

Local school leavers have beaten last year’s initial count of top scorers in the International Baccalaureate exams with 38 of them getting full marks for the May papers.

The number of students with top marks, released on Friday, was up on last year’s total of 33. But last year’s increased to 40 after re-marking.

Diocesan Boys’ School had seven top scorers – a record for the Mong Kok institution. Two students from Victoria Shanghai Academy and one from Canadian International School, both in Aberdeen, also managed not to drop a single mark. So did one pupil from the International Schools Foundation Academy, two from Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau School, two from St Stephen’s College, five from St Paul’s Co-educational College, two from German Swiss International School and 15 across all English Schools Foundation colleges.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a two-year programme aimed at 16- to 19-year-olds. Recognised by many universities, it offers an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education, and has been available in Hong Kong since 1988.

According to the International Baccalaureate Organisation, 2,291 Hong Kong pupils took the exams across 29 international and local schools.

Ryan Mak, 18, from DBS, said he was relieved to get full marks. After six weeks of waiting, he said, the results were a “huge surprise”.

Reflecting on days of hard work, Mak said self-discipline was key to his success.

“No matter what your strengths and weaknesses are, [different subjects] ultimately contribute to the same number of points,” said Mak, who plans to study law at University College London.

IB students complete assessments in six subject groups and three required elements: Theory of Knowledge; Extended Essay; and Creativity, Activity, Service. IB diploma students are assessed through oral presentations, 4,000-word papers and participation in creative and physical activities or community work.

Daniel Sin Zhen-ye, a 17-year-old from Victoria Shanghai Academy, said getting the results gave him some closure, especially after the long wait.

“My mum and sisters were really happy, they were jumping around as if we won a game show”, he said.

Sin said he wanted to study for a degree in biology, but was still deciding whether to go to Durham University in Britain or Chinese University in Hong Kong.

“We’re sending people to space but I think it’s important to understand the fundamentals of life first,” he said.

Most city teenagers take the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exam and a few take the UK qualification of A-levels.

James Chow, who studied at Canadian International School for 14 years, described the IB programme as “the most difficult time of my studies here”.

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The 17-year-old, another students with full marks, said he didn’t “sacrifice as much” as he might have during the stressful period, still playing basketball and volleyball for the school team and doing his duties as an executive member and fundraiser for Habitat of Humanity Hong Kong, a housing charity, which he said helped his mental state.

Chow’s father said of the good results: “James, my wife and I were shocked. We didn’t know how to react.”

Chow, who is looking into studying medicine, said he had received a range of offers from local and international universities, but was still deciding which was best.