[First published on 10 July, 2012] Of the few pupils who achieved perfect scores for the International Baccalaureate (IB) exams this year, one in 10 came from Hong Kong. Of the 109 students who achieved full scores of 45 marks on the global IB exams - considered one of the toughest pre-college exams in the world - at least 12 of the top achievers were from Hong Kong. English Schools Foundation (ESF) students continued to achieve strong results this year, with the number of students achieving full marks increasing to nine from four last year. Local direct-subsidy schools the Diocesan Boys' School and Creative Secondary School, each had one student get the full score in their first year administering the exams. Victoria Shanghai Academy also had one pupil with the top score. 'We are proud of the hard work we've put in,' said Deep Vaze, the only student from the ESF Island School to earn a perfect score. Vaze credited his score to the competitive and supportive atmosphere created by his teachers and classmates. He will be studying at Harvard University in September. The other top scorers from ESF schools were Cindy Ling, Hedy Man Pui-ying, Rupert Phillips and Edward Tam Yuk-wang from King George V School; Calvin Po, Anahita Sharma and Ronald Yip from South Island School; and Sarah Chan from Sha Tin College. All are permanent residents of Hong Kong and most have studied in ESF schools for 10 years or more. They agree the IB has prepared them well for university and believe the scores will provide them with a wider choice of educational opportunities in their chosen fields. All six ESF secondary schools started offering IB diploma programmes four years ago and 96.8 per cent of their 783 students received the diploma this year. That compares with a global pass rate of 78 per cent. Edward Tam, who will be studying medicine in Hong Kong, said writing his 4,000-word essay on whether intelligence was innate or learned was a valuable experience. He thought it would prepare him when he had to write academic dissertations in the future. Rupert Phillips, who will be going to the Brighton and Sussex Medical School in England, said: 'It was great that we were allowed to take a big spread of different subjects and find what we are interested in.' 'I matured and found my strengths,' said Sarah Chan, who will study law at Chinese University.