Smashing IB success for Hong Kong student stars

By Ariel Conant

Hong Kong dominates international exam but even the top performers say studying isn't everything

By Ariel Conant |

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ESF students (front row, from left) Narumi Wong, Venice Luk, Stephanie Cheung Yui-ka and Sharon Cheng Sha-ron; (back row, left and right) Ellen Hao Qi and Jamie Wong Hei-tung, received perfect scores.

Hong Kong students dominated the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma results this year, with 27 students from across the city achieving a perfect 45 points.

Globally, just 158 students had perfect scores - 64 of whom were from the Asia-Pacific.

The English Schools Foundation has been running the IB programme for seven years and came out on top with an average score of 35.5 for its 934 students. Of those, 14 achieved perfect scores.

Sha Tin College, South Island School and West Island School were the most successful of the group - each had three perfect score students.

South Island School student Louie Ka-chun, who scored a perfect 45 points, said that there's not one right way to study.

"IB is really like trial and error," he said. "It really depends on each person and how they study best."

This was the first year German-Swiss International School offered the IB curriculum. All 43 students who entered the programme were awarded the IB Diploma, with an average score of 38.5 points and two perfect scorers.

But the top-scoring students emphasised that it's not all about studying and grades.

West Island School's Venice Luk Long-yan stressed the importance of striking a balance between working and sleeping.

"I would rather sleep than study," she said. Ellen Hao Qi, of Sha Tin College, agreed: "Social interaction is important."

She added: "You can't just hide in your room with books and study every single day."