Fifteen students from schools under the English Schools Foundation (ESF) have achieved a perfect score of 45 points in this year’s International Baccalaureate diploma.
This includes six students from Sha Tin College, five from Island School, two from King George V School, and two from South Island School.
In addition to the students that scored 45 points, there were also 227 students that scores 40 points or more. ESF students also scored an average of 35.8 points, around six points higher than the global average.
Of the 1000 students that took the IB diploma at the seven ESF secondary schools, 98 per cent passed the course, well above the global pass rate of 78.4 per cent.
In total, at least 38 students have scored the maximum 45 points in Hong Kong. This means that around 20 per cent of all top scorers around the world were from Hong Kong.
Achieving 45 points in the IB diploma is no easy task. Young Post spoke with five of this year’s perfect scorers to find out how they felt about the whole experience.
“It’s my personal philosophy that anything above a 43 is whether you’re lucky walking into that exam hall, whether you’re lucky with your examiner,” said Chak Kei-lau, 17, from Island School
Chak goes on to say he learned something from his mother, “School isn’t about studying, it’s about learning.” With most of his fond memories coming from extra-curricular activities, he is ultimately glad the IB works to allow the students to expand their horizons in that way.
His best advice to those going through the IB now is “having an outlet, having a way to de-stress yourself” with IB being about “managing your stress levels” it is important to step away from the anarchy every now and then to let your mind rest.
South Island School student Leo Kyu Jung-kim, 18, told us, “We can’t let the title IB student define who we are.”
He also stressed the importance of linking your hobbies and your academics.
“If you just keep working hard and never give up your passion, I think you can always find a link between something you love and something you’re good at,” he said.
Andrian Chan, 17, from Sha Tin College, will be studying medicine at the University of Hong Kong. He was driven to study medicine by several tragic personal experiences that left him feeling helpless.
He described his choice of medicine as being a “process, it was a discovery,” after he spent several months volunteering to help patients at Eastern Hospital.
He also advised fellow students who are receiving external pressures to go study a certain field in university to slow down and question “is this who you really are?”
Stephanie Cheung Nok-man, 18 from Island school says no matter what grade you end up with, “at the end of the day they should be proud of what they have accomplished”. She is looking to forward to “expanding her horizons” by applying to the UK
Samanwita Sen, 17 from King George V School, said there were advantages and disadvantages to taking the IB.
“While 10 years from now I might not exactly know how the heart works [...] IB definitely teaches you how to learn because so much of it is independent research.”
On the flip-side, she says the IB “does expect a lot from you so the jump from GCSEs or O levels can be quite extreme at first”. She urges students to learn to “enjoy the two years, don’t think of it as a miserable experience. Look for opportunities, take care of yourself and you’ll have fun.”