At least 34 Hong Kong students have achieved perfect scores - the maximum 45 points - in this year’s International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations, which is four less than last year’s total.
According to the IB’s statistics released yesterday evening, the average grade in Hong Kong was 35.99 points. This is similar to last year’s, and is six points higher than the global average.
Among the high achievers, 20 are from the seven English Schools Foundation (ESF) schools. As of Saturday afternoon, there are also four from Diocesan Boys’ School, and one each from Canadian International School of Hong Kong, St Paul’s Co-educational College, and Victoria Shanghai Academy.
Some students were able to get their results this morning, whereas the others, including those from German Swiss International School, The Independent Schools Foundation Academy and ESF, will receive their results later today or tomorrow.
Lucas Lau Hoi-shun, Yeung Geshi, Allan Zhu Hongyi, all 18, and Obile Wong Man-kit, 17, are the topscorers from Diocesan Boys’ School this year. Obile was out of Hong Kong, but we spoke to the remaining three.
The trio admitted that while they’d thought about the possibility of scoring 45 points, they didn’t really expect it to happen.
“While there was a chance of me getting a perfect score, I know that it really depends on luck, which is out of my control,” said Geshi. He will be studying psychology or neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.
Allan, was a little more doubtful about it happening, but said “I’m glad that I’ve made it.” Allan, who was a SOTY 2018 finalist, plans to study medicine at either Chinese University or University of Hong Kong.
Lucas’ biggest challenge while preparing for his exams was avoiding distractions, especially social media. To ensure he wouldn’t be tempted to scroll his social media feed, he deactivated his Instagram - his greatest distraction - for two months.
“To make sure I could accomplish my tasks and goals, I would also set timetables to plan my time during the weekends or school holidays,” he said. “If I could not manage to complete the tasks [on one day], the [unticked to-do list] would at least act as a reminder [the following day] that I had finish them before doing anything else.”
Lucas also plans to study medicine in Hong Kong.
Maxwell Choi Chun-yin, 16, is one of the youngest topscorers this year. The St Paul’s Co-educational College student took the exam almost two years earlier than most of his peers.
But the younger candidate doesn’t believe age is an issue when it comes to success; perseverance and hard work are much more important.
That’s not to say preparing was all smooth-sailing. As students have to sit exams in multiple subjecst on any one day, it’s not possible to study at the last minute. “The most difficult thing was to space out revision time, keep a constant study schedule, and sleeping time,” he said.
“I would love to have the opportunity to do research [in the future], which I think is really fun and exciting,” he said. Completing the Internal Assessments (IAs) and Extended Essays (EEs) during his IB preparation, he added, helped him develop this interest in research.
Victoria Shanghai Academy’s top-scorer Joelle Chow Chung-shan, 18, told Young Post that the perfect result came “out of the blue”. When asked about the most challenging part of preparing for the exams, Joelle said time- and stress-management.
“I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing at the right time, and working smart enough,” said Joelle.
Being scientifically minded, the 18-year-old is determined to take medicine in either Chinese University or University of Hong Kong. She believes medicine is a career that “perfectly blends humanitarian aspects and technical aspects” which suits her well.
Seventeen-year-old Eloise Amy Fan of Canadian International School of Hong Kong was also pleasantly surprised by her incredible result. The top scorer revealed Chinese Language and Mathematics were her greatest struggles throughout the programme, and that her predicted grades for some other subjects were average.
“The extended essay for studies in language and literature was a big wild card for me, as I was predicted to get a B,” said Eloise. “I had put a lot of work into my essay and I’m very proud of how it turned out, but I really wasn’t expecting to get an A.”