Revealed! Hong Kong IB Diploma Results, 2020

Exams were cancelled but the IB results for the 2019-20 academic year have been published as normal – and students at international schools in Hong Kong have surpassed the global average by more than six points. An amazing achievement...
Revealed! Hong Kong IB Diploma Results, 2020
By Carli Allan
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After a turbulent year for education, IB results for the 2019-20 academic year are in – and students at international schools in Hong Kong are celebrating an average score of 36.31, well above the global average of 29.90.

Students at international schools in Hong Kong received their International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and Career-related Programme (IBCP) results today during one of the most extraordinary times in education. Although this year’s students did not sit the IB exams, they still receive a grade for each of their registered subjects based on teachers’ recommendations that take into account their coursework marks and their predicted grade.

A total of 174,355 students worldwide took the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) or Career-related Programme (CP) this year. The number of students receiving their results in Hong Kong this year is 2,324, marking a small increase on last year’s cohort.

The 2020 cohort achieved a global average score of 29.90 points in the IBDP, staying consistent with the past three years’ scores ranging from 29.62 to 29.95. This year, the Hong Kong average DP score of 36.31 surpassed the global average of 29.90, with a pass rate of 97.94%. This is also higher than last year’s Hong Kong average of 35.96 points.

The two-year IBDP programme is currently offered at 33 local and international schools in Hong Kong, including seven that are full IB schools; Hong Kong’s largest provider of English-medium international education, the English Schools Foundation (ESF), offers the IBDP at its five secondary schools and two all-through schools. The IBCP is also offered at six ESF schools.

Top Scorers
Out of the 2,324 students who sat the IB, there were 23 top scorers across Hong Kong’s schools. This included 12 students from ESF secondary schools, one from German Swiss International School, and top scorers from Diocesan Boys’ School (DBS) and St Pauls' Co-educational College in the local school sector. The number of top-scoring students could also rise as some students choose to get their papers remarked in the coming weeks.

Please refer back to this feature for more results as they come in...

Read more:
Where to Study the IB in Hong Kong?
IB Results: What to Do if You Don’t Get The Points?

In Hong Kong, the IBDP is taken at international schools including: ESF Discovery College, ESF King George V School, ESF Island School, ESF Sha Tin College, ESF South Island School, ESF Renaissance College, ESF West Island School, French International School, Independent Schools Foundation Academy, Victoria Shanghai Academy, Canadian International School of Hong Kong, Yew Chung International School of Hong Kong, Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong (UWC), International College Hong Kong, German Swiss International School, Chinese International School, Han Academy, Hong Kong Academy, and Singapore International School.

Of the schools that have published results so far…

English Schools Foundation


ESF's top scoring students

• Average score: 35.7
• Pass rate: 98.1%
• Size of cohort: 948
• Top score of 45 points: 12 students
• No. students scored 40 points and above: 238 students (25.1%)
• No. students scored 35 points and above: 582 students (61.3%)
• No. students scored 30 points and above: 846 (89.1%)

The English Schools Foundation (ESF), which is Hong Kong’s largest provider of English-medium international education in Hong Kong, enters the highest number of IB students in the country; a total of 931 ESF students were awarded the IBDP this year.

ESF scored 5.8 points above the global average across all five of its secondary schools and two all-through schools – and celebrated 12 students scoring top marks of 45. Another 24 ESF students achieved 44 points.

The average score from all ESF schools was 35.7, which is above the global average of 29.9 and in line with ESF’s 2019 average of 35.6; 98.1% of ESF students passed the full IDBP and 61.3% scored 35 IB points or above. 

ESF’s Sha Tin College was the group's top-performing school with six top scorers; these included Eugene Lau, Maggie So, George Su, Athena Tsang, Gavin Yeung, and Charmaine Yuen.

ESF’s other top scorers include Jun Lim and Jason Ma at King George V School; Jasmine Lee at Renaissance College; Vereta Gour at South Island School, Lauren Tarrant at Discovery College, and Anya Saunders at Island School.

ESF’s chief executive officer, Belinda Greer, said

"These are, once again, an extraordinary set of results for our students. That they were achieved in one of the most tumultuous years in recent history makes them even more impressive. Be in no doubt: ESF is a world leading education system.

“This will be a day of celebration for many people. Our teachers and staff will be overjoyed to see the success that has been achieved by their students - and, I know, that parents, families and friends will be simply bursting with pride. This is a special day.

“Our top scorers deserve our most special congratulations. The IB Diploma is a demanding qualification, made even more so in the face of the unprecedented challenges that our students have had to face. So, to score a 44 or a 45 is truly remarkable. This incredible day is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication."

ESF entered students for the IBDP at the following schools: Discovery College, Island School, King George V School, Sha Tin College, South Island School, Renaissance College, and West Island SchoolWe will publish the individual results for each school as we receive them.

ESF Sha Tin College

• Average score: 37.6
• Size of cohort:
148
• Pass rate:
100%
• Top score:
45
• No. students scored 40 points and above:
32%
• No. students scored 35 points and above:
75%
• No. students scored 30 points and above:
97%
• No. students achieved the bilingual diploma: 13

Students at Sha Tin College can be proud of their average score of 37.6 and 100% pass rate. Overall 48 students (32% of the Diploma cohort) achieved 40 or more points compared with a world average of approximately 8%.

Principal Carol Larkin said: "Sha Tin College is extremely proud to announce another outstanding set of IB Diploma results. What is particularly remarkable about the students’ achievements is that Sha Tin College is an inclusive school, catering for students of almost all abilities.

Six students achieved the maximum 45 points and a further seven students achieved the near perfect score of 44 points.

Larkin added: "Whilst we are extremely proud of these academically able students, we are also particularly proud of the many students who fulfilled their personal potential, and the students who were expected to find the Diploma Programme particularly challenging. Through sheer hard work and determination, these students have managed to achieve at least 28 points, well above the 24 points needed to pass the IB Diploma."

ESF King George V

• Average score: 35.7
• Size of cohort: 193
• Pass rate: 99%
• Top score: 45
• No. students scored 40 points and above: 27%
• No. students scored 35 points and above: 59%
• No. students scored 30 points and above: 89%

The 2020 cohort at King George V School achieved a high average score of 35.7, just a shade up on the previous year's result. There were two top scorers and just over half of students scoring 35 points or above.

There were a total of 193 students entered for the full IB Diploma with a 99% pass rate. Two students achieved the maximum of 45 points and four students achieved 44. 19 students were awarded the Bilingual Diploma with nine of them impressively scoring between 40-45 points.

KGV principal Mark Blackshaw said:

"This was obviously an unprecedented year for IB Diploma students around the world with schools closed for prolonged periods of time; schools across Hong Kong probably being closed longer than most. However, once again KGV students celebrated an excellent set of IB Diploma scores in 2020!"

ESF Renaissance College

• Average score: 35.5
• Size of cohort: 127
• Pass rate: 99%
• Top score: 45
• No. students scored 40 points and above: 22.4%
• No. students scored 35 points and above: 56.8%
• No. students scored 30 points and above: 88%
• No. students achieved the bilingual diploma: 31%

The hard work and effort paid off at Renaissance College (RCHK) where the average score 35.5, slightly higher than last year's score of 34.7. Nearly a quarter of students achieved 40 or more total points – a figure that can earn them a place them at competitive Ivy League or Oxbridge universities. One student celebrated the top score of 45.

RCHK is one of of only five schools in Hong Kong to currently offer the International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP), which is an alternative to the IBDP that’s specifically developed for students who want to focus on career-related learning. The school offers an IBCP course in partnership with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and another with the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA),

This year, there was a small cohort of three students taking the IBCP, a 100% pass rate, and a grade point average of 3.6 in the SCAD programme.

RCHK principal Dr Harry Brown said:

"Despite the considerably trying time the class of 2020 faced RCHK students produced a set of remarkable and highly impressive IB results. We are proud to announce that the majority of students have been able to secure their first choice of university and are embarking on bright, promising futures.

"Within these figures, it is worth drawing attention to the continued high rate of students who qualified for the bilingual diploma (achieved by taking two native/ near native language courses). In this cohort, nearly 31% of the students were eligible to receive the bilingual diploma, and 99% of them qualified for it."

ESF Island School

• Average score: 36
• Size of cohort: 111
• Pass rate: 98%
• Top score: 45
• No. students scored 40 points and above: 26%
• No. students scored 35 points and above: 63%
• No. students scored 30 points and above: 88%

ESF Island School announced an impressive average score of 36. One student, Anya Saunders, achieved the maximum IB Diploma score of 45 points and six more students scored 44 points. The average score was 36 with a 98% pass rate and 26% of students achieved over 40 points.

ESF South Island School

• Average score: 35.5
• Size of cohort: 157
• Pass rate: 99%
• No. students scored 40 points and above: 27%
• No. students scored 35 points and above: 58%
• No. students scored 30 points and above: 86%

Students at ESF South Island achieved an average score of 35.5 and there was a 99% pass rate. Nearly a third of students scored an impressive 40 points or more.

The school said: "Even in this most challenging of years, our students have achieved overall results that are absolutely comparable with previous years."

ESF West Island School

• Average score: 35.5
• Size of cohort: 126
• Pass rate: 98%
• No. students scored 40 points and above: 18%
• No. students scored 35 points and above: 61%
• No. students scored 30 points and above: 90%

The cohort at West Island School achieved an average score of 35.5, and there was a pass rate of 98%. Well over half of WIS students scored 35 points and above.

Also, 10 students at the school were awarded the IB Career-related Programme, which involves the study of a Level 3 BTEC diploma, two or three IB certificates at standard or higher level, and an externally assessed essay.

Victoria Shanghai Academy

• Average score: 36.2
• Pass rate: 99%
• Highest score: 44
• No. students scored 40 points and above: 18%
• No. students scored 35 points and above: 56%
• No. students scored 30 points and above: 88%
• No. students scored 24 points and above: 99%
• No. students achieved the bilingual diploma: 49

Victoria Shanghai Academy (VSA) had an average score of 36.2, and for the fourth year in a row its average score is above 36 points. A total of 49 students received the Bilingual Diploma.

The school said: “Congratulations to the Class of 2020 for its excellent International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma results! Despite all challenges this year, four students scored near-perfect 44 points while VSA's average score is 36.2.”

French International School of Hong Kong

• Average score: 35
• Pass rate: 100%
• No. students scored 40 points and above: 27%
• No. students scored 35 points and above: 52%
• No. students achieved the bilingual diploma: 100%

Despite what it describes as "a historically disrupted school year", French International School of Hong Kong is celebrating a 100% pass rate and an average score of 35 points. Among them, 52% of students received 35 points or more, and 27% 40 points or more. Additionally, 100% of the candidates who entered for the Bilingual Diploma were awarded it, or 21% of all candidates.

Ian Clayton, FIS' head of the international stream, said: "We congratulate the IB class of 2020 for their superb results. In many ways they were robbed of completing the programme, but I would suggest that we and they achieved some way better outcomes than simply exam results.

"This cohort exhibited the key traits of resilience, perseverance, diligence, creativity and above all a sense of perspective. We are all delighted as they are already developing into outstanding human beings. We wish them well in the next part of their adventure."

Singapore International School (Hong Kong)

• Average score: 37
• Pass rate: 100%
• Size of cohort: 48
• Highest score: 44(4 students)
• No. students scored 40 points and above:
37.5%
• No. students scored 35 points and above:
71%
• No. students scored 30 points and above:
94%
• No. students achieved the bilingual diploma:
18.8%

At Singapore International School (Hong Kong), the cohort of 48 students scored an average 37 points. Four students scored 44 points, seven scored 43 points and a total of 18 students scored 40 points and above. There was a 100% pass rate.

Students have accepted university places in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Principal Kelvin Tay said: 

“Our students have done extremely well this year, we must congratulate them for demonstrating their resilience in overcoming the challenges and disruptions in the past year to achieve such great results for their IB Diploma.

"The lessons they have learnt in overcoming adversity, being flexible and persevering with their studies amidst uncertainty will stand them in good stead as they move forward to pursue their dreams and passions!”

German Swiss International School

• Average score: 40.72
• Pass rate: 100%
• Highest score: 45

German Swiss International School announced its results, saying that its average score is a high 40.72. There was one top scorer with 45 pints, and 42 students achieved 40-plus points.

Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong (UWC)

• Average score: Not published
• Size of cohort: 121
• Highest score: 45
• No. students scored 40 points and above: 24%

Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong (UWC) is yet to announce its average score, but has revealed that 24% of its graduates received 40 or more points. Out of a maximum of 45 Diploma points, 1 graduate obtained 45 with two students scoring 44 and six scoring 43. 

PCUWC Principal Arnett Edwards said:

"These results are a real testament to the students and staff who have worked together in completion of internal assessment grades under challenging circumstances. With the majority of students off campus, many in different locations around the world, the results speak volumes about the tenacity of our students and teachers."

ISF Academy

• Average score: 37.2
• Pass rate: 100%
• Size of cohort: 50
• Highest score: 44
• No. students scored 40 points and above:
38%
• No. students achieved the bilingual diploma:
76%

The Class of 2020 at Independent Schools Foundation Academy (ISF) achieved a 100% pass rate, with an average mean score of 37.2. Five students scored 44 or 43 points, 19 students scored 40 points or higher (38%), and 76% students received the Bilingual Diploma.

Head of school, Dr. Malcolm Pritchard, said: “The ISF Academy commends the 50 members of the Class of 2020 for their resilience, diligence and adaptability throughout the IB journey, especially given the challenging class and final assessment arrangements amid the social unrest of 2019 and the outbreak of COVID-19 this year.

"The high proportion of Bilingual Diploma earners – three in four students – also demonstrates our students’ extraordinary skills in mastering both Chinese and English through our unique program, backed by a deep appreciation for Chinese culture and other civilizations.”

ISF graduates will continue their learning at universities including Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Cambridge, University of California-Los Angeles, Boston University, University of Chicago, University of Warwick, Imperial College London, London School of Economics and Politics, and the University of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Chinese Christian Churches Union Logos Academy

• Average score: 36.9
• Pass rate: 100%
• Highest score: 45 (2 students)
• No. students scored 40 points and above:
21%
• No. students scored 35 points and above:
76.3%
• No. students scored 27 points and above:
100%

Students at HKCCCU Logos Academy scored an average of 36.9, and two students scored the highest mark of 45 points.

School principal Dr Paul Cho said: "

Amid an unusual school year full of tumult and disruption, graduates of this cohort have endured unprecedented challenges, having witnessed social upheaval locally as well as felt since the start of 2020 the tremendous threat brought about by COVID-19 on an international scale.

"Despite these challenges, we are blessed in the concerted effort by all Logosians – students, teachers and parents – that helped us all move forward."

St Pauls' Co-educational College

• Average score: 41.8
• Pass rate: 100%
• Highest score: 45
• Size of cohort: 47
• No. students scored 40 points and above: 80.9%

St Pauls' Co-educational College's cohort of 47 celebrated a high average score of 42; four students got a score of 45, nine got a score of 44, and 10 got a score of 43. 3.28% of students got a score of 44 or above, compared to the global average of 1.2%.

Scholarships received by SPCC students include the Prince Philip Scholarship to the University of Cambridge and American Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation Lyn Edinger U.S. Studies Scholarship to Princeton.

Diocesan Boys' School

• Highest score: 45

Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau School

• Average score: 38.9
• Pass rate: 100%
• Size of cohort: 92
• No. students scored 40 points and above: 54%
• No. students scored 35 points and above: 85%
• No. students scored 30 points and above: 97%
• No. students achieved the bilingual diploma: 83
• Average diploma subject grade: 6.1

Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau School celebrated an average score of 38.9, the same as last year, and a 100% pass rate. In the cohort of 92 students, five achieved the 44 points and 10 students were graded 43 points.

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Background to this year's results

In common with all international exam boards, the IBO cancelled the examinations that were due to take place in May 2020, and results have been awarded on the basis of historical assessment data, results from previous exams, individual school data, subject data as well as comparative data from schools that had already uploaded assessed work prior to the closure of many schools globally due to the pandemic.

Schools were required to submit the coursework for all candidates and the IBO arranged that work usually marked by teachers, where the norm is for samples to be moderated, would instead be externally marked. A large portion of the final IB grade usually comes from work done in the IB classroom and through internal assessments in addition to the examinations normally taken at the end of the two year Diploma Programme.

The IBO has stated that if candidates wish to, they can retake a subject in any future examination session and at any IB World School offering the DP or CP. Schools can also request re-marks of students’ work in the May 2020 session as is normal practice.

The 2020 IB Cohort

With the closure of schools around the world and the cancellation of exams, this year’s IB students completed the two-year Diploma Programme in far from normal circumstances. There has been a huge question mark over whether this year’s cohort would get a ‘fair deal’ – but results so far suggest that students in Hong Kong have performed above the global average.

Paula Wilcock, chief assessment officer for the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) said:

“No one was prepared for what was going to change the world and the difficult decision to cancel the May 2020 examinations was unprecedented, but it was a decision made based on the safety and wellbeing of our students. This is a landmark year. Not only have students been dealing with the pressures of their final year of study for the DP or CP before they take their next step into their future, but they have been forced to adapt to a totally different world at the same time.

“I would encourage students to reflect on their experiences as an IB learner and to remember to look at the full extent of their progress. Where they started in DP 1 or CP 1 is a vastly different place to where they find themselves now and everything they have achieved in those two years represents hundreds of hours of grit, determination, growth and achievement.

“They are graduating into a global community of learners that they will belong to forever and the journey they have all undertaken together is not solely defined by the results. The skills they have developed through their IB journey (critical thinking, communication skills etc.), and their capability to embody the IB learner profile, will carry them through into their futures with the ability to tackle the challenges of the future with the ability to think critically, and respond creatively and with much needed compassion.”

Bookmark this page! We will continue to update this article as more data is released to us.

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