Find out what these top-scoring students had to say about their experience of taking the IB – and what they plan to do next.
Bianca Yuen from ESF Renaissance College plans to study psychology at the University of Toronto, Canada.
“I took Chinese A, the higher-level language course, instead of a science or arts subject; this locked me into the bilingual diploma. It was very difficult but I’m very grateful to my teachers for giving me lots of support and to the school for being so accommodating.
“One of the most important things that the IB programme teaches you isn’t knowledge from a book or test-taking, but soft skills. You need to make good use of your time while working on your internal assessments, and I learned a lot about time management and problem-solving. Stress management is essential on such a difficult course, and you have to take regular breaks and relax; I would play on my phone for a bit or listen to music.”
Adrian Yan from ESF Discovery College plans to study engineering in the UK.
“The hardest part of the IB for me was selecting the topics for my internal assessments. The IB gives you a lot of freedom, and that makes it hard to decide what to do. As it turned out, I chose to work on the problem of quantifying a sagging wire between two poles for physics.”
Russell Liu from ESF Renaissance College plans to study computer science at university.
“I found language to be the most difficult part of the IB as my ability to speak English is not as good as my writing or reading. There’s no such thing as a shortcut in the IB. You have to read, write, listen and speak more. If you put in the time, you will gradually improve.”
Carliss Ling, ESF Sha Tin College
“The IB forces you to be a well-rounded person, which sometimes means having to do things that you’re no very good at. I’m a quiet person, so I found public speaking the most difficult and challenging part of the IB. However, it helped to improve my confidence and it was all worthwhile.”
Eloise Fan from Canadian International School of Hong Kong (CDNIS) will study Environment, Resources and Sustainability and Theatre and Performance at the University of Waterloo in Canada.
“I believe it was the constant reminders to ‘put things in perspective’ from my teachers, peers and parents that got me through my final years of high school. I will be forever grateful to CDNIS for allowing me to fully explore so many of my varied interests, from sustainability and theatre, to swimming, service work, yoga and beyond.”
Joelle Chow Chung-shan from Victoria Shanghai Academy plans to study medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
"Academically, VSA has given me a plethora of resources and encouraged constant self-exploration and further learning. The teachers here have constantly challenged me to always present my best work, and to look beyond the class syllabus in order to understand topics thoroughly.”
Charming Yeung, ESF King George V School
“I plan to study medicine after being inspired by a doctor who helped me when I struggled with obesity when I was about 12. While receiving treatment at a hospital, this doctor cared for me and changed my lifestyle by referring me to a nutritionist. I was able to honestly tell him about my condition, and that really helped me.
“‘A good doctor cures his patients, a great doctor cares for his patients’. When I become a doctor, I hope to forge relationships with patients, understand their suffering and relate to them on an emotional level.”
Sammie Lam, ESF Sha Tin College
“I plan to study veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge and then return to Hong Kong. I have two dogs at home and I have been riding horses since I was 10, and my life has always involved animals. I am particularly interested in conducting research on infectious diseases that pass between animals and humans.”
Alex Xia, ESF Sha Tin College
“I plan to study computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles, due to its proximity to Silicon Valley. I am interested in artificial intelligence, and I have my sights set on working in Silicon Valley because it is home to so many technological start-ups and global technology companies.”