Meet Hong Kong's Perfect Scoring IB Students

Some of the IB Diploma's top scorers share advice on how to achieve a perfect IB score. The students come from the English Schools Foundation’s ESF Island School, ESF King George V School, ESF Sha Tin College and ESF South Island School...
Meet Hong Kong's Perfect Scoring IB Students
By Carli Allan
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Julia Mulroony from ESF Island School plans to study pharmacy at Monash University in Melbourne.

What was key to your success in the IB Diploma?

Knowing which revision techniques worked for me and which didn't. I tried to study "actively" rather than "passively". For instance, rather than just reading a textbook and trying to remember information, I would do past papers, draw mind maps and discuss concepts with classmates. I find that these study techniques helped me to understand the material much better, hence it was much easier to retain and apply my knowledge.

However, I also didn't place a huge emphasis on study. I tried to maintain a healthy work-life balance as I feel like studying too much can lead to burnout and negatively impact your results. Although it’s cliche, I think that the saying "quality over quantity" really is true. It's better to study effectively rather than study excessively.

How do you think the IB has prepared you for university?

Besides giving me the basic background knowledge essential to my degree (such as chemistry and biology), my experiences doing the IB Diploma have really taught me other vital skills such as time management, resilience and organisation. The IB is a very intensive course and I had to quickly learn how to prioritise my time and also how to cope when things didn't go as expected.

My experiences in G4 and CAS have also taught me the importance of collaboration and leadership, which will also be invaluable skills in the future, even outside of my university degree.

What advice would you give to the next cohort of IB students?

I suggest that future IB students make it a priority to maintain a good work-life balance – don't spend all your time studying, as you will just end up stressed, tired and unmotivated. At the end of the day, your final grade does not define you, and there is no point in damaging your own mental and/or physical health by stressing over it. In terms of more practical advice, I would advise utilising the resources that you have available, such as past papers and examiner reports. For me, such resources really helped me to understand what IB examiners are looking for and helped me prioritise which aspects of the course to focus on.

Next page: Meet Chak Kei Lau!

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