From Normal (Academic) to scoring 43 out of a possible 45

Katelyn Lim went from a Normal (Academic) class to an Express class in Secondary 2 and later aced her O levels with six points. She then went to Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), where she scored 43 out of 45 at the International Baccalaureate exam
Katelyn Lim went from a Normal (Academic) class to an Express class in Secondary 2 and later aced her O levels with six points. She then went to Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), where she scored 43 out of 45 at the International Baccalaureate exam.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Life threw Katelyn Lim a curve ball about six years ago.

The former Fairfield Methodist School (Primary) pupil remembers feeling disappointed when she received her Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results.

Her PSLE score was 199, just one point short of the 200 needed for the Express stream at the affiliated Fairfield Methodist School (Secondary).

Katelyn struggled with feelings of shame, especially since her older siblings and classmates had made it to the Express track, and she had expected to get in, too.

"People were so shocked that I got into Normal (Academic), and all the comments made me lose confidence," she said.

But the experience has shaped her, making her a stronger person.

With the help of her family, teachers and friends, it spurred her on to work even harder in her studies, said Katelyn.

Yesterday, the 18-year-old Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student collected her International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma results, scoring 43 out of 45 for the exam.

She had done well in Secondary 1 and was promoted to an Express class in Secondary 2 at Fairfield.

She also aced her O levels in Secondary 4 with six points, and decided on ACS (I) because of its IB programme.

"I preferred the curricula and assessment format of the IB, which is more spread out than the A levels," said the youngest of three children. Her father works in the design technology industry and her mother is an investment professional.

 
 

Katelyn also put her heart into community service in ACS (I), joining the school's Interact Club where she planned activities for the elderly and people with special needs and reading programmes for children.

"I wanted a platform to reach out to the community and I liked that I wasn't doing it alone but with my peers," she said.

She hopes to study medicine at a local university.

"Hopefully, I can use my medical training to serve locally and abroad.

"I could work as a general practitioner in future, go on missions and trips, and help people overseas improve their healthcare," she said.

Looking back, Katelyn said: "In primary school, I was really playful. I would copy my friends' answers for homework and looked for answer sheets."

But the experience at the end of Primary 6 made her change.

"The support from everyone around me helped me regain confidence.

"I saw it as an opportunity to learn more in the process, and not to give up."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2020, with the headline 'From Normal (Academic) to scoring 43 out of a possible 45'. Print Edition | Subscribe