SINGAPORE - Students who sat the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma exams in Singapore last November have continued to outperform their global counterparts.
The Switzerland-based IB Organisation, which conducts the exams, said Singapore accounted for 35 of the 69 perfect scorers globally this year.
Of the 2,250 students in Singapore who took the exams, 96.66 per cent passed. The global pass rate was 70.03 per cent, while the rate for the Asia-Pacific region was 87.76 per cent.
The average scores of Singapore students were also higher than those of their global and regional counterparts: 37.99 points against 28.52 and 33.89 respectively.
Students from seven schools - including Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Hwa Chong International School, School of the Arts (Sota) and St Joseph's Institution (SJI) - received their results on Friday (Jan 3).
All 456 students in ACS(I) - the first Singapore school to offer the IB diploma since it was accredited in 2005 - passed the IB exam. Their average score was 41 points, with 349 of them obtaining 40 points and above.
ACS(I), whose cohort was its largest in five years,did not release the number of those who achieved the perfect score of 45.
All 143 Sota students who took the examinations last year passed. They included 15 students who did the IB career-related programme, which requires students to take up four core subjects, two diploma ones, and a career-related study.
For the 128 who did the diploma programme, the average score was 38.5. About half scored 39 points and above.
Among them was 18-year-old Farrah Adystyaning Dewanti, who got 41 points.
Music had been her main passion since she began playing the violin at the age of six. But she said she developed an interest in chemistry after conducting experiments as part of the IB internal assessments in Sota.
"One of the experiments was on how temperature affects the salinity of seawater, and it made me realise that science is actually very interesting.
"I started thinking about how I could combine music and science, and since then I've been looking into music therapy," said Farrah, who is Indonesian but intends to live and work in Singapore.
In the past year, she has also been an active volunteer with New Hope Community Services, a charity organisation. She works with children from displaced families, teaching them to play the ukelele through a music mentorship programme.
Farrah plans to read medicine through the Yale-NUS and Duke-NUS liberal arts and medicine pathway.
Students who take this route will attain a Bachelor of Science Honours or Bachelor of Arts Honours degree at Yale-NUS College, followed by a Doctor of Medicine degree at Duke-NUS Medical School.
At SJI, 99.64 per cent of its 280 students passed the exams, with 59 per cent of the cohort achieving at least 40 points.
Meanwhile, at Hwa Chong International School, 99 per cent of its 152-strong cohort passed, with a quarter attaining 40 points and above. Two students achieved the perfect score, while five others scored 44.
Globally, over 18,700 students took the exams last November and more than 86,000 exam papers were processed in 14 languages.
Dr Siva Kumari, IB director-general based in the Netherlands, said in a congratulatory note to graduates: "Research suggests that an IB education provides skills that both universities and employers value, with independent, critical thinking and the ability to work flexibly and cooperatively.
"I am confident that you've been exceptionally well prepared to make the most of new opportunities, and I wish you all the best in whichever direction you choose to follow."
Dr Kumari sets the strategic direction of the IB. She assumed the post in 2014.
The IB Diploma Programme is a two-year programme conducted at 27 institutions in total in Singapore. IB qualifications are recognised by universities across the globe.
Students from most of the other schools sat the first round of exams in May last year, and received their results earlier in July.
Clarification note: In an earlier version of the report, the Switzerland-based IB Organisation, which conducts the exams, said Singapore accounted for 65 of the 69 perfect scorers in the Asia-Pacific region this year.
It has since clarified that Singapore accounted for 35 of the 69 perfect scorers globally.