Singapore schools score better results in IB exams

ACS Independent students hug each other after receiving their International Baccalaureate results on Jan 5, 2017. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - Several schools, including Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and Hwa Chong International School (HCIS), outdid themselves at the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma exams held last November.

ACS (I) achieved an average of 41.6 points, with 27 perfect scorers receiving the maximum 45 points.

Some 84.7 per cent of its 444 students scored between 40 and 45 points, in the school's best performance since it started the IB programme in 2006.

HCIS reached "a new high" of 37.2 points on average, an increase from last year's 36.8 points.

Two students scored the maximum 45 points, a replay of last year's achievement.

The school also had a 100 per cent pass rate this year, the third time in eight batches.

Out of a 131-strong cohort, the School of the Arts (SOTA) saw over 80 per cent scoring at least 35 points.

SOTA also had its "best performance" for the IB Career-related Programme (IBCP) since its conception in 2014, with over 90 per cent of its students achieving excellence.

The IBCP requires students to take up four core subjects, two diploma subjects, and a career-related study.

Twins Lim Zeharn and Lim Zeherng, 18, who specialised in visual arts, scored full marks for the IBCP.

"(SOTA) embraces a lot of experimentation. Failure is not something that is frowned upon," said Zeharn.

He admitted to knowing little about the programme before enrolling at the arts school, but said that the leap of faith allowed him to dedicate time to his craft.

"Our timetable switched to (giving) us so much allowance for art. It's perfect."

Half of the 138 students at St Joseph's Institution (SJI) scored above 42 points, with five achieving perfect scores; 55 students from the cohort were from the school's pioneer batch that switched over from the O-Level track at Secondary 3 to do the IB diploma programme.

SJI International, which saw its largest IB cohort, at 187 students, scored an average of 37.7 points, up from 37.2 points last year. The school also had more top scorers this year, with 40.6 per cent achieving over 40 points, compared with 32 per cent previously.

All these institutions are among 24 in Singapore which offer the IB diploma.

Globally, more than 74,000 exam papers were processed in 16 languages last year, with 16,536 students graduating under the programme.

Dr Siva Kumari, IB director general, said: "They have worked hard to achieve this, and they join a body of IB Diploma Programme graduates whose academic and humanistic abilities, critical thinking and international mindedness are increasingly important in the 21st century."

Founded in Geneva in 1968, the programme is now available in 4,783 schools in over 150 countries and territories.

IB diploma students take six subjects and Theory of Knowledge, a course that combines philosophy, religion and logical reasoning. They also learn a second language, write a 4,000-word essay and complete a community service project.

The programme conducts two rounds of exams each year - in May and November. Many Singapore students take the exam in the later half of the year, while students in the international schools here take the earlier session.

Correction note: An earlier version of the story wrongly stated the number of students in St Joseph's Institution's IB diploma programme last year. We are sorry for the error.

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