Low PSLE scorers defy the odds to set high benchmark for IB diploma exams

SINGAPORE - Students in Singapore taking the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma examinations pushed the bar higher again with an average score of 38.5 out of the maximum 45 points, compared to the global average of 30.98.

The IB diploma is offered to secondary students in Singapore as part of an Integrated Programme to skip the GCE O levels after six years of secondary education, offering an emphasis on intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth through different domains of knowledge.

Students from St Joseph's Institution International (SJI International), Hwa Chong International School (HCIS), and Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) set records with 100 per cent passes from SJI International and HCIS, while ACS (I) had a pass rate of 99.8 per cent, above the national pass rate of 97.7 per cent.

In terms of average points, ACS (I) students led the way with 41.84 points. SJI International students scored an average of 37.6 points, while HCIS students attained an average of 36.8 points, all above the global average of 31 points.

97 of SJI International's 164 students were from Singapore primary schools and entered the school with an average PSLE score of 228. This group obtained an average of 38 points for their IB exams, SJI said in a statement.

Explaining SJI's admissions policy, Mr Bradley Roberts, principal of SJI International, said: "We have made a conscious decision to maintain a fairly broad admissions policy.

"Entry is not based on academic scores alone, but on a measure of a student's overall contribution to school life and the community."

Six of its students with PSLE scores under 200 scored an average of 36.3 points. One of them, with a PSLE score of 170 scored 36 points, and another with a PSLE score of 188, achieved 40 points, SJI International revealed.

Mark Hangchi, who was one of SJI International's perfect score candidates, will be enlisting for National Service soon, and has also been offered a government scholarship to study overseas.

"I count myself fortunate to have had teachers who were extremely helpful and students who formed a locus of friends which I could always count on," the captain of SJI International's debate team said.

"I could not have imagined that having a PSLE score of 245, I would end up with 45 points (for the IB exams)."

Two students from HCIS also managed to defy the odds, attaining 38 points at the end of their six years in HCIS despite entering the school with PSLE scores in the 170s.