Graduates from the Western International School of Shanghai, Class of 2022, continue to make us proud. We are delighted to share the remarkable achievement of a recent graduate who attained a perfect score of 45/45 points in the rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, Jamie Ang.
At the Western International School of Shanghai, the International Baccalaureate is in our DNA. WISS is the only school in China that offers all four IB programmes. The WISS education prepares students intellectually and socially to become lifelong learners and global citizens.Although the number of IB graduates continues to grow every day, the maximum score is achieved by less than 0.5% of students worldwide. WISS is proud to contribute to this global achievement that reflects our vision of providing excellence in international education.
Obtaining 45 points in the IB Diploma is an achievement that requires much more than purely academic excellence. Other qualities and skills contribute to the academic success of students. Time management, effective self-expression, the ability to elaborate on theories and hypotheses, and being a critical thinker all support student accomplishment.
While speaking with Jamie, you quickly grasp the type of learner he is and his personality. He is the perfect example of a WISS Graduate. He is humble, respectful, caring, reflective, and an excellent communicator. His six years of learning and growing at WISS sculpted him to become the student and Global Citizen he is today.
Jamie is currently in Singapore doing his military service. However, time management is something that a 45 student masters, so he was happy to dedicate a little of his time to us. In our conversation, we talked about his experience, how he achieved the maximum score, and how a WISS Education propelled him to reach many memorable milestones during his high school career.
Could you tell us more about your background?
Although I am Singaporean, I spent the first 18 years living in China. As a third culture kid in an international community, I was blessed with the opportunity to be exposed to the cultures of other third culture kids from across the world, an experience most other Singaporeans, unfortunately, do not have.
Music, sports, and church were a big part of my life growing up. From Kindergarten all the way until Grade 6, I was home-schooled. Those years in which I had my mother as my teacher not only cemented solid foundations for my academic journey but, more importantly, cultivated strong character traits that I believe have been integral to my achievements in school.
How does it feel to get a perfect score?
Going into the IB program, I never imagined that I would have been able to achieve such a score. I feel proud of myself to a certain degree; I showed myself that if I really put in the effort and continuously strive to improve, it is possible to achieve what may have initially seemed impossible. Furthermore, I feel incredibly grateful and blessed by the community of teachers I had — teachers who really cared and went over and beyond their duties to support me.
How do you feel the IB prepared you for college?
I feel the IB aptly prepares me for university; the rigorous nature of the course demanded significant self-motivation, discipline, and time management — three traits that I believe will greatly prepare me for the independent study and workload management in university.
What did you learn about yourself as an IB student?
I learned that if I wanted to achieve something and set my mind to it, I could achieve my goals with the proper discipline and perseverance.
What University fits a 45 / 45 IB student?
For me personally, while in many ways my score does dictate where I decide to apply, I don’t just have my sights on top universities like Oxbridge or other IVY league universities. I am also considering local universities in Singapore, like NUS or other more specialized universities, for my intended course of study.
What are some of your learnings from the IBDP?
I would say having discipline in even the things I don’t really enjoy was a primary aspect of growth during my time in the IB. Prior to entering the IB programme, I never really learned how to study as we never had any end-of-year exams. Going into the IB, I realized that, for once, I had to take effective notes, plan out my studying, and do routine revising to ensure I could retain all the necessary information for the duration of the two-year programme. As much as I did not enjoy it, it was essential, and hence forced myself to devote the time to it and be disciplined.
What challenges did you face in the IB, and how did you overcome them?
One of the significant challenges was learning to manage my time effectively. I recall when I had to balance keeping up with new class content while simultaneously working on numerous Internal Assessments, my Extended Essay, and the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) essay. Additionally, I was heavily involved in the school’s sports teams and serving in the band at church on weekends. I recall that during busy periods like that, I really had to press in despite the weariness I was feeling. Every time I sat down to study, I had to ensure that I was using that time efficiently because even the time I had available for me to study after school and on weekends was quite limited.
What is needed to achieve 45 / 45 in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program?
A strong academic foundation prior to entering the IB program is critical. However, that alone does not suffice, as discipline, perseverance, and effective time management are paramount to success.
How do you see your future?
Honestly, I’m not one to look too far into the future. Currently, I’m just focused on what this season of Military Service in Singapore has to offer. Regarding my tertiary education and professional career, the future still does look blurry. Still, the one thing I am certain of is that wherever I go and whatever I choose to study, I will continue to devote time to serving in the church and fostering my passion for sports and music.
How did the WISS teachers help you overcome problems, and how did they support your learning journey?
A few teachers went above and beyond what they were expected of as a teacher to support me.
If I were to really lay out the extent of support some of my teachers provided, I would have an individual or maybe even several paragraphs detailing how each one faithfully supported me on this learning journey. For each teacher, they offered a different kind of support relevant to my needs and the demands of the subject; my final IB score itself serves as a testament to this.
What was it like when you first joined WISS?
Despite coming from a home-schooling background, from the moment I joined, I could connect well with fellow peers who shared the same passion for sports and music as myself. I liked how the school places a heavy emphasis on sports and the arts; hence, I found myself settling in very well and enjoying school life.
Do you have any advice to give to our WISS IB students?
After returning to Singapore and seeing the rigorous, competitive, and stressful nature of the Singapore schooling system, I am even more convinced of the importance of having balance. My advice is to study hard but play just as hard, devote time to your passions, and spend time with friends and family. IB, for me, although difficult, was also an enjoyable two years because of all the other things I was doing aside from studying. It would be a pity if you wasted these two years away solely studying and neglecting every other aspect of life. Therefore, if you ask me, it is better to find a comfortable balance between work and leisure time and score a 40 than to neglect everything else, solely study, and score a 45.
The IB results are essential in enabling WISS students to take their next step into the future. With a 100% IB Diploma Pass Rate, WISS remains a top choice for students to complete their IB studies. Do you want to find out more about WISS University Destinations? Click here.
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