ACS (Independent) IB students among world's best
By Peter Teo

ANGLO-CHINESE SCHOOL (Independent) has been ranked among the top three schools in the world when results of its students who took the International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations were announced in January. The other two are a British school and an Australian school. 

Of the 357 ACS (Independent) students who took the examinations last November, nine obtained the perfect score of 45, and they made up almost half of 20 candidates worldwide with that score. Only one student did not get the full diploma.

This gave the school an overall pass rate of 99.7 per cent. More than half of the students (54 per cent) scored 40 points and above.

The feat was even more laudable as this was the first time that ACS (Independent) students had sat for the IB examinations and the Methodist school is the first in Singapore to offer the IB programme in place of the “A” levels.

According to Dr Ong Teck Chin, Principal of ACS (Independent), local universities – the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and the Singapore Management University – have indicated that students with IB Diploma of 24 points are eligible to apply. Depending on the popularity of the course, e.g. medicine, law, engineering etc, higher points may be required. Specific requirements may be applicable for some courses.

Students with 38 to 42 points are eligible to apply for courses in Oxbridge. Other UK universities admit students with 24 points and above.

Students with IB Diploma of 40 points and above are eligible for the Ivy League universities in the United States.

Australian universities accept students with points of 24 and above pending popularity of the course, and specific requirements may be applicable for certain courses.

Some 5,500 students around the world took the IB examinations last November.

The IB programme, which was started in Geneva about 40 years ago, is considered by many educators to be more broad-based than the “A” levels.

The nine who aced the perfect score are Kevin Tan, Matthew Lee, Clement Tan, Colin Chan, Jeremy Choo, Yeo Yao Wen, Samuel Chan, Charleen Chan and Elsa Goh.

Perhaps the most remarkable of the “Super Nine” is Samuel, who braved surgery and treatment for cancer in the first half of last year, studied at home, and took the examinations gamely. The son of Ms Lim Soo Hoon, Permanent Secretary (Public Service Division) and Mr Chan Yew Fook, Samuel described the struggle with his illness and studies as a “faith journey”, and thanked God first for his success before acknowledging the support of his family, teachers and friends.

Principal Dr Ong, while expressing great joy at the results, also thanked God for His guidance. He said: “We would like to acknowledge the blessings and guidance of God Almighty with whom we have found favour. We are truly thankful to God for His bountiful blessings to the school. We want to attribute all our success to Him. To God Be the Glory.”

He also acknowledged the “tremendous efforts” put in by the staff in preparing for the programme and the students for the IB examinations. Hard work and training, time and resources put in by the school have been well rewarded, he added.

Mr Tan Wah Thong, Chairman of the ACS Board of Governors, said: “The school has done exceedingly well. It has thus brought honour and glory to ACS and Singapore.”

Bishop Dr Robert Solomon, in a congratulatory email to Mr Tan and Dr Lee Li Eng, Chairman of the ACS (Independent) Board of Management, said: “We praise God for the outstanding results and such a great beginning for our IB Diploma programme. The results show that God, in His rich grace and love, has blessed the team for their hard labour and faith.

“The inspiring Scotsman Eric Lidell (1902-45), Olympic gold medalist and missionary to China, once said, ‘God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.’ May we feel God’s pleasure, and may He continue to be glorified by our efforts and ministry. We know the best is yet to be.”


Peter Teo is the Editor of Methodist Message.