Student feature – students from the Class of 2020 share their experiences of studying at SISHK and the IBDP.

Bibartan Manna – Class of 2020, IBDP

Bibartan Manna

  • Student Leader, Leadership Action Committee

University offer: University of Hong Kong, Medicine

Q. How many years did you spend at SISHK?
2 years.

Q. What advice do you have for students looking to study the IBDP?
Make sure you try your best starting from the beginning of DP1 as universities will be able to see all of these grades. Make sure you take a subject combination that has a balance between manageable workload and interest.

Q. What is the highlight of your IB journey at the school in the last two years?
Taking part in the CAS trip is the most memorable highlight of my IBDP journey. I travelled to Cambodia with a group of students and worked with the organisation Love Cambodia to build toilets for poor families in Prey Veng Province.

Q. What is your studying strategy?
I mostly do past paper questions for a particular topic one to two days before a test. I believe the most important thing is to familiarise yourself with the question types that may come up in the test and what the most popular questions are. I DO NOT waste time on making colourful notes as it does not maximise the amount of content you can cover in a specific amount of time. Moreover, I refer to notes prepared by school teachers to ensure that I am familiar with the content.

Q. What are some of the mistakes that you have made that you would not make again?
Not putting enough effort into coursework was a big mistake that I made. I procrastinated a lot when doing almost all of my IAs. The same goes for my TOK essay and EE. This led to me rushing to finish my work towards the end of the process.

Q. How did the teachers support you during the IB programme?
There is an abundance of support given by teachers throughout the 2 years. Mentors are always proactive in ensuring that students are on track with school work as well as university applications. Other than this, subject teachers often provide extra materials and support to students if they’re struggling with certain topics.

Q. How would you describe the student life and student leadership opportunities in SISHK?
There are many opportunities for students to take part in school events and councils in SISHK. There is a strong bond between house members in this school which motivates us to take part in events so that we can earn house points that tally up over the academic year. Moreover, regardless of the amount of experience that students have, there are always spots for students to take up in the different councils and committees in this school.

Q. How do IBDP scores affect your choice of university?
It really depends on the subject and the country that you are applying for. Universities in Hong Kong put nearly all of their focus on IB predicted and final grades when giving out interviews and conditional offers. Therefore, it is important to check university websites for more information regarding admission scores. The UK is similar to Hong Kong, however, they clearly state their requirements for HL subjects on the course specific websites. Moreover, universities are a lot more inflexible when giving out interviews for competitive courses such as medicine, law and dentistry.

Q. How do the IBDP mock exam and its predicted grade help you with university admissions?
These grades give us an indication of which subjects we need to spend more time on for the actual examination. Therefore, it is essential that we put in sufficient effort in studying for the mock exams. However, the grades received do not play a part in our university admissions as universities will not receive this grade.

Q. Can you share more about your university admissions experience?
It can definitely get boring at times as there are always a lot of supporting documents that need to be uploaded to each university that you apply to. However, as long as you don’t leave it all for the last minute there shouldn’t be an issue with time management. Prior to submitting the applications, a lot of researching regarding different courses and universities needs to be done. I received a lot of help from the university counsellors and SISHK alumni during the process.

Q. What is the one thing that you will miss after leaving SISHK?
The teacher-student relationships that I’ve built throughout my two years in this school is something that I’ll miss about this school. As mentioned previously, teachers are always there to support students regardless of the type of problems we are facing, whether they be academics related or not.

Q. What are you planning to study after IB?
I am planning to study either Medicine at CUHK if I obtain 43 points or above or Global Business at HKUST if I score between 40 and 42.

Q. What is one part of the school that you would like to see preserved and not changed?
The house system is something I enjoyed in this school as it motivates students to take part in school events. Personally, I have become a lot more attached to my house than I expected prior to joining this school.

Q. What is your advice for your juniors?
Don’t be shy about taking part in school events or approaching teachers with questions. This is because all the staff in school are very helpful and are always willing to listen to whatever it is that you have to say.