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

Euan Seow

  • House Leader Representative, Marshall House
  • The Hong Kong Bebras International Challenge on Computational Thinking, Distinction Award

Q. How long have you been studying at SISHK?
I’ve been in SISHK since PY1.

Q. What advice do you have for students looking to study the IBDP?
The biggest difficulty (in my experience) with IB is finding the motivation to work. However, by doing that which you have an interest in (be it in your CAS activities or ToK/IA topics) finding such motivation becomes much easier.

Q. What is the highlight of your IB journey at the school in the last two years?
It’s hard to specify a specific moment, but the times I’d have spent lying on the school benches alongside my friends moaning about coursework tests or whatever issue we had – while usually caused by some strife or difficulty – greatly deepened the bonds between us.

Q. What is your studying strategy?

Study from the bottom up. Drilling questions is a great way to practice and refine test taking technique but it should only be done after taking the time to make sure you have the foundations of whatever subject/topic one is studying down. Once that has been done, drilling questions evolves from just memorizing new methods/answers to refining one’s understanding, and a deep understanding is much harder to forget even if it takes a bit more effort to arrive at.

Q. What are some of the mistakes that you have made that you would not make again?

Not using my first coursework drafts properly. Because I was initially uncertain of the direction I wanted to take many of my IAs, many of my first drafts came out to be dissatisfactory. Resultantly, most of my final pieces of coursework were rewritten completely for the final submission and so not much of the feedback from my teachers ended up being relevant to my final pieces which  has left an unpleasant feeling of uncertainty.

Q. How did the teachers support you during the IB programme?
How did the teachers not support me during the IB programme? With the teachers I had there was nothing that they were not willing to do. They put their own break times aside to help me with and I have nothing but immense respect for them for such.

Q. How would you describe the student life and student leadership opportunities in SISHK?
There are plentiful leadership opportunities in SISHK, from councils to houses to organisation committees which allow for a diverse range of student driven events.

Q. How do the IBDP mock exam and its predicted grade help you with university admissions?
The IB mock exam does not play a role in university admissions in almost all cases, however, what it does do is provide an opportunity to assess one’s abilities so one can figure out how much work they need to put in to reach the requirements of their desired universities.

Q. Can you share more about your university admissions experience?

What I initially found difficult was choosing between liberal arts and computer science. I knew that what I wanted to study was computer science but I deeply enjoyed the liberal arts aspects of my education, so I didn’t want to give it up. However, after doing enough research I realized I didn’t have to. There were plenty of engineering schools which also allowed for exploration of the liberal arts. So the takeaway I had from my experiences was research, research, research. Somewhere out there is some school which will fulfil most of your expectations. You just have to look hard enough for it.

Q. What is the one thing that you will miss after leaving SISHK?
Being surrounded by people who I’ve known and befriended over 14 years.

Q. What are you planning to study and go after IB?
My immediate plan after IB is to enter National Service, after which I intend to go study Computer Science in the US or Singapore

Q. What is one part of the school that you would like to see preserved and not changed?
That people aren’t rejected and abhorred for having differing proclivities and personalities.

Q. What is your advice for your juniors?
Don’t hesitate to seek out help when you think you need it, be it academic help from the teaching staff or social support from your peers, there’s always somewhere you can go for assistance when necessary.