Two students from the Class of 2018, Jisoo Yoon (Sue) and Seung Won Paek, from International School Bangkok (ISB), scored a full score of 45 points on their International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma (DP). This exceptional achievement places them within a small percentage of students globally to manage this challenging feat. They did this even though taking four Higher Level subjects as opposed to the usual three as required by the IB.
A total of 20 students at ISB scored over 40 points, including another two students who earned 44 overall points. The average score globally for the IB DP is 29 points, but ISB students far surpassed this number for yet another year, with an average of 35. Accomplishments such as these require a considerable amount of focus and hard work, but Sue and Seung Won cited the importance of maintaining balance in their lives.
“The score came to me as a huge surprise,” said Seung Won, echoing sentiments expressed by Sue. Both students credited their success in part to their positive and engaging experience with extra-curricular activities, in addition to standard classwork. “Most people think of activities as another burden on top of academics, but I think it’s just the opposite,” Sue said. “Participating in activities I loved, like music, gave me the energy and motivation to work hard academically as well.”
Seung Won added that it was essential to maintain a responsible balance between schoolwork and extra activities. “Time management was key to my success,” he said. “I was forced to manage my time wisely so that I could complete all the work I had in a limited amount of time.”
As well as being Class Representative for Student Council, Sue participated as a singer for the Interscholastic Association for Southeast Asia Schools (IASAS) Cultural Convention for all four years of high school, served as President of VOX A Cappella Club, performed in musical theater, and volunteered with the Helping Paws Club for stray dogs.
Seung Won, another long-time member of the Student Council, served as President of his class since his sophomore year. He belonged to clubs such as the Global Issues Network and High School Tech, played on the varsity basketball and volleyball team, and organized special events for students.
Students like Sue and Seung Won used these activities to stay focused during the year. After mentioning the difficulty of long hours studying, Seung Won explained what kept him going. “Luckily, I had many outlets through which I could relieve my stress: sports, music, and most importantly — friends and family. As much as I studied, I made sure that I was always had time to chill and refresh my brain,” he said. These activities also created a space for friendships to develop, and the school experience to take on a greater meaning. Seung Won encourages all students to maintain balance in their lives. “Through different classes, clubs and sports teams here at ISB, I was able to meet so many amazing people who have had a significant impact in my life,” he said.
Sue agreed, saying, “I am immensely grateful that at ISB I was able to pursue my non-academic passions without sacrificing any academic opportunities.”
Seung Won will be attending Stanford University in the fall and Sue has received a number of acceptances to top universities in South Korea. They were together with some other friends from ISB in Seoul when they heard the IB results.
Their scores and all round achievements are part of another hugely successful year at ISB, with the school continuing to outperform many others worldwide.