Friday, March 1, 2024

Full marks and a place at Oxford

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Andrew Chen IS OFF TO Oxford University. Photo supplied.

Saint Kentigern College student Andrew Chen has achieved the maximum score in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma examinations.

Chen, 2018 graduate and IB Dux, scored the highest possible score of 45 out of 45 points, the first Saint Kentigern student to do so.

“This is a fantastic achievement for Andrew, who joins five other students in New Zealand who were awarded full marks last year,” a St Kentigern College spokesperson said.

“He is now one of 327 students to be awarded 45 points, out of more than 181,000 students from 3200 schools in more than 150 countries, who completed the diploma assessment in 16 languages across the globe during 2018.

“This places him in the top 0.18 per cent worldwide. We are very proud of Andrew!”

Chen joined the College in 2014 as a Year 9 student and quickly distinguished himself as an outstanding academic student. He was the Dux of Middle School in 2015, 1st in Year 11, 1st in Year 12 IB Diploma and then went on to be named the IB Diploma Dux in his final year.

He has proved to be an exceptional mathematician who has come first in every New Zealand-wide mathematics competition over the past four years.

As a Year 11 student, Chen was awarded the NZQA Scholarship Top Subject Scholar award for Statistics and also gained a Scholarship in Calculus. These are exams usually taken at Year 13.

Whilst offered a University of Auckland Top Achiever Scholarship, Andrew cast his net wider, firstly being offered a place with a scholarship to Sydney University. It was a chance of an interview at Oxford University that changed that path.

Chen flew to England with high hopes for two interviews with professors from two separate departments – and then waited nervously on return to finally hear that he has been accepted for a place at Oxford University.

He plans to study mathematics and computer science; a course with an intake of only 30 students worldwide every year.

Senior College Principal, Suzanne Winthrop said, ‘Each year, Saint Kentigern has reason to be proud of students who excel at the highest level in their fields of endeavour, from academic to sporting and artistic pursuits. Once in a while, we have reason to be exceptionally proud. This is one of those occasions.”

In addition to Andrew’s achievement, a further five St Kents students achieved 40 points or higher from the maximum of 45, placing them amongst an elite in the diploma programme worldwide.

These high-ranking students join others from across New Zealand to attend a top scholars awards ceremony next month to acknowledge their achievements. These students represent about the top 6 per cent of IB Diploma graduates globally.

Last year, Saint Kentigern had 38 Year 13 students entered in the IB Diploma programme, who gained an average point score of 34. This compares with the world average of 28.58.

St Kents’ top IB Diploma students are Andrew Chen 45; Yunfan Yu 42; Liam Scott-Russell 41; George Wu 41; Akshay Mor 40 and Desmond Yong 40.


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