I chose the IB because I’ve always had a wide variety of academic interests. I wanted to continue studying English, Maths, and a foreign language beyond GCSE since I thought these skills would help build a more comprehensive and solid foundation for me. After learning about the IB, I also became intrigued by Theory of Knowledge and viewing modern problems facing the whole world from an International and multidisciplinary perspective. I was also interested in the intensity/rigour of the IB and the opportunities to conduct independent research in topics I was interested in. There always seemed like there would be something to do!
What subjects did you take for IB?
I studied Higher Level (HL) Biology, Chemistry and Psychology along with Standard Level (SL) English Language & Literature, Mathematics: Analysis & Approaches, and Chinese B.
Which subjects did you enjoy the most and why?
I enjoyed all my subjects in different ways, especially the opportunities to learn how to communicate about cultural issues in a complex way in Chinese, and Biology, where the syllabus wasn’t just about learning about living organisms, but also about the nature of science, and historical examples of how our understanding of the subject have developed and changed over the centuries.
What’s your next destination and why?
I’m going to be studying Natural Sciences at the University of York! After originally applying for medicine, I began to reconsider my options and really fell in love with the course. Afterwards, I’m hoping to complete further postgraduate study.
What are your career aspirations?
Honestly, I’m still not completely sure! And that’s okay! My main interests lie in the Sciences and I would really like to work in the pharmaceutical/medical industry at some point, although afterwards I would be interested in pursuing other things too. I hope wherever my career takes me, it will be fulfilling and meaningful.
What would you like to do five years from now?
In five years’ time, I would really like to have completed some travelling around the world and have a clearer idea of what I want to do in the future. It would be nice to be in a job that I enjoy and a city that I love, or maybe I will be completing a postgraduate degree, or volunteering somewhere during a gap year after university! Above all else, I would want to keep my friends and family close and (hopefully) grow into someone independent and self-assured.
Tell us about your time at Tanglin. What were some memorable moments?
Some of my favourite memories are definitely the trips to India in Year 9 and to the Mae Taeng river in Year 10! I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with friends and I will always have fond memories of muck-up day and interesting class discussions.
Is there a teacher you'd like to specially mention?
Yes! All my teachers were lovely but Mrs Mackenzie as my biology teacher for the last four years really helped me. She not only helped me understand the content so I could do well on my internal assessment, but also gave brilliant advice and genuinely cared about all her students.
What advice would you give younger students when it comes to making a choice between A Levels and the IB curriculum?
It’s not an easy choice. IB may be better suited to you if you enjoy research and being challenged through a wide, interconnected curriculum; while A levels do delve deeper and may be better if you have a very clear idea of what your future plans are. Definitely take a look at the syllabi of the subjects you are interested in taking, to see whether the A level or IB approaches and forms of assessment suit you more (we have entire exams that are multiple-choice in IB!). I find most people tend to have a gut decision, and it tends to be right.
- Class of 2022