Profile: Chris Lee (IS) IGCSE Top of the World

Recently, CIE released it’s annual list of statistics regarding IGCSE examinations. On this occasion, top students were recognized with the CIE’s Outstanding Cambridge Learners Award for the June 2010 examination. 3 kinds of awards are give out; Top in the World, Top in Hong Kong and High Achievement (outstanding performance in subjects which are not so widely taken).

Chris Lee

Christopher Lee Pak-to

One of the awards that weren’t noted in CIE’s press release was a ‘Top of the World’ presumably given to the top student for every subject. It so appears that a Hong Kong Student has won that award for only the 4th time.
Congradulations to Chris Lee of Island School (Former Quarry Bay School student… ahhh, all those years ago)

From the SCMP printed on 1 March 2011:

Fourth student finishes on top of the world

A student at Hong Kong’s Island School has scored the highest grade in the world in an international exam in English, the school said yesterday. Christopher Lee Pak-to, 15, was crowned number one in the Cambridge IGCSE First Language English exam. The science student, who was born in Canada and returned to Hong Kong when he was a baby, said he was surprised at the results. “I am happy. I didn’t expect to perform so well,” he said.

He is the fourth city student to beat the world in an IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) exam, following one from Sha Tin College who came top in mathematics and two from the French International School who scored the highest marks in chemistry and Mandarin.

Lee took the English test and 10 other subjects in the IGCSE exam last June. He scored A*, the top grade, for all 11 subjects. He is one of the three Year 12 students who scored straight A*s for all subjects in the exam.

The English exam consists of two parts: a paper involving summarising and analysing two passages, and course work. The Cambridge exam is given at schools that teach an international curriculum and is a precursor to studying for the two-year International Baccalaureate.

Lee said special thanks were due to his English teacher, Maureen Doctrove, for nurturing his interest in learning the language. “She didn’t just ask us to do past papers,” he said. “Sometimes we were asked to act out scenes from English fiction. It’s a much more interesting way to learn.”

Lee, who is a member of the school tennis team and an eighth-grade violin player, said his knack for learning the language came from his love of reading books. “I love reading contemporary fiction a lot. My favourite books include The Outsider by Albert Camus and The Beach by Alex Garland. I love creative writing. You can express your thoughts in lively language.”

Island School principal Chris Binge said Lee was the first student in the school’s history to be crowned the top scorer in English. “It’s absolutely fantastic,” he said. “He is a talented and excellent student. To excel in English is a very special achievement.”

Lee said he wanted to become a doctor. “I have applied for the early admission scheme of Chinese University and the University of Hong Kong to study medicine. If I get accepted, I will begin studies in September,” said Lee, who is studying the first year of the IB now.

Last year, 696 English Schools Foundation students took the IGCSE English exam.

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