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Achiever of 45 points in IB Diploma: Stay true to yourself and pursue what you really love

Achiever of 45 points in IB Diploma: Stay true to yourself and pursue what you really love

Thursday, August 27, 2015, 11:30 GMT+7

Le Hoang Minh has studied at Renaissance International School Saigon for seven years.

He achieved ‘Top in Vietnam’ IGCSE results in English First Language, Chemistry, Physics and Business Studies in 2013. With such excellent IGCSE results, the school awarded Minh a two-year scholarship for the IB Diploma.

According to the IB exam results in July 2015, Le Hoang Minh achieved a perfect score of 45 points. Globally, less than one percent of IB pupils attain this result.

* Good morning, Minh. Could you please share with us your feelings when you learned that you got 45/45 points on the IB Diploma exam?

Everything felt very surreal. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the results loaded on the webpage. A lot of people have joked that I’d get this result some day and I’ve always laughed it off, so it’s nice to finally see it become a reality. Since my university didn’t require my results (much less this kind of result), I was just relieved that I was able to do my teachers proud for all they’ve done for me.

From a shy little boy to a confident public speaker

* After seven years of studying at Renaissance International School Saigon, how do you think you have grown?

I’ve definitely grown from the shy little boy I was when I first started back in 2008. Thanks to the many opportunities and encouragement I’ve received from the teachers here, I finally had the courage to join many of the activities I wouldn’t have otherwise. Activities like the annual school musical productions have helped me to break out of my shell and inspired me to dabble in music and theatre, while the Model United Nations club has helped to shape me into a more confident public speaker and a more engaged global citizen, informed in international affairs. Of course, the rigor of the programs like IGCSE and the IBDP have also honed my academic potential and prepared me for my future studies.

Renaissance International School Saigon – The close-knit nature of the community

I’ve really enjoyed how supportive the Renaissance community is. Everyone is very caring and I can really appreciate the close-knit nature of the community. The small class size here has allowed me to interact with a fairly diverse group of people, but at the same time receive enough individualized attention from teachers and not “get lost” in the crowd.

Key success factors: perseverance, hard word, luck and teachers’ supports

* What are the factors contributing to this achievement?

I doubt I would be the best judge of my own abilities, but if I had to narrow it down, I’d say it’s perseverance, hard work and (a lot of) luck. In addition to these, evidently the assistance and encouragement I’ve received from teachers were paramount to my success. I could not be more grateful for how patient and supportive my teachers have been to accommodate my many caprices and requests, from changing Extended Essay subjects to switching Higher Levels and Standard Levels. They were all so incredibly willing to give me the best possible preparation for my exams, be it by coming in on Saturdays, printing documents for me to give me as many resources as possible, or by painstakingly going over my work. I could not have asked for anyone better to have guided me through this challenging journey. 

Stay true to yourself and pursue what you really love

* It must be very challenging to reach the highest point in the IB exam. Could you please share about the difficulties encountered and how you overcame them?

One of my biggest hurdles was my Extended Essay. For the first year and a half I was completely clueless as to what I wanted to do, and after multiple switches I finally settled for an investigation in Chemistry. The topic I chose to research was so obscure I could hardly find any research online. I even had to conduct experiments at an external laboratory to finish my essay. Though it was nerve-wracking at every step of the way, the ‘A’ I saw in my results was worth every single minute of laboring over my essay. I have my fantastic Chemistry teacher to thank for that.

Another, no less challenging milestone, was, for me, English as a subject. I’ve always loved English, but because of the many rumors I heard about how hard it was to get a 7 in English Higher Level, I was very nervous about taking it on as one of my subjects. I started off with mediocre grades in the beginning of year 12, but thanks to the ample preparation given to me by my English teacher (from doing a wealth of past practice papers), I was able to achieve what I wanted. I guess the lesson here is to stay true to yourself and pursue what you really love, regardless of what others may say.

* Thank you and we wish you all the best!!!

Renaissance International School Saigon is a learning-focused school, committed to inspiring its pupils to achieve success.

Renaissance International School Saigon was established in 2007 and opened by HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, in the presence of guests representing government, industry and the corporate sector of Vietnam. The school is located on a 10,000 square meter area of land in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City.

In academic year 2015-2016, Renaissance International School Saigon is pleased to offer:

One 100% scholarship and three 50% scholarships for IGCSE, three 100% scholarships and seven 50% scholarships for IB Diploma.

For more information, please visit our website: or contact us at +84 (0)8 3773 3171.



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