TOP SCORERS: At SMK IJ Convent Johor Baru, they manage to score straight As while also being involved in extra-curricular activities
HOW did they manage to score straight As? This is a burning question that begs for an answer because high school students have to prepare for their exams while taking on duties and responsibilities as well as being actively involved in extra-curricular activities.
While ambition, focus and determination are key elements that motivated students to achieve better results in the 2011 Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exams, there was also a great deal of sheer hard work.
SMK IJ Convent Johor Baru, regarded as the best among day schools in Johor, has produced some of these remarkable students. The school was ranked second in the state for SPM 2011 results after SMK Tun Fatimah, a residential school here.
The school recently held its Excellence Awards event to honour students who achieved outstanding results.
Kimberlynn Koo Hui Wern often stayed back in school for activities in her roles as vice-president of the Interact Club, secretary in the Red Crescent Society and choir member.
With younger siblings who often distract her at home, she too had to keep a strict study timetable in order to complete her revisions.
To maximise her time, she prepared flashcards to read and review key points while she traveled the journey home by public bus.
"Don't panic when you are stressed, just keep calm and seek support from friends and family members," said Koo, who is glad for her mother's understanding and support through the most challenging times.
As Cadet Leader with the rank of Sergeant Major with the Malaysian Red Crescent society, Sara Wong Wei Ting was often pressed for time and needed to maximise her study time.
She is grateful for her parents' attitude towards her studies because they do not give her pressure but provided their strong support in encouraging her to do her best.
"Always believe in yourself and study consistently," said Wong, who also has a study timetable with a target to complete specific sections of study within a set time.
The commitment to disciplined hard work by Koo and Wong paid off sweetly when they scored 10 A+s in all subjects in the SPM 2011.
Chua Yi Lin, who also scored 10A+ in all subjects in SPM 2011, is another student who is involved in many non-academic activities in school.
"As Honorary Treasurer of the Interact Club, it is my responsibility to keep track of money," said Chua.
As a committee member with the team in charge of the school's Public Address (PA) system, she had to be first-in-and-last-out to ensure the PA system will function flawlessly at events.
Aware of the need to stretch her time, she strictly managed her study timetable and devised a study system to help her revise her lessons thoroughly and consistently every week.
While Koo aims to pursue further studies in a career in Psychology, Chua is interested in a career in finance while Wong is keen on lab work with a career in Bio Medical Science.
Dhivya Raj Selva Raj would stay up till 2am to take advantage of the stillness to study while her family was already asleep.
This straight-A student said she would revise by topics and aims to have a career in Dentistry.
"My parents and my teachers are my inspiration," she added.
Playing scrabble with her parents and aunt since she was 7 years old certainly paid off handsomely for Pang Xynna.
Her interest in this word game developed into a skill that qualified her to represent Johor in district and national-level competitions since 2010.
While competing in these exciting games, this Scrabble champion managed to study and score 10 SPM As.
After Wong Li Chin took part in the RHB-NST Spell-It-Right challenge and emerged as state-level champion, she went on to clinch second place in the national-level challenge.
The exposure and experience in these competitions helped this wonder speller to gain more confidence and work hard to achieve straight As in the SPM.
"Convent Johor Baru made me grow up," said Charlene Chan Huishan, who joined the school from Foon Yew primary school, explaining that she learned a great deal more than what was taught in the classroom.
Scoring 10 SPM As was a sweet achievement because she fell ill on the day before the first paper.
"My mum did everything for me," she said, recalling with a shudder how ill she felt and attributed her success to her parents' love and prayers.
The teaching team is proud of the 100 per cent passes in the PMR and SPM exams in 2011 and that 125 students scored A+s in English for SPM.
"Let us aim for excellence as an identity in Convent JB," said Ng Lee Wan, principal of SMK IJ Convent Johor Baru at the awards ceremony.
Johor Education Department representative, Yusof Adam, presented the awards to the students.