Two years of hard work have culminated in the ultimate pay-off for ACG Parnell College’s Nishanth Sangeeth. After achieving 44 out of a possible 45 marks in his International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) – and gaining an elite New Zealand IB Top Scholar Award as a result – Nishanth is now ideally placed to pursue his tertiary studies at the University of Otago, and eventually a career in dentistry or medicine.
“Receiving my results was very exciting and surreal as it was the summation of two years of IB distilled down to one moment,” says Nishanth.
Describing the programme as “a fantastic curriculum for the 21st century”, he now has an outstanding foundation for his future studies and career.
“The IBDP has given me a range of skills, from time management to effective planning and organisation. And it has fostered my ability to be an independent learner. It offers an appreciative understanding of the breadth and depth of subjects through the extended essay and vital critical thinking skills in every subject.”
His own personal favourite, the ToK (Theory of Knowledge) course, honed his critical thinking and argument formulation skills. Additionally, the CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) project was another memorable highlight.
“I really loved the holistic approach of the IBDP. Not only does it have a meticulous focus on academics, but also on life outside of academics through the CAS programme based on extra-curricular activities. CAS opened up so many amazing opportunities for me, such as being a prefect and working in the wellness and primary committees.”
However, Nishanth’s proudest achievement was receiving an A grade for his biology extended essay.
“Writing the 4000-word essay was a year-long process of drafting, redrafting, planning and researching, which is why it turned out to be one of the most difficult challenges of the IB programme.”
Reflecting on two years of hard work – and his exceptional results – Nishanth feels proud and grateful.
“Study techniques are incredibly important, but the main factor determining your academic performance is your effort and how much hard work you’re willing to put in to achieve your goals. Teacher support and the learning environment itself are key. I was able to achieve my results solely due to the consistent and unparalleled support from all my teachers, even through the extended Covid lockdowns with an e-curriculum.
“I also found the small class sizes in IB really helpful as it meant my teachers could spend more time tailoring their support to our individual needs. This helped me to identify any weaknesses in my subjects and develop detailed step-by-step plans for improving them.”
According to Nishanth, this final step was absolutely crucial to achieving his winning score.
“Given the holistic nature of the IB programme, it’s important to ensure you spend more time and effort on the subjects that are your weaknesses instead of your strengths, as that’s what will greatly impact your overall IB score.”