The Sydney school girls who topped the world

Redlands Students who participated in the IB , Lori Zhou 17 and (blue top) Charlie Rogers 18
Pic Nick Moir 4 jan 2018
Redlands Students who participated in the IB , Lori Zhou 17 and (blue top) Charlie Rogers 18 Pic Nick Moir 4 jan 2018

For two Sydney girls, scoring a perfect mark in their final year 12 exams also means they are the top students in the world.

Ravenswood student Ashley Masters, and St Paul's Grammar School student, Sarah Bakker, join a very select group of students around the world who achieved the highest possible result - 45 out of 45 - in their International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) results, released in Australia on Thursday.

Ashley and Sarah's mark equates to an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 99.95 - the highest possible rank.

Sarah hopes to study law at Cambridge University and was in the United Kingdom last month for the highly competitive interviews, while Ashley is tossing up between medicine and medicinal chemistry at the University of NSW.

Other students, including Charlie Rogers and Lori Zhou from Redlands, also achieved impressive results, both scoring 44, or an equivalent ATAR of 99.85.

More than 2,400 Australian students received their IB results, two days ahead of the rest of the world to allow them to change their Australian university preferences.

Across Australia, 22 students achieved a perfect mark, slightly fewer than last year, and across the country the average score was 34, well above the international average and the equivalent of an 92.25 ATAR.

In NSW, the only state which does not offer the IB in public schools, 547 students received their results on Thursday. Fourteen NSW schools offered the IB diploma last year, including St Andrew's Cathedral School, Trinity Grammar and Newington, while others such as Cranbrook have begun offering it in primary school.

The IB coordinator for NSW and the ACT, Antony Mayrhofer, said Australia always performed strongly in the IB, averaging between 20 and 30 perfect scores each year.

Mr Mayrhofer, who is also director of learning services at St Paul's Grammar School, said the IB was growing in popularity around the world.

"No government schools offer IB programmes in NSW, in stark contrast to other Australian states and territories and the rest of the world where over 50 per cent of candidates are in government schools," Mr Mayrhofer said.

Students must study English, maths, science, a language, a humanities and a theory of knowledge subject, as well as doing a 4000-word essay of their choice. They also complete a community service, physical activity and creativity program similar to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

Subject results are awarded on a seven-point scale (1 is the lowest, 7 the highest) so students can achieve 42 points from each subject. Up to three bonus points can be awarded from performance in the extended essay and theory of knowledge.

The IB Diploma is done by about 170,000 students in more than 3,000 schools in 147 countries. Exams are held in May and November.

This story The Sydney school girls who topped the world first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.