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ACS Cobham students accept places Cambridge and leading global universities following outstanding academic success in the International Baccalaureate


Three 2019 graduates at ACS International School’s Cobham campus have accepted places to study at the University of Cambridge this year, after all three scored over 40 points in their International Baccalaureate (IB) results.

Bethan Holloway-Strong is heading to Newnham College, Cambridge to read English after graduating from ACS Cobham with an outstanding personal score of 43 points out of a maximum 45 in her IB Diploma.

“I think the IB gave me a solid base from which to apply to Cambridge,” said Bethan, “The structure of assessments in IB English Literature is almost identical to the Cambridge interview format, and writing my Extended Essay in Literature also helped me with independent study and super-curricular reading, which are both things that Cambridge emphasises.

“I found the personal statement daunting at first, but my college counsellor really helped me by always being on hand to read my drafts and answer any questions.”

As with so many students studying the IB, Bethan considers the well-rounded skill sets developed via the structure and content of the course instrumental in shaping her academic record. “I think the IB Diploma is the best way to prepare for university. It gives you such a broad base of knowledge and produces well-rounded students. I feel ready to take on anything that university throws at me because I know I got through the IB.

“It also taught me a lot about time management and self-control, especially about taking breaks. It’s easy to get sucked into an endless cycle of studying but it’s so important to take breaks to allow yourself to de-stress too.

“The interviews were nerve-wracking, but they were also fun,” said Bethan. “It was exciting to get to talk about my interpretation of literature with experts in the field. The advice I would give is don’t be afraid to be yourself. The interviewers want to see who you really are and whether you are someone they would want to teach.”

Iona Fleming from ACS Cobham scored an impressive 41 points and is heading to Christ’s College, Cambridge to read Modern and Medieval Languages. Commenting on her success at ACS Cobham, Iona said, “ACS was extremely important in inspiring my love of foreign languages and cultures, firstly through the excellent language department at the school.

“My interest in languages was fostered from an early age, which is something I probably would not have found at another school. I was also exposed to a multitude of languages every day through the international atmosphere of the school.”


Iona also credits the structured learning of the IB with her successful application: “I think the rigour of the IB helped me to prepare for the intensity of study at Cambridge. The fact I was juggling six subjects (seven in 11th Grade, as I was doing Mandarin as well) has really improved my time management skills and I feel that I’m much better equipped to enter university with a more well-rounded mindset than I might otherwise have been.”

James Walkling also graduated from ACS Cobham this summer with an excellent final score of 43 in the IB and is taking up a place at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge this term to read Natural Sciences.

“We’ve worked very hard to reach this point,” said 2019 valedictorian James. “We have been extremely privileged to learn from a rich and varied curriculum from some very inspiring teachers and we are all eager and excited to see what the next step now brings.”

To give the students’ achievements greater context, a score of forty points in the IB Diploma is equivalent to 236 UCAS points and exceeds the 224 UCAS points needed to achieve four A* grades at A Level.

This year 16 per cent of students at ACS Cobham received a highly impressive 38 points or above in their IB Diploma and, in addition to accepting places at top British universities including King’s College London, Warwick and Manchester, several students have used their international education as a stepping stone to overseas locations including New York University and the University of Toronto.

Barnaby Sandow, Head of School, ACS International School Cobham, said:

“We are extremely proud that so many of this year’s graduating class from ACS Cobham have accepted places at a range of prominent universities around the world.”

For more information, visit www.acs-schools.com


Published: October 15 2019

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