Why ACS(I)?


I distinctly remember our DP promising the girls during the first week of orientation that this would be the best decision we’ve ever made in our lives, and though it might be too early to tell, it definitely has been the best decision I’ve made in my life thus far.

My primary reason for coming to ACSI was to do the IB. At that time, in Sec 4, I was witness to my sister’s struggles with A’s in RJ. The IB with its assessment based on coursework instead of mere tests appealed to me, and I knew that if I did IB, I would actually be learning things, instead of mugging and regurgitating for an exam that accounted for my whole grade. In IB, I have learnt skills that I probably wouldn’t have learnt in the A level system, from the finer points of the Chicago manual of citation (practically memorised it), to thinking about thinking (TOK!), to bullshitting HL (CAS AEFs lol). Being forced to take a science (Chem), while initially unpleasant, has been rewarding in that I actually know how to write lab reports now! Although these skills seem pretty inconsequential, they will no doubt come in useful in uni and in life.

Another reason was the school itself. I had heard things, of course, about ACS boys, that they were very laidback and only good at bullshit. (to some extent this stereotype has been pretty true. But apart from that, ACSians are in general honourable, decent people who possess an immense amount of school pride and I am proud to call myself an ACSian.) In fact, I was worried that the school culture would make me slack off. Now, I think I am more slack than I was in RG, but what being in ACSI has taught me is that it is okay and even desirable to slack. I think I have learnt to have fun here 🙂

The small cohort size also drew me here. I remember visiting last last year and being stopped by a friendly Ms Rachel Cheung asking after the reason for my visit, and that left an impression on me, and I came to the conclusion that ACSI was a lot cosier than RJ (premature conclusion, I know, but true). Having a smaller cohort enables one to know more people, and makes school feel a lot more like family. I like being able to walk down the corridors of the new block and knowing the majority of my cohortmates, rather than feeling the dislocation one might feel in a cohort of 1200.

Did I mention the classroom tutorial system? Better than the lecture-tutorial system any day, to me at least. I had also heard that Mr Hodge, the current principal of ACSI, was an awesome principal at RI (true, by the way).

So yes, these are my reasons for coming to ACSI and doing the IB. It’s not for everyone; I probably have had the same amount of sleep I would have gotten doing A levels, and some days, Maths SL can seem awfully dreary. But the IB genuinely cares about developing the student holistically (it’s true, not mere rhetoric) and ACSI has some of the most awesome ppl you’ll ever meet 🙂

Also, no Project Work! :>

Moira Low is from the graduating batch of 2013. She is currently reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford.

Adapted with permission from ask.fm/moiralow.

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