I am a member of the graduating batch of 2016. I was unsuccessful in my application even though five of my classmates from Year 4 IP succeeded. My sources are my personal experience and close friends in the HSP class.
It is said that History is written by the victors, and truth be told, there is little said about how to deal with failure to succeed in scholarship programs such as the Humanities Scholarship program. The purpose of this article is neither to dissuade prospective applicants from applying for the HSP or to attack the concept of (what I still believe) to be a thoroughly enriching program for students gifted in the humanities, but rather as a source of encouragement for those who are unsuccessful in their application.
The experience of an unsuccessful applicant is different depending on whether you enter ACS(I) via the JAE or through, but difficult regardless. For IP students, you will first receive indication of your unsuccessful application in your class allocation; if you are not in the last class of the level, it is most probable that you have been unsuccessful in your application, so do be mentally prepared to receive your application results with your class allocation! You will still receive an actual confirmation shortly after you get your class allocation. As a JAE student, the experience is slightly different, as you will only apply for HSP after entering the school and receive your results in April. If you do not manage to get into HSP, you will still have to attend Make-Up WoW with those who cannot make it for the regular WoW.
From my own experience, there is a bright side to this rather dismal situation. First of all, you will still make friends and find yourself at home even without getting into HSP. As an IP student, perhaps the road is a little tougher since some of your friends may be separated from you, but with this unique subject combination, you are likely to find yourself in a non-intact class with many opportunities to make new friends. As a JAE applicant, after enjoying two or three months bonding with your classmates, departure to the HSP class can be rueful, and being unsuccessful in your application means you will avoid this awkward situation of uprooting yourself and finding yourself in an alien environment.
Secondly, academically, the Humanities Scholarship Program is in no way indicative of intelligence or results. While it is true that being in the HSP means you have particular flair for the humanities, it does not mean that those who are not are inferior in any way! With the HSP program comes a certain degree of heightened competition, and this, along with a different (arguably more difficult) syllabus and extracurricular activities (emceeing, Future Thinking Challenge) could create an environment untenable for academic performance. With the label of a scholar in the HSP comes certain expectations and requirements, and not everyone is well suited to coping under this kind of pressure.
Not getting into HSP is far from the end of the world, and your two years in IB will still be exciting and enriching in many ways. Fret not, work hard, and remember that the Best is Yet to Be!
Ryan Lim (6.12) is from the graduating batch of 2016.