Feeling on top of the world


JESSICA Quah Xiao Ling has made Penang proud when she scored 100% in English language during the University of Cambridge’s International GCE A-level exam.

The 19-year-old lass, who is pursuing her A-level studies at the International School of Penang Uplands, was declared the best scorer in English language paper among students worldwide who sat for the examination in November last year.

She also scored 99% for Economics and 95% for Mathematics.

The former SMK Convent Green Lane student said lady luck could have contributed to her success as she did not expect to score full marks in a language subject.

“I guess the examiner probably loves my style of writing,” she quipped.

Quah said she knew she had done well when the result was announced on Jan 24 but did not expect to be the best among the world’s candidates.

She added that she was equally surprised when she was invited to attend the Outstanding Cambridge Learner’s Award Ceremony in Subang Jaya on Feb 22.

Asked if the paper was difficult, Quah said nothing was difficult if one kept practising and put in a lot of reading.

“I do not allocate a specific time to study everyday but I will give myself a target on the chapters to complete for revision days before the exam,” she said.

She also paid tribute to her mother, a part-time English teacher, for her encouragement to her and her sister to improve their English through constant reading.

Quah, who scored 5As in UPSR, 7As in PMR and 8A+s and 2As in her SPM, praised her teachers who trained the students to be independent in realising their potential.

The school’s assistant principal John Cadman, who is Quah’s personal English teacher, described her as one of his best students throughout his 42 years of teaching.

“I have never given her a 100% in English as I have always told her only God will be that perfect.

“Her sensitivity in literature and music enables her to express herself better.

“She certainly deserves the award for she has always been very active and attentive in class,” he added.

Quah, who will complete her A-level in June, hopes to pursue a double-major in music and English creative writing in the United States or Britain.

“I have received several offers for scholarships and am currently waiting for details from the universities,” she said, adding that her ambition might be to teach English and Music.

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