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Sharing the experience of an outstanding student of the dual-degree curriculum

Post by: trangtrang | 01/08/2020 | 287 reads

Successfully achieving 3 A grades in the AS exam (Advanced Supplementary Level) 2019, Do Thanh Thanh Binh is one of the most excellent students of the dual-degree program. This friendly has shared with us her experiences about studying in a dual-degree program and gaining an international qualification.

Some of Do Thanh Thanh Binh’s achievements                                                                                                                                                                                                               

- Achieving 3 A grades in the first AS exam of the dual-degree program of Hanoi Amsterdam High School.

- Coding the Covid game: and receiving the special prize in the contest “Solutions and initiatives to prevent Covid 19”, organized by Vinuni during the social-distancing period in March, 2020.

- Coding the website “Saving electricity and calculating the greenhouse gas emissions of households”: and winning the third prize in the ISEF contest organized by Hanoi-Amsterdam High School during the school year 2019-2020.

- IELTS 8.0.

- Winning the special individual prize and the special team prize in the contest “ Learning about money” in the school year 2018-2019.

- Being admitted to the University of British Columbia, Canada at the age of 16.

- Being admitted to VinUni’s computer sciences program at the age of 16 (VinUni has not considered the scholarship yet).

Studying in the dual-degree program is tiring yet full of excitement

Since the school year 2018-2019, for the first time, Hanoi Amsterdam High School has welcomed the students of the dual-degree program- a combination of both the Vietnamese educational system and A-level (England). Students of the dual-degree program have a chance to study Math, Physics, Chemistry, Business and academic English according to the curriculum of Cambridge Assessment International Education and 13 subjects of the high-school curriculum. The teachers also give many group assignments so the students have a lot of opportunities to join in different projects right in class. According to Thanh Binh, “Time management is an essential skill for the dual-degree students because the school schedule covers both the morning and the afternoon, leaving only the Wednesday and Saturday afternoons for other activities”. Besides the school schedule and the extracurricular activities, our friend also has a habit of going swimming or going to the gym after the afternoon classes, and going to bed at 10 o’clock to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Different from the other classes of the school, the dual-degree high-school class only consists of about 20 students. Because of the full-day school schedule, the students have a chance to eat and rest at noon together so they are really close. “There are many occasions when the class goes to the supermarket and gathers at a friend’s house to eat hot pot, which is great fun”, Thanh Binh shared.

Thanh Binh and the dual-degree students winning the special team prize in the contest “Learning about money” in 2019


The journey to achieve 3 A grades

The two dual-degree classes of the school year 2018-2021

We were the first class of the dual-degree program so both the teachers and the students encountered many difficulties at first;however the teachers were very supportive and always ready to help the students in all aspects”.

Throughout the study period, with the guidance and support of Teachers, as well as family and friends, Do Thanh Thanh Binh has successfully achieved A grades in Math, Physics and Business in the AS exam 2019.

According to Thanh Binh, "First of all, you have to decide which field you want to study, thus knowing the A-level  certificates of the subjects that you need to acquire". Despite having excellent results, Thanh Binh confessed to not joining extra classes during the school year because of not having enough time. Instead, she takes advantage of the A-level periods in class and finishes all the assigned homework. The test will be based on the A-level textbooks so it is important to understand the knowledge in the book. When encountering difficulties, besides familiarizing herself with the past years’ exam questions at home, she goes with her classmates to a class to practice the tests.

To Thanh Binh, Business is her favorite subject “since all the knowledge in this class will apply to all aspects of life, from setting your goals and setting your learning strategies to calculating the profit of startups in the future”. Revealing her secret as one of the 8.9% of students worldwide to achieve A grade in Business, Thanh BInh shared: “I finish all of the homework that my teacher assigns and try to remember the formulas and the definitions. When doing the test, I read the question 2 times and tried my best to apply the knowledge to answer the question directly, so that I have time for other questions. As for the answers that I’m unsure, I still tried to write as long as possible because maybe the examiner will mark based on my ideas rather than on answers that are learnt by heart”. 


The international A-level exam is held twice annually in May, June and in October, November. Thanh Binh’s experience is that it is advisable to take all the AS level papers in November of grade eleventh, then take the A level test in November of the twelfth grade. If the AS result is not what is expected, the test can be taken again in May, June of grade eleventh, before the A level test at the start of the twelfth grade.

Achieving an 8.0 in IELTS despite not joining extra classes

Not only acquiring great results in the AS exam, recently, Thanh Binh has also made others surprised by achieving an 8.0 in IELTS, including an 8.5 in Speaking after just two weeks of self-learning.

As an English-specialized student of class C1 In Doan Thi Diem Secondary School, Thanh Binh already has an advantage over other students, Ever since going to high school, Thanh Binh has not attended any extra classes; she only studies English taught by foreign teachers in the dual-degree program and finishes her homework.

Two weeks before the test, she spent her time doing practice tests on the Internet. Before taking the Speaking test, she spent one hour practicing speaking with her mother. Thanh BInh and her family were absolutely surprised by the 8.5 mark in Speaking. Sharing with Ams Wide Web, she affirmed that the English-taught A level subjects greatly improved the students’ Listening and Speaking Skill during the time spent in class.

Thanh Binh and other students in the GART CLUB 6520- the robotics club of Hanoi-Amsterdam High School


Why the dual-degree program?

Thanh Binh chose the Ams dual-degree program for her 3 years of high school, first of all because of her love for Hanoi-Amsterdam High School, and second of all because the dual degree program is really interesting. Mrs. Hai Anh, Thanh Binh’s mother shared that she supported her daughter’s decision. Her family does not put much pressure on her academic performance and they just hope that their daughter enjoys the subjects at school.

According to Mrs. Hai Anh, "This is a program which provides the students with the most options for University in the current high school programs available. The dual-degree program provides the internationally recognized A level certificate without having to study abroad too early. WIth this A level result, students can apply to famous universities in the world in countries such as England, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, European Nations, etc. Besides, since still learning according to the high school curriculum of Viet Nam, the students are entitled to consideration of admission into Vietnamese famous universities such as Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam National University, National Economic University, Vinuni, FPT, etc.

Besides, the dual-degree program is diverse, practical and interesting. Because the A level program is designed closely related to the university program, after acquiring the A level certificate, students only take 3 years to study in English universities or maybe the number of credits of the 4-year university program in other countries is reduced.

Lastly, the dual-degree program allows the students to apply to university one year early compared to the other students of the same age. They can apply right after receiving theAS result in the middle of grade eleventh without having to wait for the A level result in the middle of grade twelfth. Therefore, in grade eleventh, the students know which universities they are admitted to. Therefore, they can improve their weak points and reapply again in grade twelfth, or go directly to university without finishing grade twelfth in Viet Nam".

Mrs. Hai Anh shared her emotions with Ams Wide Web: "Three A grades in the Thanh Binh’s AS exam was a surprise that she gave to me and my husband. This result is due to her great efforts and the dedication of Hanoi Amsterdam High School’s teachers. In the first school year, both the teachers and the students had to overcome multiple difficulties from combining the A level subjects with the national curriculum to save time, to arranging the school schedule so that the students can both meet the dual-degree program’s curriculum and have free time on Wednesday and Saturday Afternoon to join clubs. The family is grateful that the School Board have “dared to do” and enthusiastically “imported studying abroad” so that the tenth-graders have one more interesting option. Until now the family still feels lucky that our daughter has chosen to join the dual-degree program. We also understand deeply the sayings of teacher Le Thi Oanh, former Principal of Hanoi-Amsterdam High School, in her first meeting with the parents of the dual-degree program’s students: "Our children are awesome, you”ll see. We have to believe in them"."

The dream of working in the field of IT

When asked about her plans, Thanh Binh shared: "My idol is Elon Musk. When entering university, I”ll choose a program whose major subject is computer science and whose minor subject is business. When I leave university, I want to create my own startup to turn information technology solutions into money like what Elon Musk did with PayPal".


On behalf of AWW, we wish that Thanh Binh and the students of the dual-degree program will achieve success with their future plans and let’s welcome a new school year together!

The editors.

Interpreter: Vu Minh Tam - English 1821