Niccolò McConnell ’17 (United Kingdom) will study Economics and Statistics at University College London, where the acceptance rate for his program is just 11 percent. He turned down offers to study Economics and Finance at Bocconi University and Economics and Mathematics at the University of Warwick.
A very well-rounded student who started at TASIS in seventh grade, Niccolò is fluent in English and Italian, was the recipient of the 2017 Excellence in History Award, and earned the top score of 7 on all three of his Higher Level (HL) IB exams—Economics, Mathematics, and Physics—en route to capturing an exceptional 42 points overall. His total score was the highest among the 57 TASIS students who earned an IB Diploma in 2017, and his 7 on the incredibly demanding Math HL exam was the first in TASIS history.
“My biggest achievement by far at TASIS was getting a 7 in Math HL,” he said. “It was widely considered an insurmountable task both by students and teachers since all the best math students had gotten 6s in the past, and hence getting a 6 was already something to aspire to. I was really pushed to do better, and I set the goal of getting a 7 in order to study Economics at a top institution in the UK. I am glad the end result was worth the effort.”
Niccolò credits his 10th-grade teacher, Dr. Sapariuc, for preparing him for the difficulties of Math HL, and he believes the key to his success was being able to find enjoyment in all his higher-level subjects. “I loved the applied problem solving involved in Physics and the debates in Economics,” he said. “But I especially enjoyed Math since every day was a challenge. My advice for new students: choose higher-level subjects you enjoy, as you’ll be more likely to dedicate time to a subject you actually find interesting.”
|“My biggest achievement by far at TASIS was getting a 7 in Math HL. It was widely considered an insurmountable task both by students and teachers since all the best math students had gotten 6s in the past, and hence getting a 6 was already something to aspire to.”|
Niccolò feels that his pursuit of the IB Diploma at TASIS has prepared him well for his university studies. “There was a lot of self-studying involved in the IB, particularly in my HL subjects,” he said. “Hence I feel prepared for the UK university system in which there is a lot of independent study.”
He is also indebted to veteran UK University Counselor Howard Stickley for helping him find the best fit after TASIS. “Mr. Stickley helped me extensively with the UK application process and was always willing to answer any questions I had,” he said. “I am very grateful for this.”
Niccolò was a student leader in the Gram Vikas Global Service Program group and described his service trip to India as his most inspiring experience at TASIS. “Seeing how hard the kids there focus on their studies motivated me to really work hard in the IB,” he said.
Niccolò said that what he’ll miss the most about his time in Montagnola is the TASIS campus—“especially the library and the view from Lanterna.”