Goulburn Valley Grammar School’s Farhan Islam received the highest ATAR across Shepparton’s six secondary schools yesterday, with a near perfect score of 99.9.
Mr Islam also received a Premier's Award for Indonesian, which he completed in Year 11, and two perfect study stores of 50 for Specialist Mathematics and Mathematical Methods.
“I knew deep down and had this instinct that my exams had gone well, but I think for anyone getting an ATAR that high, it’s going to come as a surprise,” he said.
“I think more than working hard, it’s about working smart — knowing not just setting time to study but also the techniques of how to study.”
The high achiever recommended studying in short 30-minute blocks and taking a break.
“It’s the short bursts that can fill the mind with the concepts and retain it better,” he said.
After studying a chiefly scientific and mathematics-focused blend of subjects, Mr Islam said he planned on studying a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne, followed by a master’s in engineering.
“Biomedical Engineering is an emerging field, but it combines all the things I’m really interested in,” he said.
Wanganui Park Secondary College’s highest ATAR went to Gabi Sargant, who scored 96.5 with a 50 in Health and Human Development.
She said she hoped to study dentistry at LaTrobe University in Bendigo, and wanted her cat, coincidentally named Dux, to come with her.
“I named her that ironically two years ago — I was going to call her Kebab,” she said with a laugh.
Ms Sargant said preparation started now for those about to enter Year 12.
Notre Dame College's dux was Andrew Tolliday (96.45 ATAR), who will study applied mathematics at Swinburne University.
He said organisation was key and thanked his teachers for their help.
“As long as you stay on top of your work, you can have time to socialise,” he said.
McGuire College’s brightest was Zahra Alkarawi, who scored 90.3.
She was aiming to get 85 and said she was glad with her score.
Her tips for next year’s crop of Year 12 students included doing “a tonne” of past exams.
“Most of the questions from previous years are the best practice,” she said.
Jerrin Thyparambil (76.7) topped the results at Shepparton High School.
He said he was looking to get into cyber security or a Bachelor of Information Technology.
Brock Sheldon was dux at Mooroopna Secondary College, scoring 68.8.
“I was aiming for my score — I wasn’t expecting to win dux,” Mr Sheldon said.
This year, 49 324 students will graduate with their VCE — a record completion rate of 98.1 per cent, while a record number of students (13 942) completed their Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).
Wanganui’s Georgia Devine started her VCE in Year 11, but after a string of physical and mental health problems, recovered and graduated with a VCAL certificate.
Ms Devine said getting into a Bachelor of Design, Creative Direction and Styling at Melbourne’s Whitehouse Institute of Design was “very different” to what most strove for, but it was her dream.
As for students entering senior years, Ms Devine said they should exhaust every resource they had at their disposal.
“My parents have been so supportive and the people at school are paid to support you,” she said.
“Make sure you see professionals to make sure you’re okay.
“If you don’t want to do VCE, there’s other pathways.”
McGuire College’s Haroon Faqeer Zada completed his VCAL and will complete an automotive apprenticeship.
Before moving to Australia four years ago, he didn’t know any English.
Mooroopna Secondary College’s Ebony Alexander will complete a traineeship in education support at Shepparton’s special support school.
On Tuesday, Shepparton High School’s Hope Wheaton found out she got into TAFE’s patisserie and commercial cookery course at Ballarat Federation University Australia.
It comes after she won the individual cooking component of TAFE’s culinary challenge earlier this year.
It’s the last time four of the six schools in the region will come together as separate schools; next year, Wanganui Park Secondary College, Shepparton High School, McGuire College and Mooroopna Secondary College will merge as Greater Shepparton Secondary College.