ALTHOUGH classmates Ng Yvonne, Maneesha Kaur Bhullar and Lee Soon Han were expecting to do well in the South Australian Matriculation (SAM) programme at Taylor’s College, they couldn't believe their eyes when they saw their results slip.
All three obtained a TER of 99.95, the highest any student can achieve, and tied for first place in the world. The last time it happened was in 2000 and only one candidate accomplished it.
“I was expecting to do well but I never imagined this. I thought that it was almost impossible to achieve a perfect score,” said Maneesha, a former student of SM Sri Aman who scored 9As in the SPM exam.
“It's quite a coincidence that all of us happen to be from the same class. We are quite good friends but we didn't study together.”
Her results mean that Maneesha's dream of doing Medicine at the University of Melbourne will be realised. “I had applied for a place earlier, but the offer was conditional on my obtaining a TER of 98.5,'' said the 18-year-old who will be leaving for Australia next month.
“Doing medicine is a natural progression for me. My father is a doctor and my elder sister is also doing medicine. I know what to expect in this field as I have been exposed to it all my life.”
Also bound for medicine at the University of Melbourne is Ng.
Initially, Ng said, she was relieved that she had met her lecturers'expectations. “I am also a little bit dazed. I don't think my mind really registered the full impact of the score until much later.”
Ng said the great results are due to her lecturers and friends. “They (lecturers) really knew their mate-rial. And I always knew I could turn to my friends for help.”
Unlike Maneesha, Ng, whose father is a doctor too, did not seriously think about a career in medicine until last year.
“In a sense, it may be the only career that I will be comfortable with,'' said the 10A student from SMK Seri Bintang Utara.
She quoted Albert Schweitzer: “I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: The only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”
When asked about a reward, Ng's response was: “Reward? What reward? Seriously, I don't need one. After all, my parents are letting me study what I want, where I want. “
Last year's SAM results were the best ever achievement by Taylor’s College. In all, 106 students scored As in all five subjects they sat for and received merit certificates for their feat. Maneesha and Ng obtained the maximum number of merit certificates for perfect scores in Biology, Chemistry, ESL Studies, Mathematics 1(S) and Physics.
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