HBHS students top of the world

LIBBY WILSON
Last updated 09:08 14/02/2014
Hamilton Boys High School
FAIRFAX NZ
Top marks: High-scoring Hamilton Boys High School students Christopher Mayo (14) left, and Soumil Singh (16) each took out an international top result in a Cambridge IGCSE exam.

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Two Hamilton teenagers are on top of the world - literally - after receiving their exam results.

Hamilton Boys' High students Soumil Singh, 16, and Christopher Mayo, 14, each won an international top subject score for Cambridge IGCSE exams last year.

Soumil - who achieved the highest score in geography - came out of the exam thinking about "silly mistakes" he had made.

He also achieved New Zealand's highest score for IGCSE economics and the country's highest total score across five subjects.

Christopher found out he had topped co-ordinated sciences when people at school started congratulating him.

The pair were up against students from around 3700 schools around the world who sit the Cambridge IGCSE, an international qualification for 14- to 16-year-olds.

Each year around 500,000 subject entries are received.

Soumil's world-beating score came in geography, a subject he started the same year he sat the exam.

He was aiming high but found the geography score "really surprising" - especially since economics was actually his favourite subject.

Going through piles of previous exams stood him in good stead for two of the three geography papers, but the other wasn't what he was expecting and he left the exam worrying about "silly mistakes".

"After I sat the exams the only thing I could remember was the mistakes I had made, because I knew I had made some."

His "extremely happy" mother Nidhi Singh said the house was full of paper while Soumil was preparing.

"One day I thought the printer was going to explode. It was going for about an hour."

Christopher was ahead in science and maths after advanced programmes throughout his schooling, so he did NCEA level one for the subjects in year nine, and moved onto IGCSE during year 10.

The three-paper science exam included writing about experiments, a "pretty easy" multichoice paper and a long answer paper, which he found the most difficult.

News of his success reached the school before he checked his results and so he was quite confused by his first congratulations.

Headmaster Susan Hassall was proud of the boys, both of whom she taught for year nine English.

Their results were outstanding and "testament to a huge amount of hard work," she said.

"This is a reflection of just how successful you can be on a world level."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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