North Coast HSC top scorers Ollie Kas, of Trinity Catholic College, with a score of 99.15 and Keely Gordon-King, of Alstonville High School, with a score of 99.35. Jacklyn Wagner
North Coast HSC top scorers Ollie Kas, of Trinity Catholic College, with a score of 99.15 and Keely Gordon-King, of Alstonville High School, with a score of 99.35. Jacklyn Wagner

Region's beautiful minds

ALSTONVILLE High School student Keely Gordon-King went within 0.6 of scoring a perfect Higher School Certificate university admission mark of 99.95.

Keely, who looked up her Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) online yesterday, is believed to have topped the Northern Rivers with an almost perfect score of 99.35.

The highest mark a student can score is 99.95.

“I could have done better in modern history. I screwed up my timing when writing my essay,” Keely said.

The Alstonville student’s university admission mark should easily qualify her for a double degree in law and psychology at the University of Queensland.

“I needed 96 to get in,” Keely said.

Yesterday, 52,402 students checked their ATAR, formerly called the University Admissions Index (UAI). .

Oliver Kas, from Lismore’s Trinity Catholic College, was thrilled with his better than expected ATAR of 99.15, which is believed to have ranked him second on the Northern Rivers.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said.

Forty-eight students in the State received a top ATAR of 99.95. Of those students, 25 were girls and 23 were boys.

The high scorers came from both private and public schools.

Across NSW, 17.6 per cent of students received an ATAR of 90 or above, with the middle ATAR score being 70.25 this year.

A spokesperson for the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) said the most important thing for students now was university offers.

The main round of offers from NSW universities is on January 20, but if students want to change their course preferences they must do so before January 6.

“Keep your wishes in your preference, even if your ATAR has come down,” the spokesperson said.

“Every year the cut-off score for courses changes.”

It wasn’t only students, but parents and teachers as well, who were biting at the bit to see the ATAR scores when they were released yesterday.

“Keely was very calm and focused on her studies, we rarely saw her. We shoved food into her bedroom while she studied,” Keely’s mother, Robyn Gordon, said.

They now have their daughter back, at least until she leaves for university next year.

Oliver plans to go to university in Sydney or Melbourne to study engineering.

Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School in Byron Bay was the only school on the Northern Rivers listed in the top 100 schools ranked by percentage of students who scored more than 90 in their HSC courses.

With only 15 HSC students, senior school co-ordinator Katie Biggin was thrilled.

“We have jumped up from 580 to 80 in the ranking list,” she said.



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