HAYDEN SMITH could not believe his eyes when he checked his HSC score via a computer from his home in Ballina.
"At first it didn't quite register. I just kind of stared at it for a while without realising the implications of it," he said.
He had received an almost perfect Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 99.90.
"The only higher mark you can get is a 99.95," Hayden said.
The median score in NSW was 69.25.
The Xavier Catholic College Ballina student received a First in Course Award for getting the state's top mark for Studies of Religion One.
He also studied Advanced English, chemistry, physics, extension maths one and two.
Hayden described the HSC as "one of the most emotionally and physically draining experiences" of his life but said the results were worth it.
He now intends to study software engineering and science at the University of New South Wales.
"I'd like to work for a big software company, maybe even something as big as Google," he said.
Jack Dignan of Murwillumbah High School also received top marks with a score of 99.45.
"Most kids only do 10 units but Jack did 12 and he still managed to get a band six results in all twelve units," said principal Warrick Simmons.
Alstonville High School student Georgia Redmayne also received a staggering 99.75.
Principal David Silcock said the school's results were a credit to students and teachers.
"No matter where you go to school or how bright you are, you have still got to be disciplined."