JACOB Cheers doesn’t recommend procrastination as a study method during HSC – and he’s someone who should know.
The 18-year-old completed his HSC at St Joseph’s Aberdeen and topped the school’s ATARs with a 93, as well as gaining two Band 6s for Biology and PDHPE; Band 5s for Chemistry, English, and Maths; and an E3 for Maths Extension.
“I’d recommend a more consistent effort throughout the year,” Jacob said wryly.
“My results didn’t come easily, I did a lot of study at the end of the year but a balanced effort across the whole year would have been better.
“Procrastination was my own worst enemy.”
To celebrate the end of Year 12, Jacob and his family boarded a cruise ship for a nine-day cruise around the Pacific Islands the morning the ATARs were released.
“My parents were really excited, maybe even more excited than me,” Jacob said with a grin.
He comes across as a laid-back character with a penchant for the challenges of maths and science and has always wanted to study engineering.
“I wasn’t too stressed about the HSC because I had early entry into engineering at Newcastle Uni,” Jacob said.
He admitted he used the HSC calculators “even though the teachers told us not to”, which told him to expect an ATAR of mid-to-high-80s.
When his ATAR came in better than he expected he says his options opened up and he was able to choose the five-year biomedical engineering course at UNSW.
He likes the idea of one day being able to make prosthetics.
Jacob said he played soccer for the Muswellbrook Eagles throughout Year 12, which offered a good break from studying.
St Joseph’s principal Robert Hosltein said the teenager had been an excellent student and vice-captain of the school.
“He’s a quiet achiever,” Mr Holstein said.
"He's our highest ATAR and best HSC student.
“He doesn’t make excuses, there are no songs, no ‘look at what I’m doing’, he just knuckles down and does himself proud.
“He always completed the various duties and expectations as part of his vice-captain role.
“We’re lucky, better than proud.
“His parents saw this school as an opportunity for their son and we had him here for six years.
“Jacob surprised himself by topping it – and deserved it.
"He worked hard at study and took every opportunity to better the result.”
Mr Holstein said throughout the school year staff had taught HSC students they wanted them to try to the best of their ability.
“So long as when they left the school at the end of the year they could turn around, look back at the gates and be able to say ‘I did my very best’,” he said.