Dou­ble re­ward for top stu­dent


Ma­cleans Col­lege stu­dent Ben (Yibin) Zhang is a model stu­dent when it comes to ac­ing ex­ams.

The 17-year-old was not only a top 10 schol­ar­ship stu­dent in the coun­try for NZQA, but also best in New Zealand for his Cambridge In­ter­na­tional Ex­am­i­na­tions.

Last year, as a Year 12 stu­dent, Zhang com­pleted more than 20 ex­am­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing nine NZQA schol­ar­ship ex­ams.

A re­cent East­ern Courier ar­ti­cle de­tailed Zhang’s suc­cesses in NZQA, but on top of those out­stand­ing achieve­ments he was also awarded three Cambridge Learner Awards.

He was top in New Zealand for his chem­istry and English lit­er­a­ture Cambridge In­ter­na­tional A Lev­els, and re­ceived the Best Across Three Cambridge In­ter­na­tional A Lev­els award.

Zhang says he’s shocked at his suc­cess.

‘‘I did put in quite a bit of hard study, but when ev­ery­thing was com­ing to­gether at the end I didn’t know whether I was go­ing to get the re­sults that I worked re­ally hard to try and get.’’

He put in six hours a day of study dur­ing the ex­ams pe­riod.

‘‘The most ef­fec­tive way of study­ing is to put down the phone and open the book,’’ he says.

‘‘It’s about sep­a­rat­ing work and play. That is what I find most ef­fec­tive.’’

Aside from stud­ies, Zhang is deputy-head pre­fect, plays three dif­fer­ent sports, is in the Ma­cleans Col­lege se­nior con­cert band, coaches ju­nior stu­dents for Mathex, and vol­un­teers at Kid­sline do­ing phone coun­selling.

‘‘Peo­ple have asked me why I don’t just go to univer­sity this year, but it’s re­ally about stay­ing in my last year of school and en­joy­ing it,’’ he says.

‘‘I feel it was good to get my A Lev­els out of the way, so this year I have a lot of time to do other things like lead­er­ship and vol­un­teer­ing.’’

Be­yond col­lege, Zhang hopes to get into an Ivy League univer­sity in the United States.

‘‘I want to go into some­thing along the lines of bi­ol­ogy or bio- chem­istry. That would mean ei­ther medicine or med­i­cal re­search,’’ he says.

Ma­cleans Col­lege also had 13 other stu­dents gain Top in New Zealand sub­ject awards and five stu­dents gained Top in the World sub­ject prizes in the Cambridge In­ter­na­tional Ex­am­i­na­tions: Jackie Liu, Sai Harshitha Pen­neru, Zi Lin Wang, Sa­chit Rahil John, and Yu-Jen Shen.


Ma­cleans Col­lege prin­ci­pal Byron Bent­ley and award-win­ning stu­dent Ben Zhang.

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