A MEREWETHER High student who wants to study medicine received the top university entrance score this year in the Hunter.
Louisa Thong achieved the highest Australian Tertiary Admission Rank available, 99.95, in this year’s Higher School Certificate.
Only 48 students in NSW received the rank, including 31 boys and 17 girls.
Louisa was followed closely by classmate Oliver Ray, who achieved 99.85.
Other Merewether High students to score over 99 included Milonee Shah with 99.75, Peter Bradshaw with 99.50 and Grace Buckner with 99.25.
From St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton, Belinda Serafin scored 99.4 and Mickalea Mate earned 99.25.
At Newcastle Grammar, the top ATAR was 99.7 to Will Ryan and then 99.45 to Will Cesta.
Ms Thong, who was dux of Merewether, said yesterday she was still in shock.
Her main goal during year 12 was to get in the top bands for each subject but she never expected to rank so high.
Ms Thong studied advanced English, chemistry, economics, physics, and extension maths.
She said the key to her success was down to maintaining balance.
‘‘I would usually take Sundays off. It’s more hard work than natural ability.’’
Oliver Ray wants to study law and international studies next year at the University of New South Wales.
‘‘I was very pleased, relieved and happy with the result,’’ Mr Ray said.
Schoolmate Milonee Shah was also hoping to get a university offer so she could study medicine.
Peter Bradshaw has applied to study medicine at university but is also considering a maths science degree.
‘‘I think I might end up pursuing my interest which is maths science,’’ he said.
Grace Buckner wants to study medicine or science.
‘‘It’s really about continual effort throughout the year,’’ Ms Buckner said.
Most students had celebration dinners planned with family for last night while many were travelling.
Over 54,000 students in NSW received their ATAR yesterday.
The main round of university offers will be released on January 16.