MATHS star Sharvil Kesarwani isn’t fazed by the Higher School Certificate.
At just 16 and entering year 12, he has already sat three exams: Biology this year and Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2 last year, when he was in year 10.
He received marks of 97 and 99 respectively.
“I definitely have a passion for it, but there’s still a lot of hard work required,” Sharvil said.
“I started year seven and eight work in year four and was looking at year 11 and 12 work when I was in year six.
“When I got to year seven the teachers realised I was well above where they were teaching and thought I would just get bored, so they worked out a program for me.
“In year eight I did the year eight, nine and 10 work.”
The Merewether High student, 16, received an Australian Maths Competition (AMC) gold medal this month, meaning he achieved in the top 0.02 per cent of all year 11 and 12 entrants.
He also received a gold medal in year seven and achieved a result in the top 0.1 per cent in years eight, nine and 10.
“I’m feeling pretty good, I’m not going to lie,” he said.
“The feeling of achievement when your hard work pays off and you get what you want is great.
“The AMC is also a stepping stone and has introduced me to the world of olympiad maths.”
Sharvil is preparing to attend his seventh Australian Mathematical Olympiad Committee (AMOC) Invitational Program School of Excellence later this month, which offers extra enrichment opportunities through the AMOC Senior Contest and Australian Maths Olympiad and can lead to selection in the national team to participate in the International Mathematical Olympiad.
To be invited to attend, students need a record of “outstanding results” in either the Australian Maths Competition or the Australian Intermediate Mathematics Olympiad (AIMO).
Sharvil has performed well in both.
“I would easily spend three or four hours a day most days preparing for maths competitions and aside from my normal school work, but I enjoy it,” he said.
“It’s like a hobby - if you like something and have time to do it, you try and do it as much as you can. I like solving problems, it makes me feel happy – it’s euphoric.
“You see something in maths and think ‘How does this work?’
“There’s an inherent beauty behind it. It’s exploration.
“There’s only one answer, but so many ways to solve it.”
Sharvil, who works part time as a maths tutor, wants to study mathematics and software at MIT.
He was five when his parents noticed he was able to solve puzzles and sudoku questions.
“It was natural talent but it’s also my upbringing – my parents fostered my ability to master maths quickly,” he said.
“It wasn’t pushing me, it was offering to help and support me and allowing me to grow on my own.”