AFTER scoring the region’s highest university ranking with a score of 99.85 in his HSC, Nowra Christian School student Michael Agnew admitted he probably had an unfair advantage leading up to the exams.
Working alongside twin brother Daniel throughout all his years of schooling, Michael said having the support and competition so close was an unfair advantage “in a lot of ways”.
“But at the end of the day you have to go into your own exam and write your own essays,” Daniel added.
Daniel also did well in his exams, scoring an ATAR of 92.15, which was more than enough to qualify him for further studies in ancient history.
While the pair said they were genetically identical twins, their strengths, interests and even writing styles set them apart.
Michael has his heart set on studying mathematics at university, and following his outstanding results was weighing up his options between Wollongong and Sydney Universities.
He said his high score was really a team effort.
“The ATAR is a measure of the sacrifices made by all involved, not just me,” Michael said.
He explained many teachers had stayed back after classes to answer questions and help sort out problems while, “Our parents have made an incredible amount of sacrifices, things we wouldn’t dare ask them to make.”
But there were sacrifices for the 18-year-olds from Cambewarra, including no driving lessons during school terms and, “We only just got on Facebook now.”
Michael said being part of a small HSC class at the Christian school also helped, creating a feeling of family among the students and giving teachers more time to spend with individual students.
That support helped him exceed his ambitions, as Michael was aiming for an ATAR of 98 to ensure he had the pick of maths courses, leading to a range of potential careers in finance, science, computers and even working with codes.
Daniel admitted there was a “friendly rivalry” between the two brothers, although most of the time they worked and studied together.
“I gave up trying to beat him in year 10,” Daniel said.
While two students can mean double stress, Daniel said that was not the way it worked out.
“I did the best I could, then I realised it was not in my hands any more, so it was more of a relief to know I got the marks I needed, and a bit more.”