When Our Lady's Annerley 2020 Dux Blessy Mathew learned her final school result, she was stunned into disbelief.
“I refreshed the screen about five times to make sure," she said.
“I was hoping to do well but it's a new system with a whole new set of subject scaling."
Blessy achieved an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 99.9, which places her in the top 60 students in Queensland.
41 per cent of senior students at the College achieved an ATAR of 90 or higher.
The final year of school can be challenging, and that is without the additional stress of a global health pandemic.
Blessy said she kept motivated during lockdown by working to the school schedule and prioritising subjects that had assessment due.
She named teacher feedback as significant to her learning during lockdown.
“We also had exams at that time and had to prepare for those at home, which was good preparation for university because it was self-directed study," she said.
Blessy studied English, Study of Religion, Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.
She has been offered a place in the prestigious Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics (Honours) at the University of Queensland, and she has been awarded the UQ Vice Chancellor Scholarship.
Blessy acknowledged all the teachers at Our Lady's for inspiring her to do her best.
She said the Our Lady's College motto “Ad Altiora – ever higher" was a guiding light through her high school years.
“That's always been in the back of my head since Grade 7 and I really like it," she said.
“It's always been motivation to me to strive ever higher."