Tips from HSC top achiever Kali Ferris-Smith

Top student: Kali Ferris-Smith relaxes at his Blaxland home following his 99.8 HSC ATAR score.

Top student: Kali Ferris-Smith relaxes at his Blaxland home following his 99.8 HSC ATAR score.

Self-discipline is the key to performing well in the Higher School Certificate, according to one of the top students in the Blue Mountains, Kali Ferris-Smith.

The Blaxland High School student enjoyed a well-deserved Christmas/New Year break after scoring an ATAR of 99.8.

“What I learnt is that self-discipline is the key, pretty much,” he said.

Getting into good patterns in junior high school also helped.

“Even though it could be seen as a bit of a waste because it’s junior years I think it helped me to be able to set study plans and stick to them. My parents didn’t push me much, it was self-discipline,” he said.

The 18-year-old admitted his impressive ATAR was even “higher than I was expecting”. He came 19th in the state in modern history and excelled in his other subjects – Extension 1 and 2 Maths, Extension 2 English, English (Advanced) and Biology. 

But it wasn’t all study for the 18-year-old who said continuing with outside interests, like playing soccer, was also important.

Mr Ferris-Smith is most likely to study an Advanced Science degree at the University of Sydney.

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