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Sam Yang

Sam Yang, one of last year’s student leaders, received a swathe of top results in his recent Cambridge exams. Now the maths whizz, who held the academic leadership portfolio at ACG Senior College, is off to Australian National University for four years to fulfil his dreams of being an actuary. That’s when he’s not busy hiking, skiing and taking amazing photos, of course.

How did you feel when you got your Cambridge results?

Quite satisfied! I’m really, really surprised that I got A* for Business Studies. It has always been my worst subject since it contains a lot of writing.

My first year at ACG Senior College was also my first year in an English-teaching environment, and I only got 50% in the AS Business Studies first mid-term exam. But teachers patiently helped me both in class and outside of class.

Since Senior College has such a small amount of students, reaching for help becomes so much easier and teachers love to help all the time! Eventually I got 86% for the first year and 96% in the second year to secure an overall A* (91%).

My final results are:
A Level: Mathematics (A*); Physics (A*); Business Studies (A*); Chinese (A)
AS Level: Accounting (A); Economics (A)

How much preparation did you put in to the exams?
Quite a lot! For CIE courses, exams are not that hard to tackle if we make sure we understand that “little bit” of knowledge everyday taught in class. Then we can put those many “little bit” of knowledge into a bigger one to form a topic; then at the last month, we put all those topics together to form the whole syllabus. So really in terms of preparations for exams, many of us did quite a lot, but definitely throughout the whole year.

What/where are you planning to study now?
I’m planning to study a flexible four-year double degree in Actuarial Science combined with Mathematical Science at the Australian National University.

How are you spending the rest of the summer?
Since I will move to Australia in about a month of time, I will spend the summer in New Zealand with my friends and go for some road trips across the country. Also Chinese New Year can be a big one so I will definitely spend some quality time with my family. Some gardening in our backyard might not be a bad idea 🙂

Where would you like to see yourself in ten years’ time?
I will try my best to become a partially qualified actuary after studying about around five years in Australia. Then working full time in an insurance or banking sector for another two years to be fully qualified. After that I hope I can select a city that I love to work and settle down, since the actuarial qualification can be recognised all over the world.

What extracurricular activities were you involved in at school?
There are many activities that we can participate in at ACG Senior College that are fun and helpful!
I was one of the members of the school SAS Fundraisers, UNICEF committee. We did many charity events and fundraising campaigns throughout the years. I played on the school football team: we had an amazing season together and went through many difficulties. Many of our teachers came to support us during the weekly matches.
I was the school photographer so attended many events in school and contributed to making the year book. I also ran the peer tutoring system, which sees year 13 students give free tutorial classes to year 11 and 12 students.

Outside of school, what are your other interests?
I enjoy swimming, playing football and badminton after school or during weekends. Hiking is definitely one of my favourite things to do in my spare time as we are able to access so many great walking tracks around Auckland.
I also love travelling! During holidays or even weekends, I like to go for some road trips with friends or family around New Zealand. I always bring my camera to capture the beautiful landscapes and amazing moments. Other than those, skiing at Queenstown during the winter holiday can be a gem.

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