St Edmund's students Thomas Parker (main) and Max Banditt (inset, centre) have set themselves up for a bright future after receiving excellent ATAR scores.
St Edmund's students Thomas Parker (main) and Max Banditt (inset, centre) have set themselves up for a bright future after receiving excellent ATAR scores.

Listen to teacher: Sound advice from top ATAR achievers

TWO of Ipswich’s highest scoring ATAR students have credited good old fashioned hard work as the difference between success and mediocrity in the tumultuous year that has been 2020.

St Edmund’s College student Thomas Parker scored 99.4 in the new ATAR system – the equivalent of an OP 1 under the old system.

His St Eddie’s classmate Max Banditt scored 97.8, putting himself among the top 10 per cent of students across Queensland.

Both have set themselves up for a bright future, and both credited the long hours they put into their schooling during those uncertain weeks of lockdown.

St Edmund's student Max Banditt with mum Kellie and principal Ray Celegato. Max scored a 97.8 ATAR result.
St Edmund's student Max Banditt with mum Kellie and principal Ray Celegato. Max scored a 97.8 ATAR result.

“A lot of positive reinforcement comes from your teacher in the classroom,” Thomas said.

“I spent six hours a day working my backside off, whereas some students I know did an hour or so.

“I think the difference this year was not starting assignments the night before they are due, don’t ignore draft feedback, and take the advice you are given by teachers wholeheartedly.”

Max paid tribute to the extra work teachers put in during the COVID phase to ensure students had the resources they needed to succeed.

“Our teachers were really good in setting us up with a timetable. We were able to individually contact them with any questions,” he said.

“It was tempting to sit around and do nothing for a while at that time, especially with nobody there to push you.

“I worked a little bit longer on those days because sometimes it was tough to understand the work. Some days it was a solid eight hours.”

With his ATAR all but guaranteeing him his chosen degree of Bachelor of Pharmacy at UQ, Thomas is already looking ahead to getting into medicine, though he is yet to decide exactly which field.

St Edmund's graduate Thomas Parker is celebrating after achieving an ATAR score of 99.4, all but guaranteeing him a spot at uni next year.
St Edmund's graduate Thomas Parker is celebrating after achieving an ATAR score of 99.4, all but guaranteeing him a spot at uni next year.

Meanwhile, Max is keen on being an elite sports physio and already spent this year following well-known Ipswich sports doctor Roy Saunders around the sporting fields – an experience he said cemented his career choice.

Max is awaiting offers from either UQ or Griffith University on January 14.

Both lads are working part-time jobs to support themselves but are looking forward to relaxing a bit before getting back into serious study in 2021.

“It feels more like we have just survived this year than anything,” Thomas said.

“The relief of it being all over is enough for me.”

In the first year of the ATAR system, 49,600 Queensland students graduated, with 44,295 receiving a Queensland Certificate of Education and 26,042 receiving an ATAR score.

Thirty students received an ATAR of 99.95, while 694 received an score between 99.95 and 98.90.



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