17 Feb 2022

Avondale student not just top of class but top of world for English

From Checkpoint, 5:48 pm on 17 February 2022

Justin Yang is not just top of New Zealand for English at his year level – he’s top of the world.  

Justin Yang

Justin Yang Photo: SUPPLIED/ Avondale College

The Avondale College Year 11 student blitzed the Cambridge University International English exam, scoring 99 percent.  

While he admits others throughout the world may have also scored 99 percent, no one got 100 percent.  

The exam, which took place just a few days after Auckland moved out of lockdown in November last year, focused on four essays.  

One was on a poem he had read during the year, another was on a novel and two were about plays - Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Arthur Miller's The Crucible

Yang told Checkpoint he was surprised when he saw his results. 

“I’d written what I felt about the literature and my opinion towards it, and I thought that that would have been good, but I wouldn't have actually expected to score so well. 

"I was very excited because I never expected to get such a good score. I wasn’t really expecting top of New Zealand or top of the world.” 

Yang said he was very thankful that all the hard work he did paid off.  

“You aim for the 100 but you never expect it, but you want to work at it to get it and like, even if I don't achieve a 100 like even in my school career, I'm pretty satisfied with that. Like if I get good grades.” 

He not only scored exceptionally high for English, but also scored 93 percent for math.  

However, he said he’s always been more inclined towards social sciences but didn’t choose those subjects.  

“I guess the word prowess is very suitable here, like that kind of ability just carried over to English and I really enjoyed it a lot.”