HIGHEST ATAR: Victory graduate hasn’t stopped smiling
Seventeen-year-old Gympie student Abigail McAllister has described feeling overwhelmed with excitement and relief after securing the region's highest ATAR score for 2020.
The Victory College student opened her results at 7.30am on Saturday morning, read the rank of 99.7 and said she immediately started crying.
"I worked so hard this year and it was such a relief to actually hit that goal," Miss McAllister said.
"My dad was on the couch behind me and mum was still in bed so I went and woke her up.
"Dad came and hugged me, but mum was still kind of half asleep but said 'you did it?' and she went straight to putting it on Facebook because she was so happy for me."
Miss McAllister is the second eldest of five children and hasn't stopped studying since December last year.
"About 30-35 hours outside of school each week, it was a bit boring at times," she said.
"I kind of broke each week down into a subject, so in the morning I would go through all my notes and in the afternoon I would be practising questions.
"Then on a Saturday I would go through all six subjects."
Using an online ATAR calculator, Miss McAllister said she was predicted a 99.75, but was unsure if she would achieve it after how her external exams went.
"The Chemistry paper was just so different to everything we've learnt, so I felt like it was going to pull it down but it didn't which was good."
With a score as high as 99.7 Miss McAllister has the world at her feet but her choice is medicine.
Miss McAllister wants to be an Obstetrician and said she has put her QTAC application in for a Bachelor of Medical Science at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
"That's my undergraduate and if I get into that I get to bypass GAMSAT and go straight into Griffith's Doctor of Medicine afterwards," she said.
"It's seven years study but then I have another five years of training and study together after that."
With a total of 12 years of study and training it's a long road ahead but Miss McAllister said it's in God's plan for her.
Miss McAllister's mother Rebecca McAllister said she was "really relieved" and proud when she found out the news.
"She's just been working so hard for so long and it's just been such a dream of hers that I was honestly dreading the upset that possibly would've come if she hadn't got in," Mrs McAllister said.
"It's really fantastic to see her achieve her goals and be recognised because she's always been a quiet achiever."
As a Christian, Miss McAllister said she prayed about it "a lot" and asked, "Where do you want me to be?"
"I was in church one day and I just really feel like that was where God asked me to go, so that's where I'm going."
Miss McAllister said she has always been a high achiever but really started to knuckle down in the senior years of High School.
"When I got into 11 and 12, that was when I was really like this is it and went full on with study," she said.
Knowing she has likely achieved the highest score in the Gympie region, Miss McAllister said she was "really excited" and happy.
"I don't think I've really stopped smiling since Saturday," she said.
"It was a really big relief and I was like I actually have a chance at medicine now."
Miss McAllister also took out the Queensland Institute of Physics Award for her grades and said her principal told her she will be awarded Dux at next year's Alumni Night in January.
"I will be but we haven't done the ceremony yet," she said.
Her friends were also very proud and supportive of her achievement.
"We had a group chat for school with all the girls and they asked what I got and they just were really shocked and happy for me which was nice," Miss McAllister said.
Once Miss McAllister's score is adjusted through "regional adjustments" she believes it will become a 99.95.
"The universities do this, it is to take into account challenges that may be faced by regional students that those in cities don't have."
Schools or students who would like to share their results with The Gympie Times can email firstname.lastname@example.org