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Cambridge Top Scholar, Ruby McSweeney

It would be difficult to find a more well-rounded student than Ruby McSweeney. This high-achieving teen has not only received outstanding results in her recent Cambridge AS level exams, but is also a talented athlete, accomplished surf lifesaver and active Head Prefect within the ACG Tauranga student leadership programme.
Ruby McSweeney

A foundation student when ACG Tauranga opened in 2015, Ruby has grown alongside the school and has continued to achieve academic excellence throughout.

“Receiving my Cambridge exam results was very rewarding,” says Ruby. “Initially Year 12 sounded a little challenging, but I soon discovered that it wasn’t nearly so daunting and that you can do really well if you apply yourself.”

Grateful for the encouragement and advice provided by her teachers, Ruby found their availability and guidance to be a continual support.

“There were a number of tutorials offered after school, and my teachers were happy to meet with me during lunchtime, free periods or even before school to answer any questions I had. Teachers outside of my own subjects offered their time to both myself and my peers to ensure everyone was fully prepared for our written and practical exams.”

Ruby’s advice to current Year 12 students who are beginning their own AS level study programmes centres upon the importance of regularly summarising coursework notes to help consolidate understanding and make end of year revision much easier.

“It’s different from the time period in which you are studying for your IGCSEs, so you really need to focus on the entire school year. The study process feels a little more constant as you concentrate on regularly reviewing your coursework rather than trying to cover everything at the last minute. It’s a bit like a marathon as opposed to a sprint.”

Ruby’s AS level results place her as the school’s Top Year 12 scholar, and she believes one of the secrets to her success was recognising the importance of managing her schedule and taking regular breaks in the lead up to the Cambridge exams.

A committed member of many extracurricular activities, including running, swimming, netball and futsal, Ruby has become an expert in balancing her academic life and her sporting endeavours. To help keep motivated, the busy Prefect balanced her study periods with physical activity – especially surf lifesaving.

And focusing on two of her favourite subjects, Maths and Physics, was another positive aspect of Ruby’s revision schedule.

“I like how the questions work and when you understand the concepts you can do some pretty cool things,” she explains.

Looking forward to the exciting changes and events her last year at ACG Tauranga will bring, Ruby is keeping her career options open. However, a future in medicine looks most likely at this stage.

“I’m open to other things, but nothing has appealed as much as medicine yet. I could still change my mind, so it makes sense for me to keep things flexible right now.”