Hard work by Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC) student Jesse Chick paid off in more ways than one after he scored 100 per cent on his Math 30-1 diploma exam.
The exam was taken in January and when principal Ian Rawlinson heard Chick scored 100, he had to do something. In this case, Rawlinson created a new 100 Per Cent Club with Chick’s name being the first one on the new plaque, plus $100 straight out of the principal’s wallet.
“It’s probably the test that most if not all students in Alberta struggle with,” said Rawlinson. “It’s our hardest course.”
Earning the mark wasn’t accomplished easily, says Chick, who put in quite a few hours of studying as well as taking part in the school’s Rock the Diploma weekend study program facilitated by math teacher Tony Cabay.
The free program brought a teacher in who is familiar with the diploma exam. “She was really able to give insight on the tricks the diploma (exam) uses and what you’re going to be tested on,” said Chick.
“It’s a lot of hard work by both Jesse and Tony Cabay,” added Rawlinson.
Celebrating the high mark is important to the school that is working on improving math results, said Rawlinson, who added that out of the 31 students who took the exam, nine walked away with a standard of excellence rating (above 80 per cent). The multiple choice exam requires concentration otherwise one missed calculation could steer a student to a wrong conclusion.
“It was a three-hour exam and I finished it the first time in an hour and a half, and I spent the last hour and a half just rechecking it,” said Chick.
The review worked to his benefit as he changed two of his answers.
“What makes the math diploma 30-1 especially hard is you have to do multiple levels to get to the answer,” said Rawlinson.
According to Alberta Education there were 11,334 students who took the diploma exam. Of those students, 275 scored 100 per cent.