Tala Ross, from Claremont High School in Cape Town, was shocked to learn she was one of the country’s top matric achievers of 2015.
- Matric results will be available here on Wednesday.
"Besides it being a shock initially, it’s a great feeling to know that hard work paid off, and knowing you made your school, friends and family proud," she said on Tuesday.
Her biggest challenge was balancing academics and her cricket and horse riding.
"I play a lot of sport as well and having to give up some sports activities and practices was a bit annoying."
Stress was a factor during the year, with many big projects and exams that followed in quick succession. She coped with it by putting on earphones and listening to music, or spending time with friends.
She wanted to study computer science at the University of Cape Town, a discipline which she said was perfect for someone who enjoyed maths and solving problems.
What made her achievement all the more outstanding was the fact that she was part of the founding class at Claremont High School.