By Terrence Lum
SHE failed almost all her subjects in her school test, but did an about turn to score five As in the A-level exams.
Getting 'Ungraded' for almost all her subjects - except a C for English literature - in the first common test of her second year at Catholic Junior College prompted Sonia Mao (top right) to put in extra effort for the national examinations
'It was really a wake-up call', said the 18-year-old, reflecting on her past grades.
So Sonia put in extra effort, and studied harder. She started to pay attention in class, raise questions on the spot when she had queries, and self-studied after her classes.
'I remembered I studied seven hours at a stretch for history,' she recalled. 'Self-study groups helped too.'
The group of herself and seven friends would meet in the library to discuss tough questions weekly, and she would also stay back to ask her teachers questions after school.
All this effort paid off, when she was rewarded with five As for her A-Level results, which were released earlier today.
Sonia, who is an intern with AsiaOne Travel, claims she was 'shell-shocked' when the results were announced in an assembly of her and fellow students today, making her one of the top in her batch this year.
'I expected to do well, but this is way over expectations!' she said.
Sonia scored As for English literature, History, Economics, General Paper and Project Work and Bs for French and H1 Mathematics.
Her principal, Brother Paul Rogers, 59, said: 'She was always going to have As,' and added that 'it would be unrealistic for her to have Cs.'
Fellow schoolmate and AsiaOne news intern Yuslina Aziz (top middle) said: 'We're all so proud of her! She would always show so much potential even in class - and she's really humble - we're all really proud.'
Yuslina, who clinched an A for her General Paper, heaved a sigh of relief upon getting her results.
'The anticipation (while waiting for her results) - it was horrible,' she said.
Gabriel Bong (top left) - also an intern with AsiaOne's food site Soshiok.com - agreed.
Referring to the studying and juggling of subjects prior to the exam, he said: 'It was a really difficult period, but now it's a great weight taken off my shoulders.'
All three temps are eyeing for spots in local universities, but with Sonia's grades, she says she will consider a scholarship with Singapore Press Holdings as it allows her to study in an overseas university of her choice.
'I've always wanted to go overseas, and now I will work really hard for it.' she smiled.
>>RJC tops A-level exams
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