Sixteen-year-old Zaria Ferguson copped nine grade ones in the recent Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, adding to the grade one she secured last year for geography.
Ferguson, a student of Immaculate Conception High School, sat French, biology, chemistry, physics, additional mathematics, English A, English B, mathematics and information technology.
“I was ecstatic and overwhelmed with joy. I was very proud of myself especially in a year like this, when there was so much confusion and uncertainty after corona hit,” she told The Gleaner.
Time and time again, Ferguson produced academic excellence – sixth in the 2019 Math Olympiad and 10th islandwide for CSEC Geography.
She consistently held an average above 80 per cent throughout high school and ranked fourth in the graduating class of 2020.
For the actively involved student, balance was key, especially in her fifth form year.
Ferguson performed in the charity show Father Ho Lung and Friends, and entered Miss Immaculate, where she finished as the third runner-up.
When the structure of CSEC exams was altered, she was not in favour because she would only be completing the multiple choice paper.
Ferguson shared that she did not have the best luck with multiple choice questions, and “paper two was like my saviour”.
“Nevertheless, I did as much practice as I could. I drilled through many past papers and had study sessions with my friends, and I prayed before every study session, before and after every exam, and kept my faith in God that He will deliver,” the student shared.
Ferguson explained that she also had to grapple with sinus issues during the exam period and it was even harder to breathe in masks.
She is thankful for her family, friends and dedicated teachers who selflessly gave of their time and efforts to ensure that labs or school-based assessments were completed, and that she was adequately prepared for exams.
“Above all, I am grateful for the Lord who continues to guide me and keep me by the Holy Spirit because I definitely could not achieve all of this without Him,” Ferguson said.
She will be moving on to sixth form at Immaculate and is keeping her career options open.