Hard work pays off for Jake before final exams

Published 2:00pm 20 September 2022

Hard work pays off for Jake before final exams
Words by Kylie Knight

Southern Cross Catholic College student Jake McCallum has the world at his feet, after receiving an early offer from Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra to study a Bachelor of Philosophy (PHB) (Honours).

The 17-year-old from Mango Hill is weighing up his options while preparing for final exams, but ANU has already given him an ATAR in the 99.95 range which means he can enrol in any course at the university.

Jake has accepted the offer but is still weighing up options including University of Queensland, with his QTAC application still open. If he decides to take it up, he will move to Canberra and live on campus.

He will make his final decision in December when he has all offers on the table.

“At the moment, I’m leaning towards ANU but it’s nice to leave my options open,” Jake says.

|“When people see the degree name and the word philosophy, they think I’ll be reading Plato and stuff like that,” he says.|

The PHB incorporates sciences including chemistry and medicine. That will be his focus and he will have the opportunity to do research which is not usually open to students in a normal bachelor’s degree.

“I had to get letters from my science teachers to say I would be up to doing research,” he says.

Jake doesn’t have a specific area he’d like to study just yet but is keen to start a research project with the school of chemistry and physics, as early as his first year.

If that doesn’t pique his interest, he can try another area of research afterwards.

He’s hoping it will lead to a PHD and becoming a research scientist, or he could do a doctorate of medicine if he wants to at ANU.

Jake says the PHB course will help him decide which path he wants to take.

Hard work pays off for Jake before final exams

Staying focused

He has completed mock assessment ahead of external assessment in October, some of which will determine 50 per cent of his results.

“I’m trying to stay relaxed. I’m happy with how the mock exams went and I’m hoping to do even better,” he says.

Fortunately for Jake, his results will not affect his offer from ANU. The university has already given him a rank of 99.95 and so long as he achieves his QCE, that rank stands.

With that score, he can undertake any course he likes at the university and his ATAR will not affect it.

“It’s very relieving but also very exciting,” he says.

His family and friends are thrilled for him, particularly his parents.

“It’s a bit weird … you watch American TV shows about people being accepted into college … it’s not like that. I was about to take a shower and got an email to say I’d been accepted into Uni,” he says.

“I’ve been waiting 13 years for this moment.”


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