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Numbers add up . . Gore High School pupil Mark Gardyne is on top of his maths game. The 18-year-old has passed a university course with flying colours. PHOTO: MARGARET PHILLIPS

Mark Gardyne has proved he is a maths whizz, scoring 83 out of 84 in his final University of Canterbury maths test.

The results are all the more amazing considering Mark is a Gore High School year 13 pupil.

He was only one of two to take the course in Southland this year.

Mark (18) said he decided to enrol in the university course because he wanted a challenge.

He learned about the course from his teacher, Brad Lamb.

“Going into 2018 I didn’t really have a lot of subjects,” Mark said.

That prompted him to take on extra study.

As well as excelling in his university course, he also achieved NCEA level 3 endorsed with excellence.

Next year Mark plans to study engineering at the University of Canterbury.

Because of his university results this year he could choose to go straight into the second year of the engineering course.

But he did not think he would do that.

Instead he planned to pick up some extra papers next year.

He enjoyed maths.

“It comes quite naturally I think. It’s a good challenge.”

University of Canterbury lecturer Liz Ackerly said the course was designed for pupils who had notable ability in mathematics and attracted many of the most able secondary school pupils in New Zealand.

“Students need commitment as well as mathematical talent to do this course, and the distance students have to be, as Mark is, highly self-motivated and organised,” she said.

“Mark obtained 83 out of 84 in the final test for the course – these stunning results reflect his ability and focus, and I believe that he will excel in a tertiary environment.”

Mr Lamb said Mark was motivated to excel and gained first place across all Gore High School pupils completing the statistics course last year.

“He is an independent learner who can develop his own understanding of abstract ideas and concepts,” Mr Lamb said.

” It takes motivation and perseverance to complete and excel in the Math199 [university] course.”

Mark encouraged other pupils to give “rewarding” distance learning a go.