Taste of university study goes down well

By Sonya Bateson

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From left: Peter Jackson, 18, Adam Scott, 17, Reece Ratcliffe, 17, Scott Witney, 17, and Tom Carter, 17. Photo / John Borren
From left: Peter Jackson, 18, Adam Scott, 17, Reece Ratcliffe, 17, Scott Witney, 17, and Tom Carter, 17. Photo / John Borren

University won't come as a shock to a group of Tauranga Boys' College students already acing first-year papers.

A group of 11 senior students who have already passed NCEA Level 3 papers sat a first-year philosophy university paper with outstanding results.

Adam Scott, Reece Ratcliffe and Minchang Kim earned an A+ grade; George Bardwell, James Krauts, Jack Miller and Jamie Taylor got an A; Tom Carter and Scott Witney got an A-; and Peter Jackson and Miller MacLeod Gore got B+.

Many of these boys have also sat other university papers this year and achieved high marks.

Peter Jackson, 18, said he took the paper because he wanted a taste of what university would be like.

Philosophy would not quite mesh with his planned career path of mechanical engineering, but he thought the skills learned while taking the paper, such as report writing and meeting a deadline, would come in handy.

Adam Scott, 17, is a passionate debater and said studying philosophy went hand in hand with his interests.

"I find that debating is a lot of rhetoric.

"Philosophy teaches good reasoning skills and I have been able to apply that to debating. Plus it just improves your writing skills and ability to form concise arguments."

Philosophy would fit in well with the path Reece Ratcliffe, 17, plans to take. By taking university papers, Reece believes he can ease his first-year workload.

"Next year I will be able to make a start on my second-year papers. Philosophy helps us build our arguments and views. You've got to look at both sides of the argument then justify why yours is stronger."

Scott Witney, 17, is leaning towards a civil engineering career and thinks philosophy will be "something a bit different" from a career that leans towards maths and physics. Scott said English was not his top-tier subject so philosophy was a challenge, but taking it would strengthen his university application.

Tom Carter, 17, did not know what he was getting into when he signed up. This is his first year at the college and when the school's academic director suggested philosophy, Tom decided to give it a go.

"I've really enjoyed it, it was really interesting and something for me to sink my teeth into."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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