There's nothing like proving your parents wrong - and that's just what St Cuthbert's student Jade Leung has done after being named one of only 10 premier scholars in the country.

Hours of hard work in her final year of high school have resulted in the 18-year-old Aucklander receiving an Outstanding Scholarship in chemistry, geography, painting, physics, science; Scholarship in biology, English, Spanish, statistics and modelling and the top subject award in chemistry.

The achievements have placed her among the 10 top scholars in the country - an accomplishment that comes with $10,000 a year for up to three years of tertiary study.

Miss Leung, who was also involved in numerous extra-curricular activities last year, said she had been quietly hoping to gain a Premier Award but her parents feared she had taken on too much.

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When the results came out this month she nervously locked herself away in private to see if her parents were right. Much to her relief, they were wrong.

"I was really really stoked ... I went out to tell my mum. She was happy, she didn't think I'd get through all 12 of my exams."

Miss Leung is now embarking on a bachelor of engineering at Auckland University under the accelerated pathways programme that allows top scholars to complete the four-year course in three years.

St Cuthbert's classmate Kimberley Lee and two other Auckland students were named among the top 10 Premier Award winners.

Alfriston College's 2011 dux, Aubin Bannwarth, said he studied in the library during his lunch breaks and for up to three hours after school last year in order to gain his top marks - and that's on top of arriving in New Zealand from France 2007 knowing little English.

Auckland Grammar headmaster John Morris said student Nicholas Orr's results followed an impressive time at the school in which he topped his level each year. "He's probably one of the two or three best scholars I can remember in my time [here] over the last 20 years."

A further 51 students achieved Outstanding Scholar awards, while 34 have been named Top Subject scholar award winners.

Outstanding scholars each receive $5000 a year for up to three years and top subject scholars receive $2000 a year for up to three years.

NZQA deputy chief executive qualifications Richard Thornton congratulated the students who did well.

"These are exceptional students who have achieved impressive results within their studies and we wish them all the best for their future."

A Top Scholar awards ceremony, where the winner of the Prime Minister's award for academic excellence is announced, will be held in April.

TEN WINNERS
Aubin Bannwarth: Alfriston College: Outstanding Scholarship in chemistry, French, mathematics with calculus, physics, statistics and modelling, Scholarship in economics, science.
*Jade Leung: St Cuthbert's College: Outstanding Scholarship in chemistry, geography, painting, physics, science, Scholarship in biology, English, Spanish, statistics and modelling.
Kieran An Brennan: Palmerston North Boys' High
Hadleigh Frost: Lincoln High School
Thomas Frost: Christ's College
Hamish Hirschberg: Rathkeale College
Kimberley Lee: St Cuthberts's College
Benedict Morrissey: Garin College
*Nicholas Orr: Auckland Grammar
*Sarah Wright: St Andrew's College

* Also a top subject scholar.

TOMORROW
* Cambridge results
* Thursday: International Baccalaureate results