Johannesburg - Ten distinctions in the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) matric is no small achievement.
But in the Boroughs family, the bar had already been set pretty high.
In 2009, Angela Boroughs pulled in nine distinctions and is now studying at Harvard Medical School in the US.
Two years later, her sister Meghan scored a cool 10 distinctions and went on to Columbia University in New York.
Little brother Patrick had a lot to live up to.
And he didn’t disappoint.
Patrick was one of only two pupils across South Africa to achieve 10 distinctions, acing English, isiZulu, life orientation, geography, physical science, accounting, information technology, maths, maths paper 3 and dramatic arts.
“I’m quite a mathsy kind of guy, so I threw the drama in there too,” said the matriculant from De La Salle Holy Cross College High School in Victory Park, Joburg, from his grandparents’ home in Plettenberg Bay, where he is spending the holidays with Meghan, Angela and the rest of his family.
Next year, Patrick will be leaving his family behind for Cape Town, where he will be studying computer engineering at UCT.
“I love computers. When I started studying IT in Grade 10, I became obsessed with programming. I feel like that’s what I’d enjoy most in the future,” he said.
Patrick was among the 10 166 candidates who sat for this year’s IEB exams.
This is 621 more pupils than those who wrote the same exams in 2012.
The class of 2013 scored a 98.56 percent pass rate – a slight increase from last year’s 98.2 percent.
The IEB said all the candidates who passed achieved a pass “that is good enough to enter tertiary study at one of the three levels”.
“Eighty-five percent of the cohort achieved entry to degree study and 12 percent qualified for entry to diploma study, 1.5 percent achieved entry for study at the Higher Certificate level,” IEB chief executive Anne Oberholzer said.
“It is no secret that talent or intelligence alone do not produce academic success and excellent results in the NSC examination.
“Such achievement is the result of many years of hard work from these candidates. It is true, too, that good teaching and access to learning resources do assist, but without the commitment of a learner to play his or her part, it’s impossible to have this success.”
Of the 10 166 candidates who wrote this year, 586 were part-time candidates.
Just more than 300 IEB candidates attended schools in Namibia, Swaziland and Mozambique.