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As ATARs were released across NSW on Friday, Bathurst was pleasantly surprised to discover that their own Ben Darlington has achieved the first ever perfect mark in the selection rank.

Normally, ATARs are capped at 99.95, but Ben Darlington’s results were so extraordinary that he forced NESA and UAC to convene in order to account for his success, granting him an ATAR of 100. “It wasn’t really a shock to be honest,” Ben Darlington said in an exclusive interview with the Eastern Advocate. “I was doing 22 units, and I was pretty confident I’d get a band 6 in all of them.” Mr Darlington went above and beyond this, achieving eight band 7s and a first in state ranking in Gardening, Petrol Siphoning and South-African Throat Humming, the last of which he received a PHD for.

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Ben Darlington engaging in one of his Band 7 subjects, gardening.

Ben Darlington hails from All Saints’ College, who ended their 144 year history with a bang, beating all central-west schools, including Kinross Wolaroi and the Scots School, having a three times higher success rate than the latter. Over 25% of ASC Year 12 received scores of 90 or higher. Not only that, but people there are awesome, which is perhaps the more important statistic.

Being over 99.95 was not the only unusual thing about Ben Darlington’s ATAR. It was also negative. NESA explained: “Yes, Mr Darlington received a great ATAR at negative 100. In fact, we here at NESA like to think of his ATAR as the square root of negative 10,000. A solid 100, but completely imaginary.”

Mr Darlington does not understand this quip, as he did not undertake four unit maths as one of his 22 units.

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