Anuj Krishna. Photo: Joe Armao
What exactly does it take to be the best and brightest among a cohort of the best and brightest?
According to Anuj Krishna, one of two boys to score a perfect 99.95 at Melbourne High School (the selective state school that produced an astonishing median ATAR of 95.45) the answer is motivation.
Specifically, it was the ability of his teachers to ''induce inquisitiveness'' and ''engender enthusiasm''.
''If you can find a way to question everything, then studying no longer becomes studying,'' he said. ''Then you're exploring, discovering new things because of your curiosity.''
Anuj was one of 34 top-ranked students across the state, but perhaps one thing sets him apart - Anuj is only 16. The Glen Waverley resident describes his biography as ''island hopping'' - his family came from the subcontinent to Singapore, New Zealand and then Australia.
He was in the younger half of a grade 3 and 4 composite class in primary school in North Melbourne when the teacher decided to bump him up with the older kids.
From there he went to ''fiercely competitive'' Glen Waverley Secondary College and then to the ''utterly collaborative and supportive'' school on the hill in South Yarra.
He also led the marching band, played clarinet, and tried army cadets, debating, squash and fencing.
His ATAR earned him a scholarship to Monash University worth $70,000. He plans to pursue a clinical path to medical research, or perhaps explore neuro-engineering, or maybe study humanitarian law.