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ACG Parnell achieves record-breaking academic success in Cambridge International Examinations

ACG Parnell has achieved unprecedented academic excellence in the 2023 Cambridge Assessment International Examinations (CAIE), securing a total of 29 awards, up from 26 in 2022. 

Parnell Students

Remarkable award success 

The Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards honour students who achieve distinctions such as Top in World, Top in New Zealand, or High Achievement in Cambridge examinations. ‘High Achievement’ recognises learners who acheived the top mark in New Zealand in less commonly taken subjects. 

ACG Parnell’s 29 awards, including nine Top in World awards (up from eight in 2022), and 14 Top in New Zealand awards (up from 11 in 2022), marks the school’s best award results yet. Together, they contribute to ACG Schools’ total award tally of 46 (up from 33 in 2022), setting the benchmark for excellence in education across New Zealand. The total award tally is made up of one Best Across Three A-Level subjects award, one Best Across Four AS-Level subjects award, 14 Top in World awards, 18 Top in New Zealand awards and 12 High Achievement awards.  

High Achievement: 5 

Top in New Zealand: 14 

Top in World: 9 

Best Across Four AS-Level subjects: 1 

100% A-Level pass rate and university entrance 

ACG Parnell also proudly achieved a 100% A-Level pass rate, and university entrance, showcasing the school’s commitment to academic success and student advancement. 

Exceptional student achievement 

ACG Parnell is ranked as the top school in the country for admission into the world’s best universities and produces some of the highest performing learners on the planet. Among them for 2023 are Elena Jiahe Song (who achieved the prestigious Best Across Four AS-Level subjects award, as well as Top in New Zealand - AS Chemistry and AS Literature & English), Jia Guo (Top in World   IGCSE First Language English and Top in New Zealand - AS Biology ), and Allen Yixiang Weng (Top in World - AS– Mathematics). Other world-beaters were Charlotte Stokes (Top in World – Spanish Language) and Yuchen Che (Top in World – Art and Design), with Shanying Liu taking out Top in World – Art and Design at A-Level.  Even more remarkably, Top in World– IGCSE Mathematics was jointly awarded to three ACG Parnell students – Shaoyang Eric Wu, Tristan Lu and Victor Tai. 


“The real highlight for me is the wide range of subjects gaining awards, in sciences, humanities, languages and arts. AS-Level was particularly strong last year, with students gaining the top marks in New Zealand (and in some cases, the world) in thirteen of the subjects we offer. 

Principal Damian Watson says these exceptional results underscore the school’s global competitiveness and are a testament to the unwavering commitment of students and teachers - and the supportive environment ACG Parnell provides for students to thrive. 

“I’m delighted to see our students reaching such heights,” he says. “We have an aspirational culture which values whole-heartedness and hard work. Our students set high academic goals and strive to achieve their personal best, while also pursuing their passions and interests outside the classroom.” 

Recognition at the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards Ceremony 

At the recent Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards Ceremony held in Auckland, a remarkable one out of every three awards was presented to an ACG student. ACG Schools are represented by ACG Tauranga, ACG Parnell (Central Auckland), ACG Sunderland (Henderson, West Auckland), and ACG Strathallan (Karaka, South Auckland).  

ACG Schools: Setting the standard for high achievement in New Zealand 

Mike McFadden, CEO of ACG Schools, remarks, “As New Zealand’s largest independent school group, it’s a significant achievement that collectively our schools have outperformed every other school in the country that offers the Cambridge curriculum.”