Top marks for maths genius

A HONG Kong student, who scored the highest mark globally in mathematics in the Cambridge International Examinations, says he enjoyed the “game” process of solving hard problems.
Bruce Xu (徐長龍), a grade 12 student at the English Schools Foundation’s West Island School (英基學校協會西島中學), achieved the Top World Score of 100 in the International General Certificate of Secondary Education exam in June. For this he was awarded the “Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award”.
Xu, 16, also scored “highest in Hong Kong” for his AS Critical Thinking Skills besides his remarkable score in maths.
Born in New Zealand, Xu has been living in Hong Kong since the age of three. He started to find maths interesting in grade 9 when he participated in a competition. But as clever as he is, Xu still finds questions “all the time” that he cannot solve, which is why he enjoys maths over the other subjects.
“Because there are always problems that you don’t know how to solve at all, but if you spend time on it, then you slowly understand the problem, and even if you can’t solve it, you feel that you’ve made progress and you’ve learned something,” Xu said. With other subjects he has to memorise facts.
Among all the subjects in maths, geometry is the area Xu likes most as “it’s very visual”. How much time he spends on preparing for exams depends on his physical condition. “If I feel tired, I won’t do it at all, and if I feel energetic, I will spend a whole day, about five hours on it.”

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 21 November 2017)

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