The scientific way to skip school

The scientific way to skip school

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There's no looking back for Eric Lin as he continues to amaze. Photo: Sam Tsang

There's no need to go figure - Eric Lin Cheuk-yin has jumped straight from Form Two to Form Six because his talent for maths and science, writes Wong Yat-hei

When 14-year-old Eric Lin Cheuk-yin was promoted from Form Two to Form Six last October, it wasn't because someone had got their sums wrong.

Back in Primary Six, Eric took the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), exams usually taken by Form Five students, scoring As in maths, A-maths and physics. Then in Form One at Diocesan Boys' School (DBS), he sat GCE A-levels in mathematics and additional mathematics, achieving an A and a B grade.

With his IQ of 130, and plans to sit for the Cambridge University admission examination later this year, Eric is clearly no ordinary secondary school student.

Because of his exceptional talent in science and mathematics, teachers at DBS decided to make Eric the first student in the school's 140-year history to jump four years.

'My goal is to study mathematics at Cambridge. I want to study for a PhD overseas in the future and be a lifelong researcher. I think it is better to do research overseas because there are more resources,' says Eric.

Eric recalls that his mother first let him tackle maths exercises when he was in kindergarten.

'I would finish one book and my mother would buy me another one. I found it fun to deal with mathematical problems. I just kept working - I was working on Primary Six mathematics when I was in Primary Three,' he says.

As well as mathematics, Eric also loves physics. 'I started studying A-level physics when I was in Primary Four and completed it when I was in Form One,' he says.

Despite his achievements, Eric does not think of himself as a genius. 'Many classmates call me that but I don't think I am. I still make mistakes with simple addition.' And contrary to what you might imagine, Eric doesn't spend hours with his textbooks. 'I love to read - there are plenty of books at home. On average, I spend one to two hours studying every day and will be in bed before 11,' he says.

At first, some classmates confronted him about his rapid promotion, 'sking why the school allowed me to make the jump,' he says. 'But it's all right now. I use these comments as an inspiration to do better and show others that I am capable.'

Despite Eric's natural talent for science, languages don't come so easily. ''m a little behind my classmates in Chinese and English. I'm attending tuition classes for these two subjects to catch up with the others,' he says.

Terence Chang Cheuk-cheung, Headmaster of DBS, thinks that Eric is mature enough to study in Form Six, adding that the school will try not to pay any extra attention to Eric, to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on him.

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