Interview with Dion Devshi - one of our 2021 top ATAR students

We recently spoke with Dion Devshi, one of our top performing ATAR students for 2021. Dion is a very personable Old Scholar and he willingly shared some insights and advice regarding life at St Mark's and more specifically Years 11 and 12. Thanks Dion for giving up your time to help other students at St Mark's!

What year did you join St Mark’s?

Semester 2 of Year 7.

Do you know why your family chose St Mark’s?

Location and proximity to home.

What was your path to St Mark's?

I was born in the UK (Wales) and came to Perth with my family when I was 9 years old. I attended Springfield Primary School and then Woodvale Secondary College before coming to St Mark’s.

How would you describe the Academic Extension program at St Mark’s?

I was in Extension Maths in Years 9 and 10 which was really good because I loved maths and I was surrounded by other people who were on the same page.

Did you have any hobbies outside of your studies?

I play social beach volleyball with three other friends from school. I also go to the gym four times a week and like to chill at the beach. I play the Indian drums on the weekend at different events like weddings too.

How much time per week were you involved in other hobbies?

Around 3-4 hours plus 5 or 6 hours at work in my parents’ shop. I reduced my hours at work during exams.

What are the highlight experiences of your time at St Mark’s?

Year 10 OAS Camp down south in Margaret River. Year 12 in general was really fun for me – I had a good balance of going out with friends and getting my study done.

What have been some of your favourite subjects you have studied whilst at St Mark’s?

Mainly Maths and Business but also Chemistry.

What were you ATAR subjects?

Physics, Chemistry, Math Methods, Math Specialist, English and Business.

Why did you choose those subjects?

I was good at maths, interested in business and physics gave me job opportunities. I did a wide range of subjects to maximise my opportunities.

Do you work in a casual job as well and when did you start?

Yes I work in my family's business and I started there in Year 10.

Did you follow a study regime in Year 11 and 12?

No, I just studied when I wanted and whenever I felt like it. I tried a study timetable but found it didn’t work for me.

What recommendations can you offer to other students coming through to help them succeed?

Have a balance in life between your social and study life as it helps with your mental health and wellbeing. Sleep is important so don’t have too many late nights, especially during exams.

How do you learn best and remember all the content?

I was quite old school in that I wrote lots of notes including what teachers said and then rewrote those notes to memorise before exams.

Do you have any exam tips?

Prepare a lot in advance and don’t cram like me! Post exam papers are handy too so do lots of these.

Are you a goal setter?

Not really – I just always try my best.

Did you perform consistently across all of Year 11 and 12? Was this important?

Yes I was consistent. I found Year 12 was easier and flowed more than Year 11 – it was a lot more chill.

Do you follow any of the typically recommended: Eat well, exercise, get enough sleep?

Yes I have a good diet and eat healthily. Exercise is a great mental boost too.

What were some of your biggest distractions to your study?

My phone and social life!

How did you overcome these?

I always made sure I got the work done regardless of these distractions.

How have you been supported at home by your family?

They’ve been very supportive with my study. They would let me go out as they knew I would still study. We had a level of trust so I didn’t get any family pressure.

How have your friends supported you?

I have a couple of different friend groups – one more academic and one more chilled. Both were supportive in their own way.

How have teachers supported you?

Yes, very supportive. They held after-school study sessions and I went to most of these. Mr Lehman was very good with his morning sessions reinforcing the information in ATAR Business. He even ran holiday sessions which I found very helpful.

Did you attend the Career Expos?

Yes I went to a few of these and found them helpful in expanding my mind. I was leaning towards Engineering like many of my friends but now I’m about to study Biomedicine at UWA.

How would you describe your overall experience at St Mark’s?

It was very good. People are friendly, you get taught well. I enjoyed it.

How have you celebrated your ATAR success?

Going out, chilling with friends and I went to Leaver’s down south. I also had a celebratory dinner with my family.

What career goals do you have?

I’ll study Biomedicine with the idea that I can move into Medicine, Disease Research or Pharmacy down the track.

Thanks so much Dion for sharing your insights with our community! We wish you all the very best for a happy and successful future!