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Avcol students sweep NZ Microsoft Champs

An “unbeatable” test proved to be no problem for three Avondale College students, who have taken out the top places in the national Microsoft Office National Championships for 2020!

Tristan Mona, Simran Tak and Irene Wang, all Year 13 Avondale College prefects, gained the highest scores in the national competition, which tested their knowledge and creative thinking skills in different Microsoft Office applications.

As the world’s largest IT competition, each year the Microsoft championships attract more than three quarters of a million contestants of secondary school and university age. The competition moved online this year, but Jonathan Jansen of New Zealand Industry Qualifications says the New Zealand division was as competitive as ever, despite current global affairs.

“Moving to an online championship was a difficult decision, but the determination of our contenders shone through with some of the most impressive competition scores we’ve seen to date,” he says.

“We designed the championship test to be unbeatable; hundreds of questions with less than an hour to complete them. Our expectation was to simply see how far a competitor could get. Needless to say, we were incredibly impressed when multiple Avondale students completed the tests entirely and with almost perfect accuracy.”

Principal Lyndy Watkinson, said she was very proud that Avondale College students had once again dominated the Microsoft championships.

“To achieve 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in New Zealand is an exceptional achievement for these students, and is testament to our Innovation Programme,” she said.

Avondale College has an impressive track record when it comes to the national and world Microsoft competitions – not only have Avondale students consistently made their mark on the New Zealand competitions, in the past six years they have also won 19 top-ten places in the world championships, including gold, silver and bronze medals.

In fact, New Zealand’s champion this year, Tristan Mona, also won the World Champion title in 2018 for PowerPoint. He built up his knowledge and experience of Microsoft applications through his involvement with Avondale College’s Innovation Programme, where students are able to gain professional qualifications in a range of technology applications.

“Microsoft applications are among the most used in the world, and being certified in their usage is always a nice thing to have on your CV or resume,” he says.

“I’m grateful that my participation over the last few years has offered me a way to differentiate myself from other students and peers too, which helps my confidence in other areas both in and out of school.”

Although the world championships won’t be taking place this year, without a doubt, the three New Zealand champions will be taking their unbeatable skills and confidence into the remainder of their final year at Avondale and beyond.

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