A good mindset, a desire to do well and good support from parents and teachers were the secrets behind Sachin Naidoo's success, he said.
Naidoo, 18, was Crawford College North Coast's top performing IEB matriculant in 2017, with a whopping nine distinctions.
"But yeah, I am glad it's all over. It's been a tough year," Naidoo told News24 in a telephonic interview.
"I am excited to embrace the changes set to come in the year ahead - all the challenges and places to grow."
Naidoo's mother, Hanusha, said she was extremely proud of her son's achievement.
"He's always been a very hardworking child and very committed to what he does," an overjoyed Hanusha added.
She believes that providing support and adequate time to listen to the needs of her son was what aided his success.
"One shouldn't compare your child with another child - inside or outside your family - but understand their unique strengths and weaknesses and support them as best as possible."
Naidoo, who was accepted to study both actuarial science and mechatronics at the University of Cape Town and Witwatersrand University, says his father Umesha, a medical doctor, inspired him.
"To see him working hard every day inspired me to replicate his work," Naidoo says.
And while he believes stress was the biggest obstacle facing him the past year, Naidoo said that, with good planning, a matriculant can overcome anything.
"It's been a very stressful year. The pressure and emphasis by the school to achieve results made things difficult - but, if you start early and try not to achieve too much at once, you'll be fine," Naidoo advised future matric pupils.
He said he played soccer to give him some relief from stress.
"It's important to take some time off to rest and debrief - otherwise the year is going to be overwhelming," Naidoo emphasised.
"Don't feel bad when taking an hour. There's nothing to feel guilty about.