I am wondering what factors go into Dux at Westlake. How do rankings work more generally?
I was Dux of Westlake Boys High School in 2011 so things may have changed slightly, here are the main principles.
At Westlake, Dux is calculated solely based on your Year 13 external exams which makes the stakes for these exams even higher.
50% of the calculation is based on NZQA Scholarship Exams with the other 50% consisting of either your CIE or NCEA Exams in your top four subjects.
However, with students’ NCEA/CIE Exam Scores often being very similar at the high end in competing for Dux, it’s the Scholarship Exams that become the main differentiator in separating students. This is important to note, given students usually put much less emphasis on their Scholarship Exams than their own pathways exams, which isn’t a winning strategy when it comes to the title of Dux at Westlake, as well as for future credentials in my experience.
Side note: In my experience, there is often one or two top “genius” students who claim all the awards and are the idols of other students. I would emphasise that there is nothing special about these students, and that you can beat them if you want to and work for it given it’s all based on your final exams. I had never been first overall in all my years of Westlake, except for in year 13 where I topped the mock exams and then externals - so you can absolutely still do it no matter what you’ve done so far, no matter who everyone else thinks will get the Dux title.
Good luck on your path to achieving Dux at this highly prestigious, highly competitive school, and remember to focus on those Scholarship Exams