While Sarah Nickels, the top matric pupil at the Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg, put in the hard work ahead of the 2019 IEB exams, she didn't sweat over her results.Nickels didn't let her analytical mind rest after her final paper - she calculated that she would score 10 distinctions and, as with her exams, she was right.She obtained distinctions in French, German, English, mathematics, music, biology, physical sciences, chemistry, history and life orientation.The 19-year-old said she was positive she would succeed."I am pleased with my results and happy that everything went well. After I saw how I worked during the year, I was calculating that I will get 10 distinctions."I am not a person who prepares for examinations in advance. A day or two prior to an examination, I would sit down and prepare. I remember most of the things that I have been taught," Nickels said.She is planning to study music in Germany later in the year.In the meantime, she will take piano lessons and earn some money by tutoring young learners.Extra-curricular activities and YouTube no hindrance for St Andrew's Pearl Dumbu who netted 9 distinctions #MatricResults19 | @itchybyte https://t.co/0uT01edtbi pic.twitter.com/YzGkXEpQTU— News24 (@News24) January 7, 2020 Nickels also plans to travel the world and have new experiences."My favourite subject is music followed by mathematics, chemistry and physical sciences. During my final year of school, I decided to join in many theatre productions and did many things. What is surprising is that the timing was very good, and I managed."The most important thing that helped me was that I was told not to completely focus on school, but to look for balance between family life, hobbies and school and mix everything together. If you only have one thing to focus on, it doesn’t work out and breaks you," Nickels said.Eight distinctionsNickels' former grademate Mark Dressel, 18, obtained eight distinctions in French, mathematics, physical sciences, history, chemistry, life orientation, art and biology."It is quite irritating that I didn’t get distinctions in English and German. I got 78% and 79%, respectively, and it is very frustrating that those few per cent [took] away from a full house. "It is not that important to me. There is nothing I can change about the German subject because of the system at the school. With English, I will take it for a re-mark," said Dressel.He continued that he was content with his results.READ: Top Cape Town pupil hopes to follow in doctor dad's footstepsDressel said he is forced to take a break because the university where he applied to study chemistry in Munich, Germany, will only open in September.In the meantime, Dressel promised that he will travel the world.History and Life Orientation teacher Jacqueline Hobbs said the school was proud of their 100% pass rate.Hobbs, who is also an IEB coordinator, said 69 of the 70 learners got a bachelor’s pass."We are very proud of our children and their individual achievements. We are very humble and appreciative of all the hard work they did," she said.Hobbs said she was proud of all the learners she taught.