RAYMOND Ho Lai-man and Kenneth Ng Chi-keung of Hong Kong Wah Yan College modestly believe that being ''outstanding'' means more than getting 10 As at the HKCEE. The well-mannered, practical-minded 16-year-olds, whom the school's assistant principal Chan Pui-tin described as ''highly inquisitive'', achieved their grand scores through unflagging commitment to hard work. By a coincidence, the two top scorers happened to sit next to each other in class last year. ''I think it's important to be ready to ask questions, from anyone. Teachers, friends, family,'' Raymond said. Raymond gained A(1)s in Physics, Biology, Maths, Additional Maths, Economics, Accounts, Chinese, English, and A(2)s in Religion and Chemistry. The two boys, who had hardly slept the night before from excitement over the exam results, nevertheless patiently answered an onslaught of questions from the media. Kenneth, who was one of four ''outstanding prefects'' in Form Five last year, gained A(1)s in English, Religion, Chemistry, Economics, Biology, Physics, Additional Maths and A(2)s in Maths, Computer Studies and Chinese. Raymond and Kenneth have known each other since Primary Three, and have been classmates for five or six years. ''I like to study with friends in study rooms, while Kenneth prefers to study at home,'' Raymond said. Nevertheless, the two have benefitted from school discussions, and share a strong faith in their Roman Catholicism. Raymond was chairman of the school choir last year, while Kenneth was treasurer. A member of the school's Chinese and English debating teams, Raymond has also won prizes in inter-school swimming competitions, and is now on to an advanced certificate in piano. Kenneth, who is on the quiet side, loves reading Tom Clancy, and is a seasoned traveller. ''I improve my English through reading and speaking with foreigners each summer when I go travelling.'' Both students felt that the HKCEE was not decisive in one's future. ''If you don't do too well in the exam, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy achievements later on,'' Raymond said. Both boys want to study commerce in in the US eventually. Mr Chan, their biology teacher last year, said: ''The two have excellent study habits and attitude.'' The school, which has maintained a passing rate of around 85 per cent each year, also had one student who scored six distinctions this time.