THE French examination was failed by the narrowest of margins. Lewis Mayo was still top of the class, though.

The defender was part of the Scotland side that came agonisingly close to progressing out of their group at the Under-17 European Championships in May.

A last-gasp defeat to Les Blues denied Scot Gemmill’s side after a win over the Faroe Islands and draw with Hungary had given them a shot at reaching the last eight.

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The matches in the Czech Republic were not the only thing on Mayo’s mind, however, as the Rangers kid was put through a far different kind of test in the team hotel.

Thankfully for the 17-year-old, that hard work paid off as he earned four Higher A grades in English, Maths, Physics and PE. An international achievement may have evaded him, but he still had a reason to celebrate.

“I had to sit two of them – Maths and English – whilst I was away at the Euros,” Mayo told SportTimes.

“The SFA provided someone so that I could sit the exams. There was an SFA representative that went with us and we sat in an empty hotel room under exam conditions.

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“It was a different experience but I actually found it quite calm and relaxing doing it isolated. It obviously went well.

“It was strange doing match preparation and studying for exams at the same time. We were looking at great teams like France and then I was going back to my room to study. I had to get through it.

“It was great to compete in the Euros and represent your country but the exams were important as well. It was heart breaking the way that we went out and that goal made such a big difference, it was the difference between going out and going through.

“Overall, we were pleased with how we competed as individuals and as a team, but we were gutted to go out in that fashion.”

Mayo is not the only one that has put in the hours in search of academic success as he combines his studies with his fledgling career in Light Blue.

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The work of Head of Academy Business and Education Creag Robertson and his staff have helped the Gers kids achieve record number of A passes at Higher this year.

A first team spot is the ultimate ambition for Mayo but he is thankful for the support he has received to help him achieve off the park as well.

“Between the two, it is pretty full-time,” he said. “I don’t get a lot of time to relax or go out. It is either football or school.

“On a training day, I would be in at 7.30am and train until about 5pm. Two hours of that would be tuition and then I am home to catch up on what I have missed and study.

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“I don’t think it would have been possible for me to do full-time football and get four Highers without the help that the staff have given me.

“The tuition is excellent and they have given me a chance to do both. They have encouraged it fully so that we have got both. You need to accept that responsibility yourself.”