excelled; excels; excelling
If you excel at math, you are doing it better than anyone else. You might even be moving so much faster than the rest of your class, you're put into a special, accelerated math program.
Excel derives from the Latin excellere, which is all about going beyond the high. Someone who excels at the violin might practice five hours a day because they are striving for excellence, meaning outstanding-ness. You could describe their performance as excellent, or fantastic. That doesn't mean you yourself want to practice five hours a day. Excel means to stand out, and some of us are pretty happy standing right where we are.
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