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Testing times for HSC students

Amaya Fordham was on of many Tumut year twelves to sit the English exam on Friday.
Amaya Fordham was one of many Tumut year twelves to sit the English exam on Friday.

The HSC exams are underway for year twelve students across the state.

St Stephen’s Uniting Church is likely to be Tumut High students’ least favourite place in town for awhile – or at least until exams finish on November 4.

The HSC kicked off with two English papers, and after their second English exam many students were feeling blindsided by left-field questions.

“It really was unlike anything they’ve had before. It was the first of its kind in like thirteen years. It was a bit crazy,” one student said.

Year twelve student Dylan Harmer, who plans to take a gap year before going on to further study, said it was hard to be prepared for the challenging paper.

“I found [Paper 1] kind of easy, but this one … it was hard. I got stuck. Module C was a tricky sort of barbed one. It went away from the usual sort of stuff that gets asked, that you’ve studied for. So that was interesting,” he said.

Amaya Fordham said that despite the difficult paper, she hopes she performed well.

“I do it through [home schooling] so I wasn’t too sure of what I had to do, they don’t give you much information. I found out last night that I had three essays to do! But it was good, I think it went well,” she said.

“I’m hoping to go to uni and study animals. Maybe veterinary science or marine biology.”

Most students were just relieved the dreaded English exam was over.

Once the exams are wrapped up they will each receive their ATARs in December; a national ranking based on their exam scores and internal results throughout the school year.

However, Tumut High principal Don Dickson said he hoped the students remember the HSC isn’t the be all and end all of their higher education.

“It is that culmination of almost 12 years of education so it’s an important part of their life, but the emphasis you definitely make with the students is that the HSC isn’t what defines them in life,” he said.

“You hope those years of schooling will enable them to develop their critical thinking skills, that will enable them to be lifelong learners.”

He said he was proud of the way the current cohort of year twelves behaved throughout the year.

“They’ve been a very responsible group of students. To see so many parents [at the end of year assembly] I think was a credit to that year group. We had more parents at the school than we’d had for a number of years and I think that’s a reflection on them,” he said.

“The seniors at this school are a very responsible group and that’s reflected in the way they behave.”

Year twelve year advisor Lucy West also said she thought many of the kids would perform well.

“They’re a great group of kids. I’m really proud of them, they’ve really matured and developed as learners over the years,” she said.

“They’ve grown up, they’re responsible – I think their muck up day was a testament to how they’ve developed and how mature they are. They looked fabulous and they raised a lot of money.”

Over 70, 000 NSW students are currently taking the HSC.