HUNTER students are trying not to feel overwhelmed as they arrive at the precipice of the biggest academic challenge of their lives so far.
This year’s Higher School Certificate written exams start on Thursday, when 58,097 students across the state will sit English (Standard) and English (Advanced) Paper 1.
Avondale School’s Casey Tresidder, 17, said she was “definitely not feeling as bad as I thought I would be”.
“I thought I would be panicking,” she said. “I’m a bit worried, but now I’m just excited to get it over and done with.”
This is despite her exams all falling within eight days.
“At first I was ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t do this,’ but then I realised trials had all been together, so I’ve done it before,” she said. “I’m now glad to be able to get it all over and done with quickly so I’m not still stuck in a stressful place.”
Maddi Lynn, 17, also said she was “not feeling as stressed as I thought I would be” and was trying to stay level headed.
“I think it’s because I know I can get the mark I need to get into the school I want to attend next year – that’s taken some of the pressure off.”
Maddi hopes to become a graphic designer for a cosmetics or fashion brand and needs an ATAR of 60 to be accepted into a Bachelor of Visual Communication at Billy Blue College of Design.
Casey said she spent at least 45 minutes on each subject each day, reading over the notes she had prepared for her trial exams, memorising quotes for English and reviewing study cards before sleep. She said she was glad she had decided to continue working throughout the year, which was a productive break from study, as well as exercising, playing piano and spending time with friends.
Casey hopes to study at the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School. “My parents always said to me just do your best, this is the fastest way to get to where you want to go, but there are always other ways around it.”
Maddi wrote a to-do list each day and broke her workload into sections separated by 20 minute breaks. She has focused on English for the past week and used different methods of study for different subjects.