Macquarie College students hope effort in HSC paper for Mathematics General 2 adds up

Exams adding up: Rhys Hughes, Emily Loveridge, Jacob Mossner and Nicole Ogle are close to freedom. "I'm relieved to have finished, it's another one down," said Emily, who has to sit two more exams. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Exams adding up: Rhys Hughes, Emily Loveridge, Jacob Mossner and Nicole Ogle are close to freedom. "I'm relieved to have finished, it's another one down," said Emily, who has to sit two more exams. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

MACQUARIE College students hope their investment in the Mathematics General 2 exam equals success, saying the harder questions may split the state between those who knew the content and those who didn’t. 

Rhys Hughes, Emily Loveridge, Jacob Mossner and Nicole Ogle, all 18, were among the 32,477 students who sat the Mathematics General 2 exam on Friday morning.

It is the most popular subject this year, closely followed by English (Standard), which has 31,855 students.

“I thought it was pretty good,” Jacob said.

“There were some bits that were harder than others, but it was all-around a good exam and I felt prepared.”

Rhys said the paper was “pretty fair, but probably will spread the state because you either knew it or you didn’t”.

“There were lots of places where you could have gone wrong,” he said.

Emily said she felt “there was a good mix of easy and hard – it tested our ability and skills we learned in year 12”, while Nicole agreed and said she felt “fairly confident walking out”.

Students had 2.5 hours to complete the paper, which included multiple choice questions and short answer questions, which were made up of several parts and required students to show their calculations.

“There was lots of working out – more than in past papers – and there were more steps required to get the marks,” Jacob said.

“Plus most parts of the questions were worth only one or two marks each so if you couldn’t do it you needed to move on to the next one and come back to it,” Emily said.

Rhys said he felt the hardest question was the last one, about simultaneous equations.

“It required so many factors from the previous parts of the question to get it – if you got the first part wrong you would not have been able to get full marks in the rest of the section.”

Nicole said she disliked a question that required students to work out the volume of 24 marshmallows in a cake tin, then the volume of chocolate required to fill the gaps between each marshmallow.

The students said they had studied for between six to eight hours during the past few weeks.

Rhys said he also woke at 4.20am on the mornings of his exams to do some last minute revision.

They said they were focusing on their goals of attending the school’s aid trip to Vanuatu and getting into university –  or for Jacob, the police force – to stay motivated.

“These exams count as much as the first exams did, so we have to put in the same effort,” Emily said.

“I came here in preschool and we’ve been a bit enclosed, so it will be really exciting to see what’s out in the world,” Nicole said.

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