MARISSA Thomas and Louis Cox have emerged pleasantly surprised after one of the most competitive exams in the state, saying it was a good life experience regardless of how they performed.
The New Lambton South year six pupils are among more than 15,000 students who applied to sit the Selective High School Placement Test on Thursday.
They are vying for the chance to secure one of 4230 year seven places in the state's 21 selective and 26 partially selective schools in 2020.
"I feel much better now than when I was in there," Louis said.
"It feels good to have done it and got it over with."
Marissa said the cohort had been "waiting a long time to do this, so to have finished it is a huge relief".
"You can do tests at home but being here it feels real," she said.
"You think 'I can't mess this up, this is the school I'm trying to get into'.
"Now we can go and relax. There's nothing we can do to change the results, we just have to wait."
Marissa and Louis, both 11, are aiming for Merewether High, which each of their brothers attend.
It has 180 spots available.
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"Maths is my favourite subject and I thought a school that focused on maths a lot would be a good school," Louis said. "It challenges you."
"Merewether is a good school to achieve academically, although other schools are good too," Marissa said. "Even if we don't get in I'm still glad we did the test."
The exam comprised a 20-minute writing test based on a stimulus - which this year was an image of the word 'mistake' spelt in Scrabble tiles - and three 40-minute multiple-choice tests in reading, mathematics and general ability.
Both said the general ability questions, with puzzles and codes, were their favourites.
"Overall the test was more good than bad," Louis said.
"The hard questions were spread evenly throughout. It's fun to be tested on things you like.
"Maths was pretty fun - it felt good to answer hard questions."
Marissa described it as "a good experience for later in life and the more serious tests to come".
"It was very high emotion, but all round it was a good day," she said.
"Some questions were harder than expected and others were easier but it was pretty fair, considering it was designed to be hard."
Louis' mum treated him to churros, while Marissa's family had already organised dinner at a Japanese restaurant for her mum's birthday.
Both said they would try not to think about the test in the lead up to their results being sent to their parents on July 5.
"In the last couple of weeks I'll be nervous, thinking 'What did I get?'" Louis said.
"I'll be getting excited and there will be lots of good adrenaline," Marissa said. "But right now there's no point stressing or worrying."