FINAL COUNTDOWN: It's the beginning of the end for our year 12 students who started their HSC examinations on Monday.
FINAL COUNTDOWN: It's the beginning of the end for our year 12 students who started their HSC examinations on Monday. Claudia Jambor

Students tackling HSC

ARMED with their knowledge and their pens and pencils, Year 12 students started their HSC examinations this week.

Like many students around the country, St John Paul College Year 12 students Josh Gilsenan 18, and Isabelle Scott, 17, felt the heat walking into their first exam on Monday.

"Yesterday was scary going in there and not knowing what you're going to be asked but afterwards it was a good feeling," Josh said.

Both students said the cohort had forged closer relationships in the lead-up to and during the HSC examination period, with the students rallying together to support one another.

"There's a sense of community within Year 12 now. Competition's done now, rankings are done, it's good," Josh said.

The students have been inundated with exam advice from across the country, including NSW Premier Mike Baird's laid-back approach with a focus on girls and waves, to hugs from caring parents.

But for Isabelle, it's time to put her head down and focus and think about the bigger picture when it's all over, with the aim of achieving the benchmark ATAR to confirm her conditional entry into the University of Sydney to study law.

"Here (the exams) it's kind of like a bubble of just think about now, just think about the next couple of weeks, take it a day at a time and then you can think about the bigger picture and what's going to happen then but now it's (the HSC) the most important thing," she said.

It's a completely different story for student Joss Knight, 17, who isn't stressed about the HSC after accepting an offer from Billy Blue College of Design in Brisbane to study Commercial Interiors, which involves designing various spaces including bars and restaurants.

The HSC exams conclude on November 4 with Food Technology, French Extension, Modern Greek Extension and Visual Arts examinations.