HUNTER students have emerged “confident” from their first Higher School Certificate exam, saying the paper was better than expected and has helped ease them into the marathon of tests.
Newcastle High students Jacqui Flood, 17, and Anastasia Sager, 18, were two of the 57,386 students across the state who sat the English Standard or Advanced Paper 1 on Thursday morning.
“I’m pumped and ready for the rest of them, ready to get them all over and done with,” Anastasia said.
“It wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t terrible.”
Jacqui said the exam “really suited what I knew” and the questions were “really adaptable”.
“It was a lot better than I expected, so I’m feeling more confident for my other exams because they’re a lot easier to prepare for.”
After the exam they visited organisation Herd2Homes Dog Rescue’s puppies.
It had brought a cohort of canines for students to meet as part of the school’s roster of daily activities to mark NSW Mental Health Month.
“It’s so good, I love puppies,” Anastasia said, nuzzling cattle dog cross Bronte.
“They’re so calming. If they can chill, I can chill.”
Students had 130 minutes to complete the three-part Paper 1, which was based on their area of study, discovery.
Anastasia and Jacqui said the first section was “straight forward”.
It asked students to answer three questions about a provided poem, interview and a non-fiction short story, as well as another question about both the poem and interview.
The second section asked them to incorporate two elements of discovery and a provided quote into a piece of creative writing.
The third section asked them to discuss how discovery was not necessarily finding something new or joyous, and tie in their prescribed text, which was poems from Robert Gray’s Coast Road, plus related text.
“That question could have been really hard, but it was quite alright and worked with what I had,” Anastasia said.
Students will sit English Paper 2 – Modules on Friday morning. Anastasia will finish her other six exams by October 29, which she said “means I can just get into study mode and get them all over with”.
Jacqui is counting down to her Drama paper, the last in the HSC exam period, on November 9.
They said they would balance study with relaxation between each exam, with Anastasia pointing to family time and Jacqui choosing walking her dog and reading as ways they’ve been reducing stress.
“It’s the last few weeks, we might as well make it count,” Jacqui said.
“I’ll do my best and see where it takes me.”
Anastasia said the HSC “isn’t the be all and end all”.
“It’s the end of 13 years of school and everything comes down to this, but there are other pathways.
“I feel prepared.”
Both girls want to be history teachers
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