GEORGIA Charlier didn't realise she and brother Sam were one of seven sets of twins sitting their Higher School Certificate at St Francis Xavier's College until after they graduated.
Such is the size of the Hamilton school's year 12 cohort - it is believed to be NSW's biggest, with 460 students - that the first time six sets were brought together as a collective was after their first exam, for the Newcastle Herald's photographer.
"If there was a set of triplets I'd be 'Oh my goodness', but for us being twins is nothing, it's what we're used to," Georgia, 17, said.
"We knew Max and Emily Noble, Mackenzie and Bella Pirlo and Hannah and Bronte Skinner, but I had no idea there was this many."
Sam said they had been "more focused on school".
"There were people I was sitting next to in exams and thinking 'I've never seen you before'," he said.
The Nobles, 18, agreed. "I knew there were a few in our grade, but not this many at the same time - it's crazy and so rare," Max said.
"Most of the teachers didn't really know we were twins. There's the height difference and we don't look heaps alike."
Acting principal Julia Lederwasch said she hadn't realised the Nobles were siblings, or that the school had seven sets until the day before the photograph was taken.
"We don't have them categorised as twins," Ms Lederwasch said.
"Having the same surname in a school of around 1000 students does not indicate they are necessarily related.
"They're individuals and that's how they should be treated."
The twins are all fraternal. For many, having a companion for their biggest academic challenge to date has been a blessing.
The Charliers, 17, moved from a state school to SFX and knew hardly anyone except each other. Together they faced a "learning curve", including a "step up" in workload.
"It was the best thing we've ever done," Georgia said.
Sam said they were lucky to have never faced school by themselves, but "we don't know any different".
"Our teachers always say to us that our biggest asset is that we have each other and we can bounce off each other," he said.
"It's a big help. We both know what each other is going through, if we're stressed or just moody. Mum and Dad can only understand to an extent."
But that doesn't mean the pair study for their two shared subjects together. "Georgia is more organised than I am and she would get an assessment and start straight away, while I'd start a week or two later," Sam said. "We have a different way of going about things."
Related: Read more education news here.
Georgia said she likes to prepare for exams at the dining room table or in the study. Sam studies in his room, with music blasting.
"I cope with pressure really well, where Georgia gets stressed out about things," he said. "But stress is good for her - being not stressed enough is the worst."
They said they were goal setters, but didn't compete with each other.
"I like to see him do well because I know how hard he works," Georgia said. "If we were the same gender we may be a bit more competitive, you're bound to be. But it's not in our character.
"Sometimes I find [competition against others] very vindictive, but we don't feel that way at all. I've got more competition against myself and my old marks."
Sam agreed, saying he had "high standards and if I don't do well I'll be annoyed".
"Georgia works really hard and she deserves to do well," he said. "It's not like we're doing the same thing. But we also don't have the energy to be competitive, we have better things we could be doing."
Sam is a committee member, coach and player with South Cardiff Football Club, while Georgia works, attends bootcamp and reads.
The pair rarely fight.
Georgia said Sam was "honest, blunt, very caring, very funny, a hard worker, very disciplined" and someone who "puts 100 per cent into everything he does".
Sam said Georgia "is conscientious, very determined, works extremely hard, puts 110 per cent effort in" and "knows what she wants to do - she wants to go to Sydney and she can do it and she'll be fine".
"Whatever she puts her heart to, she does well."
She hopes to study ancient history or archaeology at Macquarie University, while he wants to pursue physiotherapy at Newcastle.
"Georgia will probably come home often, it's not like she's far away," Sam said. "We've been pretty close for 17 years so a break is not a terrible thing. We'll always be close."
Georgia said she "knows Sam's there and if I need something I can message him". "Mum and Dad will notice [our separation] the most."
Max Noble "wasn't fazed" about he and Emily moving in different directions. "She can go anywhere she wants, as long as she's safe."
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