When Arden Kelly finished her HSC exams a few weeks ago, she had no idea whether she had done well or not.
"I fully blackout after exams," the Maitland Grossmann student said. "I think it's really hard to know what you're going to get."
So she was surprised to not only achieve three band six marks (90 or above), but also fifth in NSW in Entertainment Industry VET course with a subject mark of 96.
Arden, 18, was one of two Maitland Grossmann students to finish in the state's top five in a subject, the highest number for any Hunter school except Merewether. Jacob Price finished second in Metal and Engineering VET course with a subject mark of 92.
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Much like Arden, Jacob was shocked with his result.
"I expected a band four, so when I saw a band six I was really happy," the 18-year-old said. "Then my teacher told me I was in the top three in the state. I was ecstatic."
Jacob said he always loved metalwork and recently did a blacksmithing course.
While he is hoping to go in a different direction by studying environmental science, he hopes to pursue metalwork as a hobby.
Meanwhile Arden is hoping to use her entertainment skills in future endeavours.
She has been accepted into a Bachelor of Screen Media: Film at Sydney's SAE Institute, which she plans to defer for a year or two.
Arden also achieved band six results in Geography (90) and Drama (92), giving her an ATAR of 91.85.
While she didn't need the ATAR for her uni application, which was based on a portfolio and interviews, she said the rank was "validating".
"In a way you have to tell yourself over and over that it doesn't matter and it's not the end of the world, but I do care because I worked hard for it," she said.
Grossmann's dux was Jeremy Boardman, 18, who received an ATAR of 95.45. He achieved two band six results and was one mark off in two other subjects.
"I was hoping I'd be up there," he said. "English was the only thing I wasn't sure on."
Jeremy plans to study a combined degree of IT/Maths at the University of Technology Queensland, which has guaranteed entry for ATARs of 93 and above.
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