Although they spent months memorising quotes by George Orwell and poet Ted Hughes, Warrawong High School students Melissa Kettlewell and Tereza Pejovska found thinking on the spot helped them get through their second English paper yesterday afternoon.
Melissa, 18, said that as she began writing the words she had learnt off by heart, quotes she hadn’t used in months kept popping into her head.
‘‘I ended up writing on something I’d never written on before, but I remembered quotes and stuff,’’ she said.
‘‘I did that with the last exam too, and it went well.
‘‘By this point, you’ve gone over everything so much it’s sort of a refresher course and you’ve written that many essays, you can sort of jumble things together.’’
It was much the same for outgoing school captain Tereza, 18, who said she found the exam questions similar to many practice essays she had written.
‘‘I remembered a lot of things when I got in there, so I was really proud of that,’’ she said.
Melissa still has her English Extension exam to go, and is planning on studying history and English literature at the University of Wollongong next year.
Tereza, however, is done with English study and is looking forward to reading for pleasure once again, having put the final novel in a series she loves aside for the duration of the HSC.
Although she plans on pursuing a health-related degree next year, she said English had been an important subject.
‘‘It helps in other subjects as well. When you form answers for biology and such, you need to have good English.’’
Classic texts from William Shakespeare and F.Scott Fitzgerald sat along more contemporary pieces such as iconic Australian film The Castle and recent bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time on this year’s second English exam, which was completed by close to 70,000 students across the state.
They sat their first English paper on Monday morning.
Warrawong’s head English teacher, Nola Galagher, was pleased both the standard and advanced papers asked students to introduce only one other related text into their essays.
‘‘I thought it was very fair for all the texts,’’ she said.
Ms Galagher, who is retiring from teaching in just two weeks, added that the questions were broad enough to allow students to demonstrate their knowledge.
Wednesday, October 16
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
23 language exams
Thursday, October 17
• Legal Studies
• Engineering Studies
• Arabic Beginners
• Heritage Indonesian
• Heritage Japanese
• Korean Continuers
• Spanish Extension