Liam Perritt’s HSC timetable reveals his eclectic interests – modern history, music, mathematics, English, software design – as does his post-high school plan.
The 17-year-old Kiama High School student is leaving the country in February to spend two years on a mission overseas with his church, although he doesn’t yet know where he’s going.
French Polynesia and Tahiti are on his wishlist, as he speaks a bit of French and would like the chance to use it. Once his time there is done, he will pursue a double degree of mathematics and computer science at university.
But despite his varied skills, the talented cellist and pianist claimed mathematics was his favourite subject at school.
‘‘With maths, you just have to logically step through it and find the answer and I find it rewarding when you get to the end of the question and you’ve got it right,’’ Liam said.
He credited his love of maths to his teacher Karen Chatfield and said his attitude towards the subject shifted totally once he joined her senior class.
‘‘It wasn’t my favourite subject back in junior school and I chose it just as a thing to do, not to enjoy, but once I got in the classroom with Ms Chatfield it became my favourite subject.
‘‘It can be a challenging subject, but if you do have a good teacher it can be rewarding.’’
Despite his passion for the content and hours of completing practice questions on his daily train trip to school, Liam said Tuesday's HSC mathematics papers was a tough one.
‘‘It was surprisingly difficult. I’ve been doing past HSC papers at home and doing pretty well, but there were a few questions that were harder than I expected.
‘‘I had to leave a couple of questions and go on and then come back.’’
Fellow students Sam Marlton and Josh Keatley agreed it was a difficult paper.
‘‘It wasn’t great, but lots of people are saying that it was hard, so I’m feeling OK about it,’’ Sam said.
After English, mathematics – in one of its varying forms – is the most popular elective for HSC students. More than 33,000 students across the state completed their general mathematics exam yesterday, while 16,868 did the mathematics exam. Just over 9000 did mathematics extension 1 and 3242 did mathematics extension 2.
Ms Chatfield said the mathematics exam would have challenged students and there were a few questions they said they had struggled with.
‘‘With the sequence of questions, it doesn’t seem to be going from easy to hard. There’s definitely a question in the middle of the paper that all the kids said threw them out a bit.’’
Wednesday, October 23
Classical Hebrew Continuers
Thursday, October 24
Mathematics Extension 1
Primary Industries (VET)
Software Design and Development
Textiles and Design