There was a mix of classical, pop and blues, but what HSC music 1 students didn't expect was a "screamo" version of Katy Perry's Fireworks in their exam.
"It started off pretty normal with a guy singing in, then came in really heavy bass, double kick drums, and then he started screaming the lyrics," said Bulli High School student Erica McDonald-Haynes.
"It was weird," she said.
"I talked about the difference between pop and heavy metal screamo."
Yesterday's exam required students to listen to various pieces of music and answer questions about technique and style. It followed the practical exam held in September, where 18-year-old Erica sang for her performance.
"I'm a singer and I prepared four different songs," she said.
"Overall the exam was good because there was a big variation in the kind of songs played."
The student's musical talent runs in the family, she said.
"My mum's a singer, dad used to play the guitar, my brother plays guitar, my sister used to play drums and my other brother plays bass.
"We could be like the Jackson five."
Fellow musician and student, Byron Morrison-Mills, said the exam wasn't too daunting.
The self-taught guitarist played a Spanish piece for the practical exam in September and used a variety of techniques.
"I do a bit of tapping on the guitar, which is hard to explain," he said.
"John Butler does it, and I do a bit of drumming and use the base of the guitar.
"I use YouTube to learn techniques and I write my own music."
The 17-year-old wants to study a double degree in music and media and communications at the University of Wollongong.
He also writes lyrics sometimes, but "that's a bit more private", he said.
Music teacher Lindy Sharp said the exam was a bit unusual but still fair.
"Some of the questions were surprising, they weren't tricky though," she said. "There was a question on screamo which made everyone giggle to begin with.
"All the music teachers will now think we have to cover screamo in class and how can we bear this?"