Jodie Feld was up early on Wednesday morning to get her HSC results the "old-fashioned" way - checking her results online rather than receiving an SMS of her scores.
"I thought I'd log in and do it the, I guess, more traditional way," she joked.
"I set my alarm for five to six, which is very unusual for me, so I could get them at six."
Jodie, 17, was yesterday named one of the state's brightest students, earning a place on the NSW Board of Studies' all-round achievers list.
The former Figtree High School student earned top band marks for five units of history, advanced English, society and culture and German, but said her real passion lay with music, particularly the guitar and drums.
She is planning to pursue a bachelor of entertainment (business management) at Sydney's JMC Academy.
An exchange in Germany at the start of this year meant Jodie had five weeks of school work to catch up on in addition to her regular course load in term one.
She said the best advice she could give to next year's HSC students was to remain calm.
"I would say try not to stress because I know I did and it doesn't help. Just know that it's not the end of the world, that while it's important and you should take pride in your work, just try your best because that's all anyone can ask, really."
Ten Illawarra students made this year's all-rounder list, which recognises students who achieved the top band - at least 90 per cent - in 10 or more units of their HSC courses.
Three students each made the list from The Illawarra Grammar School (TIGS) and Smith's Hill High School, as did one student apiece from Figtree High School, the Illawarra Christian School, St Mary Star of the Sea College and Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts.
Former TIGS student Penelope Drastik's spot on the list was extra impressive given that, at just 16, she was a good two years younger than some of her classmates while completing her HSC exams.
The mathematics whiz scored in the top band for all but one of her subjects, and is planning to study advanced mathematics at the University of Wollongong next year.
Her ability with numbers also saw her complete her extension mathematics 2 exam last year, when she was only 14.
"I'm curious, I suppose, about how things work. I like to work things out and be sure about my answer," she said.