Excited giggles and congratulatory cheers echoed through the air at Holy Spirit College at Bellambi on Thursday among the bevy of students who achieved an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 90 or more.
Despite aiming high, some were surprised they had done so well, but for others their results were evidence their hard work during their senior schooling was worth it.
"I think we all put in the time and effort over the year, so it really paid off," said David Barranquero, who achieved an ATAR of 94.65.
Holy Spirit had 34 students on this year's distinguished achievers list for students who scored more than 90 per cent in at least one of their courses.
Teika Paegle, 18, nabbed an ATAR of 95.6, which should allow her to enrol in international studies or a media and communications course at university next year.
Teika advised future HSC students to use the resources available to them.
"Utilise your teachers because they will really help you understand things, and do as many practice papers as you can," she said.