Tuesday is D-Day for HSC students, following arguably their toughest year on record.
October 20 marks the start of the 2020 HSC written exams, with thousands of students across NSW to complete the English Standard test in the morning.
The start of this year's exams has been pushed back one week. The move is one of many the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) COVID-19 Response Committee has made to protect the health and safety of students, teachers and parents during this challenging time.
The extra week of study has been welcomed by students across the board, including those at The Illawarra Grammar School (TIGS).
A TIGS spokeswoman said the school in West Wollongong offered a number of HSC practice tests and workshops throughout the week.
"Following a delay to the commencement of HSC exams, TIGS was able to offer students an additional week of exam preparation, revision and support," she said.
"Students were surveyed to identify areas of concern for targeted instruction. For example English masterclasses were held and exam strategies discussed. Our teachers, deans and mentors have been providing additional support to ensure our students are fully prepared.
"Our facilities provide ample space to accommodate all of our Year 12 students for their exams and we have back up locations available offsite if required."
Dapto High School is also well prepared and confident their HSC students will thrive during the exam period.
"We believe in our 2020 HSC students," school principal Andrew FitzSimons said.
"This group of students have almost without exception, they've stayed optimistic, stayed strong, they have collaborated with each other.
"We ran tutorials in the holidays as usual. Each Thursday of the holidays we open up the school and volunteer teachers come in to help our students.
"We are going to continue to support them all the way through the next three weeks."
During these unprecedented times, health and hygiene measures are in place to keep students COVID-safe at their HSC exams.
Though before students enter the exam room, they will be asked to confirm that they do not have any flu-like symptoms and are not required by NSW Health to self-isolate.
Students who develop flu-like symptoms during an exam are required to let an exam supervisor know and follow their instructions.
Students must regularly wash their hands, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow and avoid touching their face.
They can also choose to wear a mask.
Exam rooms will be thoroughly and frequently cleaned. Hygiene supplies will be available and regularly re-stocked.
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