Illawarra Mercury


Hard work is done now wait for resultsAdvertising Feature

You did it: The exams are now over for HSC students. Photo: Shutterstock

With the final HSC exams held yesterday (December 3) students can now breathe a sigh of relief that all the hard work, study and stress has come to an end.

Congratulations on completing 13 years of schooling!

Now you have to wait patiently to find out how you went, with students set to receive their ATAR on January 20 and results on January 24.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said students had displayed an impressive resilience to push through the disruptions caused by the pandemic and be ready for their written exams.

"HSC students, with the support of their teachers and families, have displayed incredible resilience and perseverance over the past 18 months," Ms Mitchell said.

"I thank them all for adapting to myriad challenges and disruptions. This is an exciting time for students, as they finish their 13 years of schooling."

The 2021 HSC results will be delivered to students via email and text message. They will also be able to access results by logging in to their Students Online account.

Students can call the HSC Inquiry Centre on 1300 13 83 23 if they have questions about their results.

High-achieving students are recognised in four merit lists:

  • First in Course
  • All Round Achievers
  • Top Achievers
  • Distinguished Achievers

In 2021, 68,710 students were on track to complete their HSC. There were 110 written exams that took place totalling around 350 hours.

Saying goodbye to schoolAdvertising Feature

Year 12 no more: Emma Messenger and Aaron Moffatt are grateful for the support from their teachers and parents. Photo: Supplied

I will miss having an environment like school that supports you and the activities and opportunities that school provides.

- Emma Messenger, Year 12 student

Congratulations, Year 12; school life is officially over.

Time to pack up your books and clear out your lockers for the last time. Exams are done and dusted. Let's now move on to the next significant chapter of life. On reflection, it hasn't been an easy ride. We - the parents, grandparents, teachers, siblings, friends and the entire community - know this.

No Year 12 student in Australia has been left untouched by the pressure of finishing school amid the COVID-19 pandemic and all the uncertainty it has wrought. Homeschooling, changed timetables, and postponed exams just scratch the surface, but you made it, and we are all so proud.

Aaron Moffatt has just finished Year 12. "The final year was a lot of hard work, as anyone would expect," he said."For me personally, a lot of time was spent analysing the ATAR system so I can maximise my ATAR.

"I'm very excited for the next stage of my life ... I am incredibly grateful for my parents and teachers, as they are the only reason I've made it so far.

Bye bye classroom: It's time for Year 12 students to move onto the next stage in life. Photo: Shutterstock

"My parents gave me so much support in my learning and pursuing my best future, and my teachers this year went above and beyond to make sure I did the best I possibly could in grade 12 during COVID," he said.

Emma Messenger said the final year had been a lot of hard work, and was especially stressful with ATAR.

"I will miss having an environment like school that supports you and the activities and opportunities that school provides," she said. "I am excited that school is ending and moving on to do what I want to do, and school has helped with that a lot.

"And to most of the teachers, I want to say thank you for helping me and supporting me throughout school. A lot of my teachers have supported me in my musical endeavours, and it made my decision a lot easier."

As Aaron, Emma and their peers move on from school, we hope they are empowered by the challenges and achievements they've already conquered in life, especially in the past few difficult years. Year 12, we wish you well.

Living beyond final examsAdvertising Feature

The right path: Larni Boroughs, 19, researched different career options before she finished school and is currently studying a photography diploma. Photo: Peter Moffatt

Final exams place a lot of pressure on teenagers, leaving many feeling that failing to achieve top marks means failing the next step in their learning life.

But, there is such a thing as life after school - no matter your marks or what you want to do.

University entrance expectations can be high; however, some school leavers may not realise many careers can be pursued outside of tertiary study.

With an abundance of traineeships, apprenticeships, TAFE, short and long courses and even a gap year, it's worth giving some thought to all the options.

Many school leavers opt for a gap year, taking time out to give their future some more thought or just taking a hard-earned breather from years of study.

This is a good option rather than heading blindly into tertiary training and getting caught up doing something you don't enjoy.

Bridging and preparation courses are also a good option, providing a taste of something you may think you'd enjoy as a career without the big commitment.

There are so many options out there; I never felt the pressure to do something I didn't want to do.

- Larni Boroughs, photography student

For 19-year-old Larni Boroughs, fulfilling her career goals has been a step-by-step process since finishing school. After completing a Certificate II Photography course during her final year in 2020, Larni had direction but didn't want to rush straight into university.

Instead, she worked for six months before starting TAFE in a mid-year intake to complete a Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging.

"At school, I decided that I wanted to pursue photography and design, but first I wanted to get a bit of money behind me and take a break from learning," she said.

"That gave me time to work out that I want to study design at university eventually, but I also want to have photography as a skill that I can fall back on if I need to.

"There are so many options out there; I never felt the pressure to do something I didn't want to do."

On-the-job traineeships are becoming increasingly popular for school leavers, with many businesses supporting students through nationally recognised courses to keep them on as employees.

This option is great for school leavers looking for a career in logistics, trade labour, care assistance and early childhood.