As they walked into sit their first HSC exam today (Thursday, October 17) local year 12 students felt a myriad of emotions.
There would have been nerves, confidence, relief and maybe even excitement as sat their compulsory English exam.
Ulladulla High student, Peta Shea, said today's exam, which was divided into two sections - a short answer and an essay - was not too bad.
"Because it was an hour-and-a-half I did not give myself enough time to do the essay properly and only gave myself 35 minutes to write it," she said.
"Aside from that, I think I handled it okay."
She is glad one exam is over.
"You do feel like a weight has been lifted off you," Peta said.
The word deception, at the end of a question, threw Peta and her friends slightly out.
"All of us had prepared for aspects of the human experience to be included in the wording and then we saw the word deception and freaked out a little bit. It was a small but significant curveball that was thrown in there," she said.
"I think everyone else was the same as me and panicked a little but once we calmed down everyone thought they handled it okay."
Peta said she was a little anxious about sitting an actual HSC exam, compared to the trial exams.
She said her slight anxiety came from the HSC being worth 40 per cent of her actual mark.
Next up for Peta is a second advanced English exam tomorrow (Friday, October 18), followed by a four-day break and then a modern history exam.
She is looking forward to the four-day break.
Peta tries to balance life and study as best as she can.
"I try to get at least two hours study done a day," she said.
"However if I am absorbing things well it may be only an hour-and-a-half, depending on the subject.
"The difficult ones like maths and physics will need more time."
The 18-year-old student understandably has an opinion on the HSC.
"I think they have given it too much weighting," she said.
"It's one exam that is worth 40 per cent of your mark - which is an intense weighting."
Peta has early entry to Australia National University and will study a double degree (science and arts).