STUDY TIME: Kingscliff High School student Tom Grant is studying for his next exam.
STUDY TIME: Kingscliff High School student Tom Grant is studying for his next exam. Melissa Belanic

Students dream of bright future as HSC gets underway

IT'S that time of year again, where destinies are forged; dreams are brought to fruition or perhaps even crushed with stress.

We are in the second week of the month-long Higher School Certificate and, like thousands of other Year 12 students across NSW, Tom Grant of Kingscliff is drowned in past papers and study notes.

He sits for mathematics today and mathematics extension 1 on Monday, with six others.

Chemistry is on Friday, while for others tomorrow will be exams including legal studies.

Tom follows a tough regime including 5am starts, in the hope of being accepted into physics at Griffith University where he dreams of attaining a Masters and PhD in Theoretical Physics.

"I'm not trying to make money from this (career path)," Tom said.

"I want to help in the development of our understanding in what happens in quantum states of matter and maybe astrophysics, although that's pretty boring."

Tom said the English exam sat last week and set on the theme of discovery was "really interesting" but some peers did not agree.

"A lot of them were disappointed in themselves and found it extremely hard. I always imagine them harder than they're actually going to be."

Lindisfarne Anglican College director of English and History Neville Erskine said last week's English Advanced exam had surprised some students.

"Some of our English Advanced students expressed their surprise that the ... non-fiction question was quite specific in its reference to identity," he said.

"They believed, as this is the first year of this elective, they might have expected a more general approach.

"Indeed, some very keen students after the examination went to the English syllabus and searched for explicit reference to identity, with no satisfaction."

Mr Erksine said three of the school's year 12 students had also sat the English extension exam - a level above English Advanced - with the subject gaining in popularity.

"In our 2016 HSC cohort, we have seven students who will be doing the Extension 1 course and four students doing the Extension 2 course, among whom are some very talented writers," he said.

Meanwhile, the Board of Studies this week proposed its first extension science units, with three unit chemistry and three unit physics, to be introduced by 2017.



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