SOME of them cheered loudly and enthusiastically punched the air in glee while others walked calmly towards their waiting parents.
Celebrations varied, but relief was evident on the faces of Grafton High School students who sat for their first HSC exam yesterday.
After spending more than two hours working on their English (Standard and Advanced) papers, the Year 12 students shared mixed emotions of their HSC experience with The Daily Examiner after putting their pens down at 4pm.
"I could have studied a bit harder, but I think I went all right," said Zac McKenzie after he completed his English Standard paper.
"I started to get really nervous in the last half an hour before the exam started - more nervous than I had ever been before in my life."
When Bree Edwards emerged from the Multipurpose Centre at 4.05pm, she described her first HSC exam as a full-on experience.
The Clarence Valley Anglican School student, who sat for her HSC exam at Grafton High School said she studied hard and was confident of getting a good exam result.
"I think I went all right," she said. "I worked hard in my exam; I couldn't do anymore than that."
"The HSC wasn't as hard as I thought it would be," added her friend and fellow CVAS student Melanie Macfarlane. Melanie, who completed the English Standard paper, said she studied hard and tried her best.
"I was nervous before I started, but I think I went ok," she said.
Today, Year 12 students will sit for numerous language exams.
The 2012 HSC exams conclude on November 8.
Students who are unsure of when their next exam may be coming up, can view the HSC timetable online at boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au.
HSC study tips
Choose a quiet place to study and make sure you are not interrupted or distracted.
Make sure you take regular breaks while you study. Keep your mind fresh and don't try to cram every little piece of information in at once.
Stay motivated, relaxed and focused while you study.
Test yourself before your HSC exam by using a range of study techniques. Take notes, summarise your books and start reading and writing your answers. This will also help you identify the most effective study method for you to use.
Don't stress if you start to feel overwhelmed. It is natural to feel like this. Take a break or go for a quick 10 minute walk.
Don't pressure yourself. Remember, as long as you do your best, you're a winner.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep while you are studying, especially the night before you have a HSC exam to sit for.
Stay positive, remind yourself of your capabilities and have faith in yourself.