Motivational Post: Your Atar Does Not Define You

October 5, 2019

With the HSC’s in just two weeks all HSC students are going through their most anxious and intense period in their lives. It will essentially be the only topic they talk about wherever they go.
Here is the story of one who survived the intense mental stress when going through their HSC’s in 1979:

Going into the 1979 HSC, I had been hopeful of getting over 420 out of a possible 500. In the final weeks, however, I blew a mental tyre – which saw me doing absolutely no work in the final fortnight – and ended up with 371. (This included, I will never forget, 152/200 for Four Unit Maths – "150 for having the courage to do it, 2 for signing your name correctly," I was told.)
No matter, at least I got the HSC certificate itself and simply did Arts at Sydney Uni, instead of Arts/Law. Even then though, exam horrors weren't over.
Lying awake late one horrible night in November 1981, I had the firm conviction that I would fail the exam for an excruciatingly dull subject that shall remain nameless – let's just call it Religious studies.
And what happened?
I was right.
I failed it.
I got 49 out of 100, and the brutes wouldn't even give me a post exam, the chance to do a little more study and have another go over the summer.
So what did I do?
I did the same subject the next year, and I completely blitzed it and got 51/100. Bingo.
The net impact of failing that exam on my life? Well, as near as I can work out as a near-failed Four Unit Maths student, it was ... zero.

The bottom line insists that despite the HSC’s being a very important step in your career, there is still life afterwards. Even if you fail, don’t worry, you will find a job you love and employers will not brand you with your ATAR. None of this means you shouldn't study. Quite the reverse. If you've been bludging to this point you should study harder than ever. But the point is, don't panic.

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