Students face final test

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on November 1, 2018

TRIPS to Ningaloo and England, knee surgery and the peaceful Minecraft soundtrack await three Albany year 12 students following the completion of their Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) examinations over the next two weeks.

Christine Murray, Candace Newcombe and Ebony Powell from Albany Senior High School are three of more than 15,000 WA secondary students completing exams at the moment, on subjects including modern history, English, chemistry and maths.

Their final ATAR scores will dictate which undergraduate-university courses they can apply to gain direct entry to.

The trio took a moment between exams and study to chat with The Weekender on Tuesday about their study progress and post-school plans.

As this story hits the streets, Christine, Candace and Ebony will be heads-down and shaking off writers’ cramp in their English exam.

“Since the semester two exams, I’ve had a pretty solid study plan, so it’s just been about trying to maintain that,” Christine said.

“And not being at school, it’s hard to stay motivated, so I try and study at school or at the library or at a mate’s place.”

Christine said having a “pretty big routine” balancing study with swim training has helped her keep focus, knowing she only has a certain time frame in which to complete study.

She hopes to pursue a double degree in sport and exercise, and psychology at Murdoch University, but will first head to England for her gap year to work as a swimming teacher and just to explore.

Candace said she aims to study two or three subjects per day in a school day-like structure for her study routine, to make sure she adequately covers her health, human biology, physical education and English revision.

She’s aiming to be accepted into a nursing course at Curtin University, and further pursue a medical science degree.

“If I’m feeling super un-motivated, I just go outside and do palm card revision – something a bit less intense,” Candace said.

“I’m pretty chill at the moment; I try to just brush off the stress.”

Upon completion of her exams, Candace is heading to Ningaloo for a week-long holiday before heading into hospital for knee surgery.

She said a reoccurring volleyball injury has caused her left knee to dislocate multiple times, so she’s going under the knife to have her hamstring tendon “nailed down” to stop it happening again.

Ebony has five ATAR exams – the first completed on Tuesday – and seemed a tad frazzled when walking out of it.

But she is pressing on, keen to do her best and later return her attention to her beloved Minecraft and its calming effect.

“Yeah, I’m a bit stressed,” Ebony admitted.

“I try to study one subject for two days and just go for it.

“Then just before the exam, I’ll do that topic again.”

Ebony is heading to Augusta and Mundaring with her boyfriend for leavers after exams, before spending her gap year lifeguarding and maybe some waitressing.

She hopes to pursue a teaching degree at Curtin University in 2020.

The final ATAR exam is timetabled for November 16 when students studying ancient history and Italian as a second language will be put through the wringer.

ATAR results are scheduled for release on December 17.