Cumberland High School students emerged tired and weary from their first Higher School Certificate (HSC) exam yesterday.
Year 12 students were given a lengthy three hour English exam with a second-half of the English paper set down for Wednesday.
Most students exited the school hall with smiles, confident they'd started HSC with a good score.
Advanced English student Alesia Bradow said although the exam was stressful she was pleased part one was over.
"Any morning before an exam is tricky," Alesia said.
"You feel a lot of pressure going in for the test and relieved when you've finished."
Classmate Hanee Sanchez said the exam was much-like previous editions her teachers had asked her to practice.
"I had a prepared essay for one of the components and only had to change it slightly," Hanee said.
"The essay question I was given was about the passage of time.
"In my answer I wrote about how your sense of belonging changes over time."
Students were also given five pictures to choose from in the exam's creative writing section.
On Wednesday, the second part of the English paper will focus on students writing three essays.
They include; conflicting perspectives, poetry and texts in time.
Today Earth and Environmental Science and Retail Services exams will start at 9.25am and language exams will be held this morning and this afternoon.
Later this week students will sit for economics, drama, biology and Aboriginal studies exams.