Hundreds of year 12 students across the Hawkesbury are about to complete their final weeks of high school as they sit for their Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams.
They will be putting all of their memorised quotes and techniques to good use, kicking off tomorrow (Wednesday, October 12), with English paper one.
It is the culmination of 13 years of schooling and the final tests of the students' hard work across the past two years, in which they have also had to contend with a series of natural disasters.
The HSC exams will run for 18 days across four weeks, with it all coming to an end with the Design and Technology exam on Friday, November 4.
The students will then have a gruelling 41-day wait until Thursday, December 15, for their 2022 HSC results to be released.
Western Sydney University (WSU) Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology and STEM in the School of Education, Dr Erin Mackenzie, said the lead up to the HSC exams was a heightened time of stress for students and their parents.
"Parents can help support their teen by checking-in and empowering them to use adaptive coping strategies," she said.
"Exercise, downtime, and sleep are all important, but sometimes overlooked when exams are approaching. Students may need gentle reminders and encouragement to take breaks.
"Studying for many hours continuously should be avoided to prevent burnout and support better focus over longer periods of time. Good sleep is important for alertness and memory consolidation."
Dr Mackenzie said connections with friends were critical for young people, particularly during stressful times.
"Teens regularly talk about academic concerns online and may use online support more when stressed," she said.
"However, research shows that seeking support in person is more effective than doing so online, so try to encourage your teen to connect with friends in person if possible."
More than 67,000 students will sit the exams across the state.