Getting through testing times

THREE days down and 15 to go - that's the equation for the region's HSC students with the completion of English exams yesterday.

The consensus of students at Casino Central was that yesterday's Paper 2 of the Standard and Advanced English exams were easier than the trial exams.

"It was a lot easier than I expected. I went in thinking that I would not be able to write much, but I surprised myself," said Opal Wone 17, the school's vice-captain.

At Nimbin Central, some students have done it tougher than others.

"It's been a significant achievement for this group of 2011, some of whom are living out of home," school principal Mary-Jane Pell said.

Cody Robinson turns 18 today and has been living by herself in community youth flats for the past three months.

"It was a different kind of stress to be living out of home while doing the exams," she said. "I got to learn a different set of responsibilities and met different kinds of people. It prepares you for the big, wide world. I was more disciplined because it all came down to me, but I liked being in control of every aspect of my life."

Possum Rose, 17, of Casino, was used to having her family around, but was glad to be living in the youth flats for the past two months.

"It was much quieter and I had more time for study," she said.

Possum was also juggling a community pharmacy training course while she studied away from home, travelling one day a week to Casino.

"I have been principal here for three years and I love it, these students are absolutely extraordinary," Ms Pell said.