DRY mouths, knotted stomachs and jittery fingers will be the norm for countless students anxiously waiting by the phone or staring at the computer screen to see their HSC results today.
But for Camden Haven Distance Education student Jack Skelton, nerves have been replaced by an over-riding joy that the last year of hard work has been well worth it.
Jack is one of just 65 NSW secondary public school pupils who achieved a First In Course in the 2012 High School Certificate examinations.
The Gloucester High School student studied Information Technology through the Camden Haven Distance Education Centre with local teacher Stephen Evans.
But Jack is the first to admit, that it has not been easy to get his good results, and studying through distance education did make it hard to stay motivated.
A warning at the start of the year however, quickly convinced him to pick up his act, he said.
"Mum starting making sure I was doing the work, and in the end I ended up getting first in the state," he said.
"I'm pretty happy with that and stoked to receive the award."
"I new all of the stuff in the exam, I was feeling pretty confident but I didn't want to get my hopes up."
Camden Haven Distance Education Centre principal Margaret Hutcheson said the school could not be prouder of his wonderful achievement.
"There are thousands of students who sit for the HSC every year, achieving a first place is fantastic - it's really up there."
Jack did a Vocational Education Training (VET) course, which meant sitting the HSC examination was optional for him.
Ms Hutcheson said Jack was an excellent student, who consistently produced a very high calibre of work.
"It was most definitely well-deserved," she said. "This achievement speaks volumes about Steve's ability and dedication as a teacher to go above and beyond and undertake the training to deliver a VET course."
Mr Evans, who was also the relieving head of computing studies would, after the announcement, be retiring on a high note next week, she said.
Jack hopes to study Software Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Sydney next year and one day work as a programmer for a big corporation.