FINALLY, local students know exactly where they stand when it comes to their high school achievements.
Sleepless days and stressful nights have been the norm for our Year 12 students of late.
But now, with High School Certificates and Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks (ATAR) results officially out, our bright young minds can take comfort knowing the nightmare is over.
For those who may not have done as well as predicted - the message is clear: ATARs are not the end of the world.
Charles Sturt University Campus director Dr Muyesser Durur, reminded students of the multitude of pathways available to them if their scores did not work out as planned.
"These days there are so many ways to get into university," she said. "There are so many different bridging courses and programs to help you achieve your dreams.
"An ATAR is not necessarily a true reflection of their capabilities."
Public and private schools alike excelled in their HSC achievements this year.
The Department of Education and Communities’ North Coast Relieving Regional Director Mark Youngblutt congratulated government school-leavers in the region on their HSC results.
Mr Youngblutt said the strong outcomes were something to be proud of.
“I’m sure many young adults on the North Coast are relieved it’s all over and I hope they get a well-deserved holiday before starting university, an apprenticeship or work,” Mr Youngblutt said.
“Congratulations are due across the North Coast: from Kingscliff, the Far North Coast’s hinterland, through Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Taree there are outstanding outcomes,” he said.
Port Macquarie High School noted excellent results in this year’s HSC, with at least 10 students achieving a university ATAR above 90.
At this stage it appears School Captain Katie Piper scored the highest mark of 97.65.
Other impressive results included Matt Alger 97.05, Briana McDonald 96.15, Bonnie Moss 96.10, Jackson Blythe 96.05, Laura Rixon 94.90, Emily Rokobauer 94.10, Anador Walsh 93.15, and Sam Corben 92.55.
And the students like Jackson Blythe could not be happier for his cohort. “I’m ecstatic and proud of everyone,” he said.
The whole thing was a bit emotional for Emily Rokobauer who actually cried when she saw how well she performed.
And Briana McDonald had to look twice to be sure: “I thought I got the wrong number.”
Most of these high flyers will head-on to university next year, while others like Emily, will be taking a gap year before embarking on a Bachelor of Arts degree, specialising in linguistics and Japanese.
Laura Rixon was ecstatic with her result: “I’m confident I will now be able to study physiotherapy at Newcastle Uni.”
Matt Alger hopes to head off to Canberra to study a science degree at the Australian National University.
These students were among the large contingent of Port Macquarie High students who scored 42 band six results and 118 band 5s for the HSC.
Next on the agenda is a well-deserved break before university offers come out in mid-January.
Westport High congratulated Elena Wewer, who is dux of the school, on her wonderful HSC results for 2012. Her grades in mathematics, geography and business studies were particularly impressive.
Excellent results were also achieved by Amy Wewer, Fiona Howard, Karina Bellamy and Jarred Bourke from Wesport.
THE principal and staff of St Columba Anglican School praised the outstanding efforts of their students. School dux Kirra Gregson achieved a fantastic ATAR of 98.6 and along with Monique Kroon each awarded four top Band 6 results.
Four of the school's exemplary dance students were nominated for 'Callback' for their wonderful work.
Phillipa Mills was selected for her core performance and major study performance and will be performing at the Seymour Centre in February. Nominations were also received by Kea Pleasance; Katelyn Oppedisano, who was nominated for core composition and major study composition; and Dannielle Smith, who was nominated for her major study film and video project.
Kirra Gregson’s HSC Art Major Work entitled ‘A Common Thread’ has been selected to tour with Art Express, whilst Jessica Blues project for HSC design and technology will feature in the Design TECH exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum.
A large number of the class of 2012 will matriculate to university studies in 2013/14.
Twenty percent of students have already received offers of early acceptance into either the University of New England or Southern Cross University.
Overall candidates received Band 6 results across fifteen different subject areas in 2012 – ancient history, biology, business studies, chemistry, design and technology, advanced English, English extension, entertainment industry, information processes and technology, legal studies, PDHPE, general mathematics, extension mathematics and textiles and design.
The three top students at Wauchope High School have successfully gained ATARs which support their career aspirations.
The school's dux is Alec Malcolm, who received an ATAR of 91.25 and Benjamin Mackiewicz following with 90.98 and Jaclyn Elliott with 89.80.
Alec is looking at studying chemical engineering and Business at Newcastle University and Benjamin is considering a degree in engineering or science and Jaclyn is thinking of pursuing dentistry.
The school congratulated all students, particularly those who gained ATARs in the 80s, and made special mention of Catlin Flanagan on 87.2.
MacKillop Senior College topped all other school's north of Newcastle with their large number of Distinguished Achievers and state placing students. One of their top students Mitchell Hickson attained an incredibly high ATAR of 99.
ATAR statistics from the Universities Admissions Centre:
54,847 students were eligible for an ATAR. This is 50 less than in 2011.
48 students received the top ATAR of 99.95. Seventeen of those students were female and 31 were male, they came from a mix of government and non-government schools and studied a wide range of courses.
17 per cent of students received an ATAR of 90.00 or above, 33.5 per cent received at ATAR of at least 80.00, 49.3 per cent at least 70.00, and 63.8 per cent at least 60.00
The median ATAR was 69.55 this year, slightly higher than in 2011. To achieve a middle ATAR, students generally need to be in the middle of their courses and receive HSC marks between 70 and 80.