Rebecca Matthes is a Snowy Mountains Grammar School alum, Class of 2018. She was School Captain, and Dux of her year. She received multiple HSC Band 6 results, and an ATAR of 96.25, and has chosen to study law at the University of Technology Sydney. Rebecca sat down with Dr Nelson, SMGS Director of Curriculum and Operations, to discuss her results, and studying in Year 12. 

Now you have your ATAR result, how do you feel about the work you put in to attain it?

            In the period following the HSC until the results came out, it was inevitable that I would start to second guess the amount of work put in, as there is always more you ‘could have done’. However, after getting my ATAR, I am proud of the work that I put in steadily throughout the entire year, and particularly balancing between differing priorities and still maintaining a good assessment mark. In the lead up to the HSC, however, working through past papers was challenging, but seeing my results has proved their worth.


Would you do anything differently?

            Obviously in hindsight I would look at the all-nighters pulled to perfect an assignment and wish I had done it the day (or week) before! I also would have liked to have a more concrete study plan, because it can be tempting to do the easy tasks first, and then tire before getting to the important work, but I’m honestly very happy with all I have achieved throughout the year, so not focusing on what could have been.


What advice would you give to a student starting Year 11 next year about maximising your ATAR?

            Start studying the content as you do it, for example, write a skeleton of an English essay or collect quotes for the specific text whilst you are studying it, otherwise the weekend before exams can be extremely overwhelming. It is important to experiment with different ways of learning content in Year 11, so when it really counts, you have a smooth study plan. Revise according to the syllabus, so you know that you’ve covered everything, and often it reveals which sections are more important to learn than others. Don’t spend an entire day studying with no plans, otherwise you’ll just find yourself procrastinating more, so do things you enjoy and make the most of both Year 11 and Year 12.


Congratulations Rebecca. We wish you the best of luck with your future studies.