Navigating the final years of school is stressful enough, but this year’s graduating class has endured an extra layer of complication — the pandemic.

Key points:

  • More than 12,500 SACE students will sit stage two written exams from Monday
  • Thirteen exams will be completed electronically 
  • Students are not required to wear masks during exams

Shamiama Shahad and fellow classmate Zach Pizzara from Roma Mitchell Secondary College said they have had to adapt quickly. 

“We quickly learnt how to deal with the pressure and the challenges and this year it was pretty easy — when we went into lockdown we knew what to do, we had the online classes, it was like a normal routine,” Shamiama said.

“I preferred studying at home … I feel focused and I have that comfort,” Zach said.

Shamiama and Zach are among the more than 12,500 students who will start sitting their final exams from November 1.

At Rostrevor College, students have been working through different techniques to help them succeed.

“Spacing the studying out you know, not trying to cram it into the day or two days before the exam,” student Ray-Ray Kells said.

Rostrevor College student Jordan Zorzi enjoys playing the guitar while taking a break from studying. (ABC News: Natasha Thiele)

Fellow student Jordan Zorzi said there are other ways to memorize information.

“Your traditional methods of just looking over notes and regurgitating that information doesn’t really help, but if you ask questions in something called ‘inquiry-based learning’, it helps you learn things a lot better,” he said.

At Pinnacle College in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, seniors are aware their time together is nearly over.

Student Malak Ibrahim said it was a bittersweet time for them.

Malak Ibrahim is a year 12 student at Pinnacle College. (ABC News)

While there has been a lot of focus on preparing for exams, students have also made a conscious effort to have a break from the books.

“I try to do (my work) mostly at school so when I get home, I can have that time to myself and not have to stress both at school and at home,” Malak said.

“(It’s) also important to have a lot of different outlets, so for me it’s music, I do that fairly often as well as exercising regularly,” Jordan said.

Teachers say students have shown resilience during the pandemic — a skill that will help them succeed going forward.

Director of Teaching and Learning at Rostrevor College, Kerry Hodkinson, said she’s proud of how students have undertaken their studies during the pandemic.

Head of Senior Years at Roma Mitchell Secondary College, Pepe Bouzalas, agreed.

“They are stronger because of it … this is the second year now and they’re getting used to it,” Ms Bouzalas said.

“But in saying that, we’ve been mindful of providing workshops that focus on positive education and focus on self-care.”

Students will be spared from wearing masks during their exams, 13 of which will be completed electronically on laptops.

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COVID-19 boosters to begin as early as November 8

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