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Forums / Young people / School said i'm getting 0 if i don't complete HSC trials

Topic: School said i'm getting 0 if i don't complete HSC trials

11 posts, 0 answered
  1. entartung
    entartung avatar
    4 posts
    17 August 2018

    Hi everyone,

    I'm a year 12 student from NSW whose in the middle of her HSC trials. I'm not sure how much background information i should add (this is my first post) but here's a brief rundown:

    - Struggling with depression + anxiety since year 8. Also diagnosed with ADHD

    - My school has been aware of it since year 9/10 as i regularly see the school counsellor

    - Currently seeing a psychiatrist and am on medication for ADHD. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be helping, however she wants me to try it for a little longer. Not on anything else right now as she said it would be difficult to gauge the effectiveness of the medication if i don't take it in isolation

    - Have started seeing a new psychologist. Only one session so far so i can't really comment on effectiveness. My last psychologist was with CMHS but she just wasn't a right fit, both agreed i wasn't making any progress. Unfortunately this is a tricky period to star afresh with a new psychologist who doesn't know me well.

    - Was on additional medication last year. It didn't seem to help

    - Took an overdose last year near Christmas time (hence CMHS)

    - Currently not suicidal, not self (although i struggle with dermatillomania)

    Okay, so here's my issue. I have missed 5 of my trial HSC exams, these exams are worth 30%-40% of my school mark. My school is aware of my mental health history and has helped me reschedule and space out exams to lessen the stress. However i'm finding in really overwhelming and difficult to cope and consequently missed my rescheduled dates. 2 days ago they brought in my parents and told me that i would have to either do HSC over 2 years of i would have to complete all 5 exams as well as my major work by the end of next week.

    I decided against pathways (2 years) for several reasons, including the fact that the HSC syllabus is changing next year, i want to just get HSC over with rather than stretching it out, not keen on going to TAFE and finishing my HSC there and the fact that up until now, my grades have been quite good.

    I'm almost certain i won't change my mind regarding pathways, but it leaves me in a difficult position, with 5 consecutive exams and my history ex major work due all my next friday. This is an absolutely insane amount of work. My school says i must have it all complete by the end of next week or else i will be getting 0. I don't know what to do, it doesn't seem negotiable as my school was quite firm even knowing my situation. It honestly seems incredibly unfair to me.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    14296 posts
    17 August 2018 in reply to entartung

    Welcome entartung to the forum.

    I don't know much about the present educational system but I can see why it seems so unfair to you.

    You have worked hard all through for the last 6 years but because of anxiety, ADHD and depression you missed out on 5 of your exams. .

    I wonder is their a deadline for exams to be completed by or is your school making up its own deadlines.

    How much extra time would you need to sit the exams ? Are you aware of any other students at your school who had exams rescheduled?

    Is there a school counsellor who could help negotiate with the school and explain how it will put too much pressure on you to have all the exams and work by end of next week.?

    Does the school understand that if you found the rescheduling overwhelming how will you cope with 5 exams in a week plus your major work.?

    I tend to ask questions so I can understand the issues better.

    Do your parents feel the same way as you do about the pathways option.? Do they any ideas about what to do?

    Thanks again for explaining your story and I hope people with more up to date information may be able to offer suggestions.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  3. entartung
    entartung avatar
    4 posts
    17 August 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirkey,

    Thanks for your reply. My school claims that i must complete all my exams + major work as marks must be submitted to NESA by a certain deadline. However, to be honest i'm not sure whether the deadline is as soon as they claim it to be (in fact i am sure it is not, as it is far too close to the end of exams and other schools still haven't finished exams) . My school's principal has claimed things before that actually turned out not to be true so i'm not sure whether i can rely on her. For example, when my psychiatrist asked whether my school could give me an estimate mark instead, she said that she is unable to as it is against NESA's policies. My parents called NESA to confirm, and it turned out to be false as schools are in full control of their own exam policies.

    My school counsellor has been fantastic in providing me support, however even after she informed the principal how difficult the deadline is for me, the principal still refused to change it. The principal is visibly frustrated with me due to my constant rescheduling and i don't think i can rely on her to help me (my parents agree with my view, as they also sensed her hostility during a meeting with her).

    It's quite disheartening as i feel like the school is almost against me. Today i was pretty much forced to sit an exam even thought i was crying and obviously distressed. I told her i was in a really bad mental state and asked if i could reschedule, and she told me i made a commitment to sit the exam and if i didn't do it i would have to do pathways. It was really humiliating, i had to sit there for 2 hours and i literally didn't write anything and spent most of the time crying.

    I don't know what to do or who to ask for help. My school won't help me, and NESA doesn't control each school's exam policies. It honestly seems impossible for me to get all my assessments done. I really feel like my school is setting me up for failure. Especially after what happened today, i'm really upset with how my school is handling my situation. I really can't believe they made me sit through that exam in the state i was in. I don't want to sound paranoid/over dramatic, but the vice-principal pretty much threatened me into doing the exam? Since she knows i really want to graduate this year. Is this even ethical what happened today? I'm too embarrassed to tell my parents.

    My parents are actually open to Pathways (thought not preferred), however i really don't want to choose that option.

  4. entartung
    entartung avatar
    4 posts
    18 August 2018 in reply to entartung
    Update: i told my parents and they're extremely upset by the vice principals actions. My dad was really angry and says he wants to sue the school for disability discrimination. I'm really overwhelmed by how quickly this has escalated. I'm worried that he'll actually confront the principal and threaten a lawsuit as it might make going to school even harder. if the teachers think i'm making trouble. I told my psychiatrist about my new timetable and she wrote a letter asking for more consideration. If my dad upset the principal, do you think they'll make it even harder for me and refuse my psychiatrist's request (since i don't think you can actually sue a school)?
  5. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    14296 posts
    18 August 2018 in reply to entartung

    Entartung,

    I can see you parents are very supportive and understanding and want the best for you. I agree that saying you will sue someone may not help with negotiations with the school. I wonder if you tell your dad what you wrote here about your fears his actions will maybe make things work , would he change his mind.

    Sometimes as parents we want to protect our children and will go into battle for them but sometimes we need to listen and do what will help our child get the best outcome.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  6. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    6176 posts
    18 August 2018 in reply to entartung

    entartung,

    Hello. The last years of school can be challenging and stressful. I have a son in his last year working out what to do next year. But this post is little about me and about you. I went to high school in the 80s when QLD had TE scores. And certain subjects were board registered and others were not. For example, computer studies was not board registered. Only board registered subjects contributed to your TE score. Suffice to say that I did not get to do the course I wanted at Uni. In fact, I did not get in. What did I do? I went to TAFE instead and did an Assoc. Dip. which boosted what was my TE score and as luck would have it, based on subtle hints from lecturers at TAFE, then went to Uni where I did quite OK. So there are alternative paths to get to where you want. In once sense, I started Uni 2 years later than I might have. I hope I turned out OK.

    I also know of some people that spread the last years of high school over multiple years, though these are sports people who spend a bit of time away from school attending sporting meets. And then some that don't want to finish year 12.

    It appears that you have a lot of support from family, teachers and psychiatrists etc. Just a pity about the vice principal. As for the effect of what might happen based on the actions of your parents is really unknown. A conversation could not hurt? As for legal action, that is a bit different.

    I am not that familiar with HSC system so could you tell me a little about Pathways? And what is it about that you do not like?

    Lastly you have some dream job in mind? If so, what is that job or your passion?

    As for school... all you can do is try and do the best you can? Again, everyone appears to be supporting you. Just remember there are alternative ways to reach your goal. And in your 20s, 30s and beyond, nobody really asks how you went at high school.

    I hope that you got something out of my post.

    Tim

    1 person found this helpful
  7. entartung
    entartung avatar
    4 posts
    18 August 2018 in reply to smallwolf

    Hi Tim, thanks for you reply

    I do not wish to do pathways (which would entail me completing half my subjects this year, and the other half next year at TAFE) mostly because i don't want to stretch out the HSC and prolong the stress. While having a lesser workload should theoretically decrease my stress, my depression and anxiety is not purely based on school. Taking school (partially) out of the equation will help slightly, but i believe the issues that will come forth due to pathways will outweigh that. I lot of my depression is just due to how i feel as a person and my personal life. It's hard to explain, but i know that pathways is not right for me in regards to my mental health.

    Secondly, next years HSC exams follow a new syllabus and is different to the content that i learned at school this year. This makes things more complicated and while i will learn all this new content, i would not have done the preliminary year and for subjects such as english and maths, HSC content builds off of year 11 material.

    I believe that completing my HSC at TAFE would not be a great experience for me. I do not cope well with unfamiliarity or being thrust into a situation with strangers. While i know i will have to deal with this in uni, at least i would have a few of my friends with me. I think TAFE may be more isolating socially.

    Finally, i am worried that if i do pathways, i will lose motivation and end up not even graduating high school at all. I truely believe being forced to do pathways will trigger my depression and make it worse. Perhaps i am not thinking rationally right now, but this is how i feel.

    I regards to jobs and uni courses, i am unsure of what i want to do. I would probably pick a broad degree, such as media or commerce. But i m unsure and would like to do as well as i can in order to keep my options open.

    Thanks again for your insightful words Tim. I wish i could accept doing pathways, but i really don't feel like it is right for me.

  8. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    14296 posts
    24 August 2018 in reply to entartung

    Entartung,

    Inwas just wondering what has happened this week and how you are coping?

    Did you have to do the exams or did you come to some agreement with your school.

    I am just interested and concerned about you.

    I can understand why you wouldn’t want to do pathways now you have explained that to us.

    It does seem really important at the time but there are always different options and zinsee your health as being a top priority.

    imknow you have your heart set on finishing this year somI hope this can be worked out without too much stress and pressure for you.

    Quirky

  9. lalaluna
    lalaluna avatar
    1 posts
    17 March 2021

    i know this is 3 years late, but i'm almost in the exact same position as you. it feels really good to know that someone else has experienced the same thing as me, since my school is filled with competitive students who just study hard and get top marks in everything. i also have depression and adhd, though my medication also doesn't seem to be working (i was recently diagnosed).

    tomorrow, i have two assessments - legal in the morning and bio in the afternoon. i have done a bit of study for bio but i have not started legal and it entails an essay that i have to write and short answer questions (it is already 8pm the night before so it is impossible for me to finish the work). i think i will be getting a 0 for this assessment because i really, really do not want to go. my legal teacher also suggested pathways for me, but like you, i don't want to prolong the stress of the HSC even more. last two assessments, i was very close to attempting (impulsively because my assessment was overdue and i was going to get 0). the vice principal, like yours, will not be lenient for me anymore as she has let me reschedule a lot. i'm glad that i am calm right now and not on the verge of suicide, i think i have accepted my fate of getting a bad atar.

    anyway, i know you will probably not see this, but on the rare occasion that you do, how are you doing now a few years out of high school? i really hope you are well. did you get the atar you wanted? did you do you trials or did you end up doing pathways? i guess i really want to know because it will give me hope for someone who was in a similar position as me to come out as better.

  10. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6608 posts
    17 March 2021 in reply to lalaluna
    Hey lalaluna, 

    Thanks for joining the Beyond Blue forums, we're glad to see you've been able to relate to another members story here. Please know you're not alone in experiencing anxiety, stress and depression at school. Year 11 and 12 can be really stressful years where a lot of pressure is placed on you. However, no matter your ATAR you can still get to where you want to be and many people find life after high school a lot less demanding. 

    We would recommend that you get in touch with Kids Helpline - https://kidshelpline.com.au/ 
    It might help to talk it out whenever you're feeling overwhelmed. Kids Helpline counsellors can be contacted 24/7 by young people 25 and under via telephone and also via webchat if you go through the website provided.

    Headspace is another organisation we would recommend, they are specifically for young people aged 12-25 and they offer a wide range of services including counselling and group programs. They also have a group chat on their webpage - https://headspace.org.au/

    If you would like to post further, we'd encourage you to begin your own thread. If you're not sure how to do this please feel free to visit our FAQ page here: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/welcome-and-orientation/the-forum-faq-thread-
  11. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    6176 posts
    17 March 2021 in reply to lalaluna

    hi and welcome the the forums lalaluna.

    I will just add a little extra to reply from Sophie_M and hope some might resonate with you.

    When I was in high school I do not recall anything like pathways existing. I only just got through high school. I also did remedial reading. I did not get into Uni. I watched those who might have been my friends go away to Uni.

    Today, to some degree, what happened then does not matter. I can tell you what I did after that if you want. What I will say is that I took an different path to many. It does not make me lesser a person. It would be really frustrating and upsetting to be in your position. And it may seem you will not reach your dreams, whatever they are. Like me, an alternate path will get you there.

    And I also failed a subject when I did go to Uni.

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