After years of hard work, more than 70,000 NSW students are on the final stretch to completing their Higher School Certificate with written exams officially starting today. Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Education Rob Stokes congratulated all HSC students on reaching this point and wished them well in the coming weeks. “I want to congratulate every student on their diligence in getting to this final stage of their HSC,” Ms Berejiklian said. “What you have learned will prepare you well for the next phase of your lives. Whatever path you choose the NSW HSC is highly respected across Australia and overseas,” she said. Mr Stokes also encouraged students and reminded them to work steadily through the exams. “Congratulations on all your hard work preparing for these exams. While this is the last leg of your 13-year school journey, remember at the end of the day it’s just an exam,” he said. This year marks the 50th anniversary since the first HSC exam was held. “During the past 50 years, more than 2.3 million students have studied the HSC. That’s millions of Australians educated, nurtured, and guided to adulthood by our wonderfully dedicated teachers,” Mr Stokes said. More than 60,000 students taking English Standard, English Advanced or English as a Second Language will begin their first exams today at 10.20am. The 117 written exams will finish on Tuesday 7 November. Results are sent out via SMS and email from 6am on Thursday 14 December.