There were mixed emotions amongst Monaro High School's year 12 students on Monday after they sat their first exam of the HSC.
It kicked off with the first English paper for all students.
For some there was a sense of relief to get the first of their exams out of the way, while for others it was not quite what they had expected. And others said it was easier than they had thought it would be.
Ruby Wilkins said being prepared was the key.
Brianna Kerr said she thought it was easier than she had expected. "I didn't think it was very hard compared to questions from other years," she said.
But a number of students agreed that short response questions were harder than expected.
The HSC wraps up with the last exams on November 6.