Name: Jessica Zhang
University Goal: International Global Studies & Linguistics (Combined Degree) at the University of Sydney
School: North Sydney Girls High School
Overall, how do you think you went in the 2020 HSC?
The HSC Exams went pretty well, better than Trials at least. I was more prepared than I expected to be.
Were the HSC exams what you expected?
Advanced English: Nervous but was more prepared than expected.
Physics: The content got a bit complicated in later modules, and it was a big jump between Preliminary and HSC, the questions combined multiple concepts which was a little challenging without practise.
Mathematics Extension 2: I was able to do more than I initially expected. School trial exams were difficult because the questions were harder – but not too difficult! I sat the exam at a chilled pace, was quite comfortable and I completed the entire paper. It was an easier HSC paper this year (but maybe as it’s the first year of the new syllabus)
Was there anything you wish you did differently?
I wish I had more confidence in Mathematics Extension 2. I need more practise, and wished I put more effort into this subject. I also struggled a bit with Complex Numbers because I didn’t do enough practise on the topic.
How did Talent add value to Year 12 and your overall HSC experience?
It was a different experience to other tutoring places. In comparison, I used to attend one in Campsie for Opportunity Class and Selective School, and it was just about completing mock exam after mock exam.
The approach at Talent 100 is similar to a classroom, and it was very important to cover the content thoroughly (and to do this multiple times). Talent 100 also has end of term exams, but they are designed to consolidate what has been learnt, rather than focusing on marks and ranks. Overall, Talent cultivates a great atmosphere for learning and the resources were exceptional – with a huge database of trial papers, past papers and workbooks with plenty of questions. This provided good practise and helped to consolidate theory and concepts which I used to help revise for school exams.
The mentality of Mentors at Talent is to genuinely help students – they are very approachable (this is easier than some school teachers which should not be the case given how much times is spent with school teachers versus Talent 100 Mentors) Instead, Talent 100 has subject matter experts who really know their respective fields, and can teach topics in a way that’s easily understood. It really makes their expertise and insights accessible to students.
Can you describe the teaching style of our Talent Mentors?
Mentors at Talent are passionate and enthusiastic, which is unfortunately quite rare in teachers at school, where it gets quite dry and boring.
It is always good to have someone who genuinely cares about what they are teaching!
How have our Mentors influenced your experience at Talent?
Mentors were definitely the selling point at Talent. They are highly capable and passionate about the field they were teaching. Mentors make their higher knowledge accessible to students which helps stimulate their interest and get them thinking about what they want to do in University.
Because of this, they are qualified to teach the subject, but at the same time there are candid interactions between Mentors and students which keeps that human element to the experience. One of my Mentors, Daniel Czapski created a Messenger chat for students to readily answer any questions they had. He truly went above and beyond what is required of him, and it was very helpful!
Can you tell us a little bit about your favourite class at Talent?
Definitely Physics as it’s a very engaging subject – even though I initially picked this up as a bludge subject at school to fill out units, but it ended up being very enjoyable.
How do you think the Talent 100 Scholarship program added value to your HSC?
It allowed interaction with fellow Talent 100 Scholars, meeting peers from different schools and was overall a really great experience. It was nice to meet people with similar goals and aspirations!
Learn more about Jessica’s Year 12 journey and Scholarship with Talent by clicking on the video below: