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April 07, 2020, 06:09:49 pm

Author Topic: Going through the HSC whilst dyslexic - succeeding & taking 4 unit English  (Read 464 times)

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sunbunbri

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Hi there friends, as I have had some time to reflect on my HSC results and this past year as a whole, I just thought that I would make a post sharing my experience as a student with dyslexia going through the HSC. For context, I have always known I was dyslexic and often found it very difficult to come to terms with, in year 11 I finally accepted it and decided to tell my school formally about my dyslexia. My school was incredibly supportive and often times forgot that I had dyslexia as my internal marks and essays were fantastic; side-note, you can see all my internal essays and assignments under the notes I have uploaded if you would like to :) .

Whilst some students and staff were a bit shocked that I decided to undertake the subjects I did, I was never really discouraged from taking 4 unit English and all essay-based subjects. I am also incredibly stubborn and when I want something, I go out and do it lol. As all my subjects were primarily assignment-based, I had the time to account for my dyslexia, however often struggled with exams. I remember vividly my advanced teacher coming up to me after marking my trial exams and telling me that whilst my essays were brilliant, she worried that my handwriting and issues with spelling would bring down the mark I deserved to get based off of what she knew I could do during the HSC exam.

Unfortunately, despite providing evidence and undertaking a reading comprehension exam for NESA, my dyslexia provisions were denied, I tried to appeal them and they were denied for a second time. Meaning I had to undertake my HSC exams without any provisions to accommodate for documented dyslexia. It sounds awful, but I have come to learn that this is unfortunately the case for thousands of students around NSW seeking provisions for their learning disabilities and/or individual circumstances. As a result I very much feel like my results and overall outcome of my HSC were affected, however there is not much I can do about this and have come to terms with this fact and my results as a whole. Life is not fair, especially when you have a learning or reading disability/difficulty. Overall I am incredibly proud of my ATAR and results, I received a 94.30 and a band 6/E4 for Society & Culture and English Extension 1, receiving high band 5's (3x cusp band 6's, so ANNOYING HAHA!) for the rest of my subjects. I achieved this whilst dyslexic without any dyslexia provisions whatsoever .

I wanted to write this to share my experience with other students who will be or are currently undertaking their HSC and also have a learning disability, reading comprehension difficulties or dyslexia. More selfishly, I also wanted to write this as a cathartic release of my frustration surrounding my situation. What happened to me sucks, but unfortunately it is not uncommon. If you are currently undertaking your HSC and are in a similar situation, I just want to let you know that you are not alone in this and I promise you that you can and will succeed. You might have to work twice as hard and put in triple the effort, but I promise that if my experience can teach you anything, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Also remember that despite the 'ranking' and thus inherently competitive nature of the ATAR and HSC, life nor academia are races. Take it at your own speed, try your very hardest and I promise that you can and will get to where you want to be one day.

Good luck  :)

« Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 01:05:23 pm by sunbunbri »
HSC 2019: Adv Eng (89), Ext Eng 1 (46), Ext Eng 2 (44), Modern History (86) Society & Culture (95), Chinese Continuers (89) & Chinese Ext (43).

ATAR:   94.30

2020: Bachelor of Education (secondary) & Bachelor of Arts - English & History @ USYD

brenden

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Re: Going through the HSC whilst dyslexic - succeeding & taking 4 unit English
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2019, 10:33:50 am »
+5
Well done. That's amazing. Happy to hear you'll be in the classroom!
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angewina_naguen

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Re: Going through the HSC whilst dyslexic - succeeding & taking 4 unit English
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2019, 10:55:54 am »
+7
Super inspiring read! This post really resonates with me because it speaks to a huge reason why I also chose to pursue teaching. There is a definitely huge issue with the HSC regarding equity and fairness, something which doesn't get raised enough in the state. As you've cited, it ultimately affects so many students, whether this be due to learning disabilities/individual circumstances or overall socioeconomic disadvantage. I'm sure that as you move into your time studying your teaching degree, this will all become far more apparent.

That being said, a massive congratulations on the results which you have achieved! They are a testament to your resilience and determination and you should be more than proud of how you went  :) It is through stories like yours that we can combat what is otherwise a rather unjust system and to encourage other educators to strive for a better system which is student-centred and growth-oriented. I'm hoping to hear lots more from you on the forums and how your university journey will go  ;D


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sunbunbri

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Re: Going through the HSC whilst dyslexic - succeeding & taking 4 unit English
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2019, 11:35:11 am »
+4
Super inspiring read! This post really resonates with me because it speaks to a huge reason why I also chose to pursue teaching. There is a definitely huge issue with the HSC regarding equity and fairness, something which doesn't get raised enough in the state. As you've cited, it ultimately affects so many students, whether this be due to learning disabilities/individual circumstances or overall socioeconomic disadvantage. I'm sure that as you move into your time studying your teaching degree, this will all become far more apparent.

That being said, a massive congratulations on the results which you have achieved! They are a testament to your resilience and determination and you should be more than proud of how you went  :) It is through stories like yours that we can combat what is otherwise a rather unjust system and to encourage other educators to strive for a better system which is student-centred and growth-oriented. I'm hoping to hear lots more from you on the forums and how your university journey will go  ;D

Thank you so much! It is really lovely to hear this from you, I have admired you on the forums silently for over a year now  ;D . I actually decided this year to pursue teaching as a result of my dyslexia and issues gaining provisions and support from NESA/the education system as a whole. I am from a public school in the Western suburbs, and unfortunately this issue and testimonies like mine are more concentrated out here. Here is an article on it. I hope that through pursuing a secondary teaching role I will be able to assist in changing this so that future students don't have to go through what I did.
HSC 2019: Adv Eng (89), Ext Eng 1 (46), Ext Eng 2 (44), Modern History (86) Society & Culture (95), Chinese Continuers (89) & Chinese Ext (43).

ATAR:   94.30

2020: Bachelor of Education (secondary) & Bachelor of Arts - English & History @ USYD

Pearlmilktea

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Re: Going through the HSC whilst dyslexic - succeeding & taking 4 unit English
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2019, 12:35:52 pm »
+4
Wow I'm so proud of you Bri! I have always admired your grit and passion which is so evident on the forums and your study account. It's so enlightening to hear about your experience and it makes me so happy that you're pursuing education. We need more individuals raising awareness about educational inequality (which I definitely hope to fight against too, but through the media and journalism).

Wishing you all the best in your next steps !  :)
HSC 2018: French Continuers (92)
HSC 2019: Biology (94), English Adv (92), French Extension  (41), Legal Studies (91) and Italian Beginners (95).

ATAR: 98.45
HSC All-rounder :)

Gracie :D

sunbunbri

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Re: Going through the HSC whilst dyslexic - succeeding & taking 4 unit English
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2019, 01:54:13 pm »
+3
Wow I'm so proud of you Bri! I have always admired your grit and passion which is so evident on the forums and your study account. It's so enlightening to hear about your experience and it makes me so happy that you're pursuing education. We need more individuals raising awareness about educational inequality (which I definitely hope to fight against too, but through the media and journalism).

Wishing you all the best in your next steps !  :)

Hey Gracieee, thank you so so much! I am really proud of how you did with your HSC also, that is incredible! Good luck in uni, we arts students should catch up when it all begins and get some boba and lunch hehe!  ;D
HSC 2019: Adv Eng (89), Ext Eng 1 (46), Ext Eng 2 (44), Modern History (86) Society & Culture (95), Chinese Continuers (89) & Chinese Ext (43).

ATAR:   94.30

2020: Bachelor of Education (secondary) & Bachelor of Arts - English & History @ USYD

Pearlmilktea

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Re: Going through the HSC whilst dyslexic - succeeding & taking 4 unit English
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2019, 11:16:56 am »
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Hey Gracieee, thank you so so much! I am really proud of how you did with your HSC also, that is incredible! Good luck in uni, we arts students should catch up when it all begins and get some boba and lunch hehe!  ;D


Aw thank you! Omg yes to boba and lunch ! Pearl milk tea ftw <3
HSC 2018: French Continuers (92)
HSC 2019: Biology (94), English Adv (92), French Extension  (41), Legal Studies (91) and Italian Beginners (95).

ATAR: 98.45
HSC All-rounder :)

Gracie :D