• We need YOU to help the next generation of students in the community for the new syllabus!
    Share your notes and trial papers on our Notes & Resources page
  • Like us on facebook here

Would St Marys be an upgrade? (1 Viewer)

Dauen Wu

Active Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
136
Gender
Male
HSC
2022
Hello all,

I am a current Year 10 student who is thinking to make the move to St Marys as a backup / alternative if i fail selective for year 11. Do you think that St Marys would be a good substitute in comparison to a selective school.

i heard some people say that the school is good, whilst others say it's bad. I'd appreciate a verdict given by anyone who went to SMSHS or had any close friends with a graduate or student from the school.
 

Accurate

joint
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Messages
165
Location
joint
Gender
Male
HSC
2021
Hello all,

I am a current Year 10 student who is thinking to make the move to St Marys as a backup / alternative if i fail selective for year 11. Do you think that St Marys would be a good substitute in comparison to a selective school.

i heard some people say that the school is good, whilst others say it's bad. I'd appreciate a verdict given by anyone who went to SMSHS or had any close friends with a graduate or student from the school.
If I checked correctly the rank is 220. Though rank isn't everything, it can give you some insight on the academic performance of the school, if that's a good rank to you then perhaps consider moving.
 

Dauen Wu

Active Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
136
Gender
Male
HSC
2022
I have heard that the school produced lots of people that have an ATAR of 99.95 which is really good considering they are not in a selective environment.
 

vivillon

New Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
9
Gender
Female
HSC
2021
I would apply either way. I currently attend SMSHS and the application process isn't lengthy at all. If your current school's ranking is better than I would stay there however if not, it's a great school so far. There are many clubs and opportunities given to you if you decide to go! Tbh, just apply to it on top of your selective schools. If you get into those, you dont need to worry about it and if not, going to SMSHS isn't a bad alternative :))
 

Dauen Wu

Active Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
136
Gender
Male
HSC
2022
I would apply either way. I currently attend SMSHS and the application process isn't lengthy at all. If your current school's ranking is better than I would stay there however if not, it's a great school so far. There are many clubs and opportunities given to you if you decide to go! Tbh, just apply to it on top of your selective schools. If you get into those, you dont need to worry about it and if not, going to SMSHS isn't a bad alternative :))
Thanks, quick question how are you finding the teachers, students and the education system (because you have to self teach yourself apparently which my parents are hesitant about..)
 

TheShy

New Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Messages
22
Gender
Male
HSC
2021
Thanks, quick question how are you finding the teachers, students and the education system (because you have to self teach yourself apparently which my parents are hesitant about..)
Teachers are all really good, especially my physics teacher, great at explaining things. The self-study is true, however the teachers gives you more than enough resources to self study. We even have tutorials after school if you need further help
 

lolzdj

New Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
21
Gender
Male
HSC
2020
Teachers are all really good, especially my physics teacher, great at explaining things. The self-study is true, however the teachers gives you more than enough resources to self study. We even have tutorials after school if you need further help
Who do you have as a teacher?
 

Dauen Wu

Active Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
136
Gender
Male
HSC
2022
Teachers are all really good, especially my physics teacher, great at explaining things. The self-study is true, however the teachers gives you more than enough resources to self study. We even have tutorials after school if you need further help
that sounds pretty good..
 

Cherrybomb56

Active Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
302
Gender
Female
HSC
2021
I would apply either way. I currently attend SMSHS and the application process isn't lengthy at all. If your current school's ranking is better than I would stay there however if not, it's a great school so far. There are many clubs and opportunities given to you if you decide to go! Tbh, just apply to it on top of your selective schools. If you get into those, you dont need to worry about it and if not, going to SMSHS isn't a bad alternative :))
which clubs have you joined?
 

lolzdj

New Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
21
Gender
Male
HSC
2020
Do you both go to SMSHS? If so, could you please tell a bit about your experience and how the school is.. thanks :)
I'll just sum it up. I came to SMSHS from Blacktown Boys in 2019 - I'm in Year 12 now. When I first got here, the atmosphere was very warm and welcoming; they encouraged us to tryout for SRC, do clubs, camps and so forth. My goals were pretty much purely academic, so these things were inconveniences. Not gonna lie, it was pretty tough to resist the whole 'social atmosphere'. That being said, there are plenty of people like me - quieter and more studious than the rest (kpop/anime/gentlemans society lol) - who were still fun to hang around. I've made some good friends in my time here. The school pretty much has every personality type, you'll always find someone. In my experience, you actually start to warm up to the environment after some time. The autonomy/layout of the school is a huge benefit. It's easier to focus on your goals if you're not constantly worried about other things other schools make you do.

If you want to succeed here, you have to be VERY autonomous. I say this as one of the few people who actually does this. The teachers are SUPER willing to help you. You just have to ask. There are qualified people in every faculty that are capable in helping you improve in every way. I can't say this enough though: YOU HAVE TO BE PROACTIVE. Too many people in my grade rely on the course delivery of the teachers/resources, notes and advice they provide for their assessment tasks. The best example of this are the poor souls who used the In Focus textbooks for MX1, and now Fitzpatrick (slightly better; but the guy writing the books is dead) as a primary resource to study for their exams. This is basically what the teachers recommended. The questions in the exam did not match the style of the textbooks.

To succeed, you need to become a god of gathering/using resources. It's a symbiotic relationship. I've spent many hours scouring the internet/bos/discords and whatever else I can get my hands on (by way of networking etc) and putting it altogether in a Google Drive. Your study methods should be centered around always going beyond - doing the hardest questions, or dedicating the most amount of time to something. E.g. I have files that have summarised the MX1/MX2 HSC papers by topic, so I can go back and revise what I need to that standard. In order to prep for the HSC, you need to expose yourself to as many types/levels of difficulty of questions as you possibly can. The more the better. Simply relying on one textbook won't cut it. Familiarise yourself with the NESA website, and constantly ask questions about whatever you're learning (in the context of the syllabus) - look at the sample questions NESA puts out and compare it to your own level. Ask yourself if you're prepared enough. You can do this for the sciences as well: learn content; make sure you're thorough (don't blindly follow teachers - know the syllabus, and dont be afraid to ask for help from more than one place if you're confused), then do past paper questions, then past papers under timed conditions. This is pretty much what the old cohort used to do, with the exception of having to constantly ask questions to clarify what you need to know. It's a symptom of the new syllabus.

Try and develop your own style of learning. Learn from the mistakes you made in the preparation for your last exams, and be proactive about what you're doing. 90% of the things you do in a day are habits. Fix them. I personally stopped making notes. Instead, I bought high quality ones online and use those. They work perfectly well. Instead of typing up notes, I spend my time reading them and answering questions (the only thing that actually helps you improve in any subject). I have no idea why people underrate/underutilise the lifehack of answering questions to get better at things. The questions in an exam will require you to explain an aspect of a flowchart you memorised, not re-draw it, so figuring out how to draw out marks and answer the question properly - while also solidifying your knowledge through recalling it is critical.

Getting a high ATAR will require you to do that ^^ no matter what school you're at. I would say the only disadvantage is that there aren't many like-minded people (if any at all, all rounders) at SMSHS. It becomes harder to self-motivate at that point. If you go to the right tuition college (this is bascially what all the selective kids do anyways, many of them use tutoring as a primary means to learn), and put in the right amount of effort, and draw knowledge/wisdom from various resources, you can basically guarantee that what you're doing is right. Personally, St Marys reduced my stress levels heaps by basically allowing you to be as comfortable as you'd like - as opposed to under the strict regime of a normal school. It's on your shoulders whether you use it for good or evil.

TL;DR - A nice social environment, but requires you to support yourself to succeed (like at basically every other school).
 

Dauen Wu

Active Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
136
Gender
Male
HSC
2022
I'll just sum it up. I came to SMSHS from Blacktown Boys in 2019 - I'm in Year 12 now. When I first got here, the atmosphere was very warm and welcoming; they encouraged us to tryout for SRC, do clubs, camps and so forth. My goals were pretty much purely academic, so these things were inconveniences. Not gonna lie, it was pretty tough to resist the whole 'social atmosphere'. That being said, there are plenty of people like me - quieter and more studious than the rest (kpop/anime/gentlemans society lol) - who were still fun to hang around. I've made some good friends in my time here. The school pretty much has every personality type, you'll always find someone. In my experience, you actually start to warm up to the environment after some time. The autonomy/layout of the school is a huge benefit. It's easier to focus on your goals if you're not constantly worried about other things other schools make you do.

If you want to succeed here, you have to be VERY autonomous. I say this as one of the few people who actually does this. The teachers are SUPER willing to help you. You just have to ask. There are qualified people in every faculty that are capable in helping you improve in every way. I can't say this enough though: YOU HAVE TO BE PROACTIVE. Too many people in my grade rely on the course delivery of the teachers/resources, notes and advice they provide for their assessment tasks. The best example of this are the poor souls who used the In Focus textbooks for MX1, and now Fitzpatrick (slightly better; but the guy writing the books is dead) as a primary resource to study for their exams. This is basically what the teachers recommended. The questions in the exam did not match the style of the textbooks.

To succeed, you need to become a god of gathering/using resources. It's a symbiotic relationship. I've spent many hours scouring the internet/bos/discords and whatever else I can get my hands on (by way of networking etc) and putting it altogether in a Google Drive. Your study methods should be centered around always going beyond - doing the hardest questions, or dedicating the most amount of time to something. E.g. I have files that have summarised the MX1/MX2 HSC papers by topic, so I can go back and revise what I need to that standard. In order to prep for the HSC, you need to expose yourself to as many types/levels of difficulty of questions as you possibly can. The more the better. Simply relying on one textbook won't cut it. Familiarise yourself with the NESA website, and constantly ask questions about whatever you're learning (in the context of the syllabus) - look at the sample questions NESA puts out and compare it to your own level. Ask yourself if you're prepared enough. You can do this for the sciences as well: learn content; make sure you're thorough (don't blindly follow teachers - know the syllabus, and dont be afraid to ask for help from more than one place if you're confused), then do past paper questions, then past papers under timed conditions. This is pretty much what the old cohort used to do, with the exception of having to constantly ask questions to clarify what you need to know. It's a symptom of the new syllabus.

Try and develop your own style of learning. Learn from the mistakes you made in the preparation for your last exams, and be proactive about what you're doing. 90% of the things you do in a day are habits. Fix them. I personally stopped making notes. Instead, I bought high quality ones online and use those. They work perfectly well. Instead of typing up notes, I spend my time reading them and answering questions (the only thing that actually helps you improve in any subject). I have no idea why people underrate/underutilise the lifehack of answering questions to get better at things. The questions in an exam will require you to explain an aspect of a flowchart you memorised, not re-draw it, so figuring out how to draw out marks and answer the question properly - while also solidifying your knowledge through recalling it is critical.

Getting a high ATAR will require you to do that ^^ no matter what school you're at. I would say the only disadvantage is that there aren't many like-minded people (if any at all, all rounders) at SMSHS. It becomes harder to self-motivate at that point. If you go to the right tuition college (this is bascially what all the selective kids do anyways, many of them use tutoring as a primary means to learn), and put in the right amount of effort, and draw knowledge/wisdom from various resources, you can basically guarantee that what you're doing is right. Personally, St Marys reduced my stress levels heaps by basically allowing you to be as comfortable as you'd like - as opposed to under the strict regime of a normal school. It's on your shoulders whether you use it for good or evil.

TL;DR - A nice social environment, but requires you to support yourself to succeed (like at basically every other school).
Thank you so much! I appreciate the time you put into writing this, I will certainly take on your feedback :)
 

TheShy

New Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Messages
22
Gender
Male
HSC
2021
Hey, could you also tell me your thoughts about St Mary's also.. thanks :)
Much like what @lolzdj said. It focuses on self learning and self teaching but the teachers are more than welcome to help you with that. They give you a lot of resources and provide after school tutorials. In the end, its up to you how you choose to deal with it. They'll give everything that you need, but its up to you to use them properly.

As for me, its only been like 3 weeks? (I think) and I really liked it so far. I came from APHS before and St marys is completely different to APHS. In Marys you get a lot of freedom. You get a couple of free periods every week and you can use that time to go to the library and study or just chill with your friends. And if you get yourself a nice group of friends, it'll reduce the amount of stress you receive.

Overall, its all about you. You should be able to use the resources you get and use them properly. A few weeks in you'll get used to it and you should have a fun time
 

Dauen Wu

Active Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
136
Gender
Male
HSC
2022
Much like what @lolzdj said. It focuses on self learning and self teaching but the teachers are more than welcome to help you with that. They give you a lot of resources and provide after school tutorials. In the end, its up to you how you choose to deal with it. They'll give everything that you need, but its up to you to use them properly.

As for me, its only been like 3 weeks? (I think) and I really liked it so far. I came from APHS before and St marys is completely different to APHS. In Marys you get a lot of freedom. You get a couple of free periods every week and you can use that time to go to the library and study or just chill with your friends. And if you get yourself a nice group of friends, it'll reduce the amount of stress you receive.

Overall, its all about you. You should be able to use the resources you get and use them properly. A few weeks in you'll get used to it and you should have a fun time
That sounds amazing.. thanks for the reply :)
 

Dauen Wu

Active Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
136
Gender
Male
HSC
2022
Is it even possible for me to try out for SMSHS, my grades were crap in my sem 1 report I got 2B’S and the rest A, and in my sem 2 report I got 4A’S and 4B’S, my comments were also mediocre since I didn’t focus in my elective subjects… However I have a ton of awards and I do like 27 extra curricular.. would that be good.. please tell my chances :(
 

lolzdj

New Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
21
Gender
Male
HSC
2020
Is it even possible for me to try out for SMSHS, my grades were crap in my sem 1 report I got 2B’S and the rest A, and in my sem 2 report I got 4A’S and 4B’S, my comments were also mediocre since I didn’t focus in my elective subjects… However I have a ton of awards and I do like 27 extra curricular.. would that be good.. please tell my chances :(
If you write a solid entry letter that focuses on being independent/your extracurriculars and what you want to get involved in, you should have a good chance of getting in. SMSHS doesn't look primarily at academics.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top