TRACY Sherlock received her marks for the TAFE tertiary preparation course she completed in December and thought they were pretty good.
She had no idea she had topped the state in literature until two days ago.
One of her TAFE teachers called her and gave her context for her mark of 100.
Only one other person in NSW got 100 for the subject.
The tertiary preparation course is the TAFE year 12 equivalent.
“I hadn’t worked out what [the mark] meant on a state-wide level,” Ms Sherlock said.
“I was just pleased it brought my maths mark up a bit.”
Ms Sherlock enrolled in the course to prove to her son, a year 8 student, that if she could complete the HSC then he could too.
“I want to get a better job to provide for him,” she said.
“I didn’t do very well at school and sometimes that really bothered me.”
Ms Sherlock said one of the benefits of completing the course was that she could reference correctly, write an essay, complete a bibliography and source articles.
They are skills she will find valuable when she starts university in the middle of the year.
She plans to enrol at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst and complete a bachelor of arts in English and creative writing.
She said she was grateful to the staff at TAFE because they had given her the skills she needed to stick with a course.
“You don’t get spoon fed here [at TAFE],” she said.
Ms Sherlock said there were challenges studying alongside students who were predominately aged between 17 and 25, but she used it to motivate her further.
“It made me reflect on what I was like at that age,” she said.
Seventeen-year-old Tracy Sherlock never thought she would top the state in an academic subject.