More than 30 James Sheahan Catholic High School students breathed a sigh of relief at midday on Thursday with the end of the HSC chemistry exam.
With just two days left in the exam period in NSW, the popular subject marked the end of year 12 for many students.
Rodreck Danda said the 'times up' announcement had been welcome.
"As soon as they said 'pens down' a smile came across my face," he said. "It feels great."
Mr Danda said he was hoping to study radiotherapy in Newcastle, but was planning on spending next year working in Orange.
Noah Bartlett hopes to study a double degree in chemistry and music in 2021, after taking a year off to teach music lessons in Orange.
On Thursday afternoon, his short term goals were a lot simpler.
"Relax for the first time in weeks," he said. "I might go to the pub," he said.
Mr Danda and Mr Bartlett went through primary school together at Catherine McAuley Catholic Primary School.
Mr Bartlett said finishing up didn't feel sad yet.
"More relieved it's over. The sadness will hit at graduation," he said.
The Sheahan year 12 students will celebrate the end of school at a graduation ceremony on November 23.
For Gemma Gailey the end was still a few days a way on Thursday.
Miss Gailey was hoping to study forensics at Australian National University next year and had her final physics exam on Monday.
She described her stress levels as "pretty high" compared to when exam period started on October 14.
"Chemistry and physics are both very content heavy," she said. "They make you think a lot."
Chelsea White said her pre exam routine had been to read over the notes on her flash drive.
"And try not to listen to people talking about answers before I walk in, it stresses me out," she said.
Miss White was hoping to work for six months in Orange next year before making the move to Melbourne.
When exam results are released on December 17, Miss White was hoping for a score which will put her on track for a teaching degree.
Lara Moriarty said she wasn't sure yet if university was for her.
The more pressing decision on Friday afternoon had nothing to do with school.
"I'm going with mum to the new gelato place," she said. "Then I'll go home and relax.
"I had extension maths earlier this week - I've been trying to study every day for a few hours."
The HSC will finish for NSW students on Monday with the Physics, Spanish Beginners, Design and Technology and Textiles and Design exams.
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...