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79 Thoughts I Had Doing My HSC Biology Exam Eight Years After Graduating

Why is mitosis the only word I remember?

All images by Gyan Yankovich.

1. Oh, I remember that Board Of Studies logo.

2. Triggered!

3. Did I actually finish school in 2008?

4. I officially feel old.

5. I even wear glasses now. Jfc I probably wouldn’t even be able to read this exam without them.

6. From memory, I got 85 in biology.

7. There is literally no chance that I will get that now.

8. What I really want is a black Bic pen. It feels extremely weird starting an exam without one.

9. I wonder what my school hall looks like now. Probably the same.

10. Okay, let’s start this thing.

11. Arteries vs. veins. I knew this. Once.

12. Three answers down and I actually think there’s a chance I got them all right?

13. Homeostasis!

14. Ding ding ding!

15. Gyan remembers something!

16. Man, that one must have been drilled into my head damn well.

17. Polypeptide. Now, that’s a fun word.

18. If only I remembered what it meant.

19. God, it hurts realising your 17-year-old self was smarter than your 25-year-old self.

20. I guess I’ve learned some other things since then though.

21. I can cook rice now. That’s something!

22. Oh god, I just had a flashback of my teacher pointing to his toes to help us remember mitosis.

23. My-toe-sis!

24. Why do they even bother printing “blank page” pages?

25. Like, why don’t they just not include the page? What a wild waste of paper.

26. So, multiple choice is over. Dammit.

27. I have no recollection of the term “phloem tissue”.

28. Sounds fake but OK.

29. I miss the multiple choice section already.

30. I have completely lost it.

31. The ability to casually “design an experiment to test the effectiveness of a pathogen killing product” is far beyond me.

32. Mr Hogan would be so disappointed.

33. :(

34. Literally I don’t know the answer to any of these Part B questions.

35. I feel like a hopeless fool.

36. Oh, Darwin.

37. Love myself some Darwin’s theory of evolution.

38. Sweet little bilbies. They lose heat through their big ol’ ears. I know that one.

39. I think???

40. And back at it again with the shit I don’t know.

41. The composition of blood is no longer in my memory. Farewell, old friend.

42. And now, another “blank” page.

43. I hope that means that this section is over and done with.

44. Back to the multiple choice pls.

45. Oh no, it’s just gotten even harder.

46. There are graphs now. And tables. I simply cannot.

47. This is why I studied journalism instead of science.

48. I mean, I wish I had the power to save Tasmanian devils from their murderous face tumors but I just don’t think I do.

49. At least, I don’t anymore.

50. I wonder what I actually wrote in 2008.

51. I’m just going to pretend that it would have been great.

52. This exam just keeps going and going and going.

53. Now, meisos.

54. That sounds like my-toe-sis but different.

55. How unhelpful.

56. Oh I forgot to bring myself a writing booklet.

57. Let’s be real though - I have nothing to write about.

58. These questions are damn hard.

59. “Name TWO organic compounds produced by biotransformation technologies.”

60. I can name… NONE.

61. I will never get over the fact that I actually knew this stuff once apon a time.

62. No wonder the HSC was so fucking stressful.

63. And I’m done. It’s time to mark myself.

64. I will start with the multiple choice.

65. (Not that I was actually able to answer anything else.)

66. Oh shit, I got the first question wrong.

67. Damn those arteries and veins! (Not really tho, love you guys! Keep up the good work!)

68. 8/15.

69. I am ashamed.

70. Oh no, the marking is just getting worse.

71. “Candidates must have demonstrated a good understanding of dominant and recessive alleles.”

72. I just wrote: recessive genes.

73. I’m going to guess I wouldn't have picked up all three marks for that one.

74. I officially give up.

75. I got eight multiple choice questions correct, I'm leaving it at that.

76. Honestly though, I’m just thankful that 2008 Gyan had no idea how little of this stuff I would remember.

77. She would have been pretty pissed off, I bet.

78. Luckily, I think she’d be pretty stoked with the rest of my adult life.

79. So, it’s not all bad.

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