Harry hits HSC heights

Tumut High School Year 12 student and noted science whiz Harry Bottero scored an impressive HSC ATAR of 93.45.

Tumut High School HSC student Harry Bottero may not have needed a great ATAR, but he sure got one.

Harry already had unconditional entry to Australian National University for an Advanced Bachelor of Science, but this didn’t stop him achieving an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank)   of 93.45.

“I honestly wasn’t expecting that,” he said.

“I estimated that I would get in the late 80s.”

Indications that he had done so well came with a text message from NESA (National Employment Services Association) at 6am yesterday.

It informed him he had got a Band 6 result with extension 1 maths and Band 5 results in advanced English, physics, chemistry and science extension. He logged on to the UAC website at 9am and got his ATAR. He didn’t have a particular target score.

“I wasn’t really aiming for a particular score; I just wanted to get as high as was humanly possible,” he said.


His university admission was based on his ATAR estimate when he was in year 11.

“The estimate was roughly 96; I didn’t quite deliver that but this was a pleasant surprise,” he said.

He performed better that he expected in his English exam, but worse in chemistry.

“I got 89 in physics; one point off the top ten,” he said.

Knowing his immediate future was determined reduced Harry’s stress factor when he studied for and sat for the exams.

“It was so good to be able to relax,” he said.“I can speak for the others (who also got early entry) that once we got our offers our future was assured. It was a really good feeling as for most of us it happened during lockdown. That Harry and other students were able to perform well carries more merit considering obstacles like the state-wide Covid-19 lockdown on August 14.

“We had our trial exams and the week after we got sent home,” he said.


“It was really good to justify our efforts in the last two years as we spent maybe a sixth of it in lockdown. When we got early entries we could afford to take a step back. In retrospect, the entire process matters a lot less than it seemed in the moment.’

Harry said he had grown a lot as a person since he started Year 11, and that the amount of study he did for the HSC exams varied a lot.

“It depended on how motivated I was,” he said.

“I gave it a good go, but I could’ve done more. To students doing their HSC in the future, I would say it is definitely important to keep at it the whole year, and be consistent.”

Fellow Tumut High student Maddy Hibbert was also stunningly successful, making the 2021 2021 HSC Distinguished Achievers List for Extension English 2, Visual Arts and Music.

While not willing to reveal her ATAR, she is very pleased with it.

“Yeah I’m super happy with my result,” she said.


“It’s a lot better than I was expecting considering the challenges my year group has faced due to Covid over the past two years. I’ve got early entry into uni, but I have had to defer my offer so that I can work for a year and try to save enough money for uni accomodation for the next four years. I am especially pleased to have made the 2021 HSC Distinguished Achievers List for Extension English 2, Visual Arts and Music.”

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