It was always going to be a stressful year for Mark Wardman and John Reid.
But concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic have set the year 12 students' worries high.
Mark, who recently turned 18 and had to cancel his birthday plans due to gathering restrictions, has not been to school since Monday.
That was when NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian encouraged parents to keep their children at home if they could, to minimise further spread of the virus.
Instead, he has been getting by with a tutor.
"I went in [to school] on Monday just to get my textbooks and prepare to go home to study," Mark said.
"Everyone has a computer [at my school] but there are struggles with technology for those who are living out of town where the internet isn't as good."
Despite this week's uncertainty and the transition to online learning, his assessment schedules have not been changed.
He is expected to still keep up with the rigours of his final high school year, and even has a major assessment due for English on Friday.
But he is not alone, as students all over the state brace for unprecedented changes to the way the HSC has been done in the past.
It follows NSW Education Standards Authority's [NESA] announcement yesterday that it would not cancel the 2020 exams or HSC assessments despite the COVID-19 outbreak causing disruptions to education across the world.
As part of the provisions, NESA has given the power to principals to weight their school's formal assessment tasks appropriately to ensure no disadvantage. But what this will look like in time is yet to be fully known.
While the crisis continues to evolve, NESA will also continue to monitor the situation for students in work placements, VET, with practical works or major work assessments as part of their course work.
John, who is a fellow student at The Riverina Anglican College with Mark, is having to negotiate how he will continue working on his Industrial Design major work without access to his school's construction rooms.
"I don't have the tools, what I've got at home is like just toys compared to what they've got at school, but I've taken [the project] with me anyway," the 17-year-old student said.
"I'm lucky, I have uncles in the industry but they're four hours away so who knows if the restrictions will get worse and I won't even be able to go there."
With a house full of distractions, John is having to find a new strategy for his study regime, which includes leaning on his tutor and using her offices as a study space.
"My sister's home from boarding school, mum's trying to work from home, and we've got tradies at the house, so it's pretty hard to stay motivated," he said.
"Sitting at a desk all day is not as engaging as being in the room with your teacher.
"It's a matter of teaching myself instead of having the teacher right there."
At the end of last year, NESA had announced that students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 would not sit the annual NAPLAN exams due to the global health crisis.
But the same situation has not been afforded to those who will sit their HSC this year.
In a statement, NESA's COVID-19 response committee chairperson Professor Peter Shergold told senior students he empathised with their anxiety over the current uncertainty.
"We know you are worried," Professor Shergold said.
"While we recognise we are facing an unprecedented situation, we want to assure you that you will be able to get a HSC certificate this year, and that the certificate will facilitate access to university, further education and employment, as it has for students over the past 50 years."
But it is not just the new study schedule the students in Wagga are having to get used to.
Heading into winter and with the likelihood that the virus will continue to spread, Mark, John and their classmates are having to confront the fact that they may not be back physically in the schoolyard for many months.
"I know there have been a few schools that have done sort of a graduation celebration for their year 12's because they don't know if they'll come back to school at all this year," Mark said.
"I am worried about my [HSC] results. That's all I go to school for, there was already enough pressure on it."
To that end, Professor Shergold encouraged students to "keep learning, do your assessments as advised by your school, make progress on your major projects where you can and, most importantly, look after yourself whether you are at school or at home".
He also said that contingencies would be put in place to assist any student that become ill.
"Your school and NESA have provisions to ensure you are not disadvantaged," Professor Shergold said.