VCE suc­cess could in part hinge on what stu­dents know about surf wax, car songs, and the ori­gins of the word “huh”.

More than 80,000 stu­dents sat the Gen­eral Achieve­ment Test on Wed­nes­day, which will this year be re­lied on more than ever to val­i­date re­mote learning re­sults.

The 43-page test, with 70 ques­tions and two writ­ing tasks, asked stu­dents to con­sider why “huh” was used in so many lan­guages.

Pupils an­a­lysed in­for­ma­tion about cars, in­clud­ing through songs by The Beach Boys, The Bea­tles and Queen, driver­less ve­hi­cles or car­bon emis­sions.

Other ques­tions drew on quotes from well-known writ­ers DH Lawrence and Mark Twain, ask­ing stu­dents to in­ter­pret their mean­ing.

One maths ques­tion that baf­fled many in­volved a ta­ble show­ing the com­po­nents of dif­fer­ent brands of surf wax called Grippy.

Gle­nea­gles Sec­ondary stu­dent Jess Fitzger­ald said “there were a few weird ques­tions”.

“There was one about surf wax, one about pH so­lu­tions, plas­tic cogs you could spin — it was a lit­tle bit weird,” the 17-year-old said.

“I thought it would be sim­i­lar to NAPLAN but it was re­ally ab­stract.”

Stu­dents wore masks dur­ing the three-hour test — which Jess said “a lot of kids did strug­gle with ” — and sat 1.5m apart.

“I ac­tu­ally liked hav­ing more space,” Jess said. “We got to spread out and when I put my head back my hair wasn’t touch­ing any­one’s ta­ble.

“It was so good to do the GAT, I thought I’d lose my fo­cus in 30 sec­onds but I’m not so wor­ried about the other ex­ams now.”

The next all-in exam will be English on Novem­ber 10, while lan­guage and per­for­mance ex­ams be­gin next week.

Gle­nea­gles Sec­ondary stu­dents sit the Gen­eral Achieve­ment Test. Pic­ture: JASON ED­WARDS

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