Senior students in the region nervously - or confidently - checked their phones for their ATAR results after years of hard work and study on Tuesday.
Kinross was the highest ranked school in the region, and 140th in the state listings, data from the NSW Education Standards Authority shows.
Among the ten best performing schools for HSC rankings in the Central West, just one public school made the list, Mudgee High School.
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Deputy Principal at Mudgee High, Dayne Rosolen said it was a testament to the students' hard work.
"The school's got a history of punching well above its weight in terms of results and you've got to bear in mind when you're comparing those results," Mr Rosolen said.
There's no private enrollment fees and those sorts of things, we've got a wide cross-section that's representative of the Mudgee community. And all those students that have gone through to year 12 have worked hard and achieved a very commendable set of results."
There were 73 results at a Band 5 of higher [80 or above], while 170 results were a Band 4, 5 or 6 [70 or above] - meaning 75 per cent of the results were 70 or better, with 29 of the 43 students (67 per cent of the cohort) achieving a result of 80 or greater.
The school points to the success of all 43 students that leave St Matthew's at the conclusion of 2019 having already received early entry offers to university, obtained apprenticeships/traineeships or permanent employment.
Justin McCarney, head of campus - secondary, said, "these results continue to highlight the outstanding work of our teachers and support staff in supporting, challenging and encouraging our students throughout their years of education at St Matthew's".
"Our school continues to be a viable and high quality education where students can achieve outstanding results and can be provided the opportunity to succeed in whatever field they choose to move into once they leave school," he said.
"We are proud of all of our students, and are proud of the tireless work of the staff in ensuring our students have the wonderful opportunities that are afforded to them."
'What's your secret' is a tough question that many successful students get asked, Ethan Rheinhardt from Mudgee High was confident he knew.
Ethan - ATAR of 95.35 - said it's about being well-rounded.
"I could say devoted studying the whole time or never differing from school or anything. But it's just being a well-rounded student and being able to enjoy yourself and apply yourself at the same time, because while it's important to study and succeed academically, you need to keep yourself down to earth or you'll just burn yourself out and stop wanting to go to school," he said.
"But if you can enjoy school, enjoy your mates, enjoy your teachers. Try to enjoy what you're learning even if it's a bit boring, just do your best then - look, if you do your best then you're already doing amazing."
Laura Treverrow from Mudgee High School - ATAR of 91.15 - said she was quite surprised when she saw that she'd exceeded 90 considering her goal was 80.
"I wasn't that nervous, because I kind of had prepared myself so I was a bit whatever so yeah when I got it I was really happy though. It's the best outcome," Laura said.
"Next year I'm going to Newcastle University to study medical engineering.
"I literally had no idea what I wanted to do and I just kind of had a little bit of a look around at my favourite subjects - bio and maths - so it just kind of directed me on that path."