You’re in an HSC exam, writing your short answers, essay or answering multiple choice questions and you look at the clock and have 10 seconds left! 

You know you could’ve done better and improved your mark in the HSC exam, if only you had more time!

Has this ever happened to you?

In this video and post, Rowan from #AOSTV shares two simple time management strategies to help you NEVER run out of time in a HSC Exam again!

Strategy #1: Create an Exam Plan of Attack
Strategy #2: Give Yourself 10% Less Time

Strategy #1: Create an Exam Plan of Attack

Whenever you go somewhere for the first time, it can be pretty stressful, right?

You’ve got to work out the best way to travel, the roads or route to take and how do you make sure you arrive on time.

That’s why we use things like Google Maps or Apple Maps, to help us get somewhere on time, safely and without stress!

In the same way you would use a map for your journey while travelling, you also need to have a map for your HSC Exam journey!

You need to identify exactly how you’re going to tackle that particular HSC Exam BEFORE you actually sit down to take it.

So, you need to identify: 
  1. How much time you want to spend per section of the exam
  2. How much time you’re going to allocate per multiple choice or short answer mark
  3. What order you’re going to tackle the exam in

By answering these questions BEFORE you sit your HSC Exam, you can ensure that you have a solid plan of attack and aren’t just making it up as you go along, and running out of time.

Action Point:

Step 1: Plan a Week in Advanced

The first thing you want to do is sit down a week before your HSC Exam and work out your answers to these questions:

  • How much time am I going to spend on each section of the exam?
  • How much time am I going to allocate per multiple choice or short answer mark?
  • What order am I going to tackle the exam in?

Make sure you do this at least a week in advance for all your HSC Exams!

To make this super easy for you, we’ve put together a free HSC Exam Planner that you can download below!


Step 2: Practice Your Plan

This is pretty simple: practice as if you’re taking the real HSC Exam. 

When completing practice papers, stick to your plan for how much time you’re spending per section, per mark and what order you’re going to complete the exam in.

The last thing you want to do is implement your plan for the first time in the actual HSC Exam, and practicing your plan as preparation will ensure this doesn’t happen.

Step 3: Make Any Changes

Now that you’ve been practicing with your HSC Exam Plan, if you’re finding that something just isn’t working, change it!

Maybe you’re spending too much time on the Multiple Choice section and not leaving enough time for your essays, whatever the case may be, you want to make sure you find these issues and change them BEFORE the actual HSC Exam.

Don’t forget to download your free HSC Exam Plan of Attack PDF below!

Strategy #2: Give Yourself 10% Less Time

Another super effective way of ensuring you don’t run out of time in your HSC Exam is to use the 10% Less Time Strategy!

This is a really powerful strategy and it’s really simple.

All you need to do is give yourself 10% less time when you’re practicing at home.

Sounds crazy, right? Why would you practice with LESS time if you’re already running out of time!

But hear me out: 

If you give yourself 10% LESS time when practicing, you’re going to become used to working with less time.

So, when you get to the actual HSC Exam, you can feel confident you’re able to complete the exam in less time than what you’re given, AND it will ensure you NEVER run out of time in your HSC Exam again!

This isn’t just a good strategy to make sure you don’t run out of time for your HSC Exam, but also to make sure you get time to double check your answers, complete any questions you might have missed or not finished and make any last-minute corrections!

Those corrections and changes could make the difference between a Band 5 and a Band 6 mark.

Action Point:

Step 1: Use 10% Less Time When Completing Practice Papers

So, if your paper is 120 minutes long, take 10% off that, 12 minutes less is 108 minutes, and practice within that time!

Do this for all the practice papers or timed responses you do for your HSC Exam and you’ll ace it when you actually get in there!

Recap: Strategies for Time Management in Your HSC Exam

To recap what we’ve learned today:

#1 Create your HSC Exam Plan of Attack and stick to it during practice and in the real thing! Make sure you’re clear on how much time you’re spending on each section, how much time you’re allocating per mark and what order you’re going to attack the exam in.

#2 Use the 10% Less Time Strategy when doing a practice HSC Exam Papers. This means giving yourself 10% less time when doing a practice paper, so when you get to the actual exam, you’ll feel confident, have plenty of time to work, and give yourself time to make corrections and last-minute changes!

Looking for a tutor to support you while you ace the HSC?

We pride ourselves on our inspirational coaches and mentors!

We offer tutoring and mentoring for Years K-12 in a large variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at our state of the art campus in Hornsby!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational tutor and mentor get in touch today! 

Give us a ring on 1300 267 888, email us at [email protected] or check us out on Facebook!

Isabella Hanley loves science. She loves science so much she’s making it her career. While completing her Bachelor of Medical Science she is also a Coach and Digital Content Manager at Art of Smart. She is super passionate about sharing her knowledge on surviving the HSC since completing the HSC herself in 2014. In her downtime she enjoys Netflix binging like a pro, singing in the shower and hanging out with her awesome rescue dog, Ruby.