Parents and guardians are wonderful things. They can support you financially and emotionally. They love and care for you despite of every brattish thing you have done/do/will do AND they are willing to keep this up while you are doing the HSC.

And if they are anything like my mum they are going to be trying to play it cool but you know they are freaking out on the sidelines, fretting over if they should help more.

But sometimes you need to give your parent or guardian a bit of guidance as to how to help you best, even if twelve double chocolate muffins really are in your best interest. Thus, here are 6 useful ways in which your parents can help you out in the HSC.

Cool mum1. Study room

Maybe you have siblings or pets, so if you are in need of a quiet place to study a great idea is to ask your parents if you could have a room set up for you to study in. Maybe it’s a converted part of the garage, the spare bedroom or maybe just the lounge room but you are allowed to kick people out from 4-6pm. Either way having this study space can do wonders for creating a good work environment.

If you need to figure out what makes a great study space, Milana has written an article just for it!

2. Rules

Keep telling yourself that you are going to study solidly from 6-8pm but you haven’t gotten round to it? Your favourite TV show came out or you were too busy learning about the average airspeed velocity of an unladened swallow. This is where your parents can come in.

When asked about whether her parent’s kept her accountable, Nayana (ATAR 98.85) said

“I would relay to them all what would be needed to be done by a certain deadline, and they would effectively motivate me to get those objectives done, they would support me during times of stress, while saving me from procrastination.”

Similarly if you are having trouble holding your self responsible, talk to your parents and organise some ways they can help. Nayana’s was to tell them about when assignments were due so that it wasn’t just something she was able to hide by herself.

Other ideas are to ask them to check in from time to time to make sure you are working or make it so you have to show them your work to be able to take a break. You may hate this when you are trying your hardest to procrastinate but your future self will love you.

The key is that this is a negotiation between all of you. It is unfair to just bring your parents in and expect them to provide all the motivation. Instead you are merely involving someone else in your plans so you are no longer able to make excuses to yourself and get away with it.

3. Healthy Snacks

From my observations and experience, HSC students tend to eat horribly. ‘Study chocolate’, loads of sugar and caffeine are put into your systems and while this may give short-term energy, it ruins your mental capacity in the long run. But making healthy snacks is time consuming, taking away from study so get some help!

Ask your parents to teach you how to make quick and easy healthy snacks or to leave out stuff for you to come and nibble on like apples or cheese sticks.

healthy snack ideas (1)

4. Tutoring Services

For some people, they can get by just fine without being tutored. For others, it helps to give them the edge, or to bring them up to speed. There is no shame in asking for a little bit of help – often teachers can be overwhelmed with the amount of work they do that they simply don’t have the capability to give one-on-one attention to each and every student.

Academic coaching companies can offer students a different way of thinking – a new perspective, or a new method. These can be invaluable to helping you stand out amongst your peers.

Even if it’s just for an exam, you might find tutoring is a great way to get what you need – to catch up, get ahead, or just see something in a new light!

5. Essay Proofreaders

Sometimes you need an extra pair of eyes to look over an essay because yours have become burning wooden balls in their sockets from over exposure.

Eye's burning


Your parents may not know much about Seagull by Chekhov, but that is where their strength lies: since they can’t fill in the blanks from their own knowledge, you can see if your arguments and assertions actually have strength and merit by themselves AND they will also look to your sentence and paragraph structure more to get meaning from it.

From there on, you might be surprised – you may have a new dinner topic!

6. Teaching

Educational research has actually shown that trying to teach someone else something increases your own knowledge on the subject. Christopher L. Fiorella stated in his article ‘The Cognitive Benefits of Learning by Teaching and Teaching Expectancy’ that,

“…actually teaching fostered deeper generative processing (i.e., processing related to making sense out of the material), which is critical for achieving long-term learning…”

By teaching, you are actually able to make sense of the content a lot better, and remember it in an easier to understand and recall form.

And this works, I had a friend in college who would grab everyone in the lounge room and force them to listen to her lectures on biology because it helped her a bunch. So grab your parents, or siblings, and introduce them to the wonderful world of trigonometry – I’m sure they’ll appreciate it!

Don’t forget to thank them!

A day may come when you all have to grow up, leave our homes and fend for ourselves. But it is not this day. An hour of torment and despair when the worries of the laundry and dinner are yours. But it is not this day! This day you have parents who can help you when you need that extra push to get through the HSC. Whether it’s helping to provide you with the many facets of a productive study environment or actually help you to learn content, parents are extremely helpful and amazing. Just don’t forget to thank them!

Caleb Barber feels that one of his biggest achievements in high school was that he did year 12 in 2012. Not able to decide on one thing that he wanted to do, he decided to go to university and become a teacher so that he could have an excuse to keep learning everything. So he moved from Nambucca Heads to Sydney and is now half way through an education degree at the University of Sydney. Caleb still sometimes feels like the country lad lost in the city. He is a coach of Mathematics and English with the Art of Smart and loving every minute of it.