The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting our daily lives like we’ve never seen before – including what might be your HSC year! Whether you’re self-isolating and undertaking study at home or have online classes, the coronavirus is changing our daily study routines and the way we learn.

If you’ve felt your motivation levels dropping and procrastination levels rising, you’re definitely not alone – self-directed work takes a look of will power!

But there are ways to combat it!

We’re going to walk you through:
Why You Need to Keep Up Your Study
How to Study From Home
Your Daily Routine
Online Study Resources

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in!

Why You Need to Keep Up Your Study

It’s more important than ever to keep up your study NOW! Why, you may ask?

You might be feeling a huge sense of relief or even be celebrating that your school has been closed or assessments have been post-poned because of the coronavirus BUT this comes with great consequences.

There will now be even greater pressure on your performance in future assessments as it is likely that the weighting of these assessments will go up.

This includes your Trials and your HSC exams being worth more than originally intended!


That means it’s pivotal that you keep up the hard work now so you’re not:
  1. Under-prepared for future assessments
  2. Face even more pressure if assessment weightings rise

There’s also been talk that if the HSC exam block is cancelled, NESA will be relying on teacher estimations, your most recent assessments or even your Year 11 marks to come up with your final subject marks!

Therefore, it is key to make sure you stay on top of things independently while studying at home.

How do you achieve this? We’re about to walk you through our top tips for studying effectively from home and using that time wisely below!

How to Study From Home

Tip #1: Set goals

Motivation levels drop when you have no goal in sight. That’s why it’s important to set achievable goals each day so that you can keep motivated!

Setting goals also helps reduce procrastination as you have something you’re working towards.

At the start of each day, write up a ‘to do’ list – each morning, ask yourself, what do I want to achieve today?

Write these down, then designate them into a ‘high priority’ column and a ‘low priority’ column.

High priority means you have to complete something by the end of the day such as a Maths exercise whereas something of low priority may be an English assignment due in 2 weeks time.

Your daily high priority to do list may look something like this:

  • Finish Maths exercise 9.02
  • Make TEE table for 1 theme in English
  • Write practice paragraph for Modern

It’s good to have a physical list where you can cross things off as you go to give yourself that satisfaction of getting something done! It’ll also hold you accountable to do your work!

Tip #2: Use the Pomodoro study technique

Sitting down and studying for five hours straight works for very few people.

In fact, the best way to really get things done is to have regular breaks! This is why the Pomodoro Technique works.

Here’s how to use the Pomodoro Technique:
  1. Write down your immediate tasks for the day.
  2. Estimate how long each will take and split them into 25 minute intervals.
  3. Designate 5 minutes break between them.
  4. Set your phone to time 25 minutes. Get started!

When you break up your afternoon and evening, it should then look something like this:

Time Study Activity
1:00pm Finish Maths Ex 9, Q2-8 (20 min)
Mark maths homework (5 min)
1:25pm Break
1:30pm Attempt 2019 Maths past exam Q1-5 (25 min)
1:55pm Break
2:00pm Go through past exam Trotsky questions (10 min)
Write Trotsky practice questions (15 min)
2:25pm Break
2:30pm Write key points for Trotsky practice essay using notes (25 min)
2:55pm Break

You can also check out the Marinara Timer which is an online timer specifically designed to use the Pomodoro technique instead of using your phone!

PLUS download a FREE study planner that you can personalise below!

Tip #3: Block procrastination sites

Everyone procrastinates, especially on the internet. The best way to kick it is to force yourself into working by removing the stimulus.

Time-block distracting websites with SelfControl (Mac) or Cold Turkey (PC) works really well with Pomodoro as they will block the websites for an amount of time you set for yourself.

The sites I usually have to block are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit. Although, I know that I can access them on my phone, so what do I do? Put my phone on airplane mode.

I always suggest blocking it for your whole evening study so that you’re not tempted to procrastinate more than your allotted 5 minute break!

PLUS check out our video below on how to reduce procrastination for some extra tips!

Tip #4: Take initiative in self-directed learning

If your’e studying from home and don’t have access to your teacher, it’s important to take some initiative and begin some independent learning!

Here’s how you can undertake independent learning in 3 steps:
  1. Open up your class work and syllabus and see what dot point you were up to.
  2. Figure out how much of the syllabus you are meant to complete each week.
  3. Assign the appropriate amount of dot point to work on each day to complete that part of the syllabus for the week.

In these 3 simple steps, you’re able to map out a lesson plan for your entire week!

We also discuss some great online study tools that you can use while studying later on in the article!

Your Daily Routine

If you’re self-isolating at home for days on end, it can feel like you lose track of what time it is, let alone what day it is.

You might find yourself binging Netflix all day only to realise it’s 6pm and you got no work done!

That’s why it’s important to maintain a daily routine, even if you’re not at school every day.

We recommend sticking to school hours. Set your day up so you study from 10am to 12pm, then take a lunch break, before getting back into some study from 1pm to 3pm.

You day might look something like this:

This way, you’ve gotten 4 hours of study complete!

Make sure you also mix your day up so that you’re not studying for one subject the entire day.

PLUS download a FREE study planner that you can personalise below!

Online Study Resources

We’ve also made a list of top 5 resources that can help you with your online HSC study!

Resource #1: Khan Academy

Khan Academy has great free resources and is especially great for maths, science and computing. It is for all ages but also has other subjects at Secondary level.

NB: this uses the U.S. grade system but it’s mostly common material!

Khan Academy has thousands of explanatory videos that can help you understand a topic PLUS practice questions and exams so you can apply your knowledge.

Resource #2: OpenLearn

OpenLearn has thousands of free resources which come in the form of courses, activities and articles for a variety of subjects including Business, History, Science, Maths, Technology, Languages and more!

These resources are originally free taster courses aimed at those considering Open University but everyone can access it and they can be incredibly useful in consolidating your knowledge for a subject!

Resource #3: RMIT Learning Lab

The RMIT University Learning Lab gives you access to a wide range of online resources to help you improve in Maths, Chemistry or Physics for those in Years 11-12.

They have a huge bank of videos there to help explain science or maths concepts that you may encounter in your course PLUS free question booklets for you to work through!

Resource #4: Study Stack

Online Study Resources

Study Stack is a great online studying tool for any year that allows you to create your own flashcards online without even having to print them out!

They’re simple to use – there’s a keyword on the front and definition on the back. You can click the card to flip it and check the definition if you don’t know or click ‘Know’ if you’re confident!

You also have the option of using flashcards they’ve already created for subjects such as Business, History, Geography, Maths, Science and more!

You can also download Study Stack as an app on your phone to study on the go.

And that wraps up our ultimate HSC study guide during the coronavirus – good luck!

Looking for some online tutoring?

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We pair you with a fantastic tutor who will tutor you via video with an interactive whiteboard PLUS give you digital access to our world class resources so that you’re well prepared!

We’ve supported over 5,000 students over the last 10 years, and on average our students score mark improvements of over 19%!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational HSC tutor and mentor, get in touch today or give us a ring on 1300 267 888!