HSC tips

Are your Trials or HSC exams fast approaching? Think you’re screwed for the HSC because you’ve fallen behind in class or have done little or no exam prep? Need some HSC tips?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

This article will take you through 5 Key HSC Tips so that you will not only survive your HSC, but maybe even get that high mark you think is unreachable!

First Things First: Where are you at?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably in 1 of 2 positions right now: procrastinating or in overload mode! 

1. The Procrastinator

You haven’t made study notes all term, you haven’t been revising and you haven’t been paying attention in class. You’d rather watch Netflix, game and make constant trips to the fridge, until there is no more food left.

You’re probably reading this article because you’re procrastinating… am I right?

In other words, you’ve basically done nothing HSC-related all year but it’s ok, it happens, and importantly it’s not over yet!

If this is you click here to find out your 5 HSC Tips for Procrastinators that will save you!

2. Overload Mode

Whenever anyone asks you to do something extra, you want to respond with a big fat yes!

You really want to do well in the HSC but you have so many other things on – sport, music, family commitments, friends to see.

You try to make notes and study when you can, but you’ve still fallen behind. With one hundred things crammed into your week, you feel screwed for the HSC simply because you don’t have time!

If this sounds like you, click here for 5 HSC Tips for the Overloaded that you NEED to put in place!

5 HSC Tips for Procrastinators

1. Determine what’s motivating you
2. Learn your syllabus
3. Have a rewards system
4. Keep accountable
5. Use class-time effectively

1. Determine what is motivating you

Before you scroll down and skip over this step because it sounds lame or not something you think will help you, there is a reason this is my first HSC tip!

Just stop and think for a moment, why are you actually doing the HSC…

Is it because:
  • Everyone else is doing it?
  • Your parents are making you do it?
  • You need an ATAR to get into further study (e.g. uni, TAFE)?
  • You want an ATAR for your own sense of achievement?
  • You want to beat a friend?
  • Or are you not sure at all?

If there is nothing motivating you to do the HSC, then you’re not going to be motivated to study. Notice I said what is motivating YOU, not your mum, not your, dad, not your friend, not your teacher, but you!

Few students actually want to do the HSC because they enjoy it, rather, they want to do the HSC because of the opportunities it opens – I’m sure you’re sick of people talking about opportunities, but let’s be real, it’s true.

HSC tips

2. Learn Your Syllabus

If the word ‘syllabus’ makes you recoil because you think it’s a whole bunch of useless information, it’s time to face facts:

The syllabus is your best friend for the HSC – which means you need to know it, what’s in it and everything about it!

If you don’t already have them, find them here and print out the syllabus for each of your subjects.

Ideally, you need to understand every syllabus point – do this if you have time. 

If you don’t have enough time: go through and mark on the syllabus what you do and don’t understand. Go through briefly what you do know.

Spend the most time on what you don’t know, using the most effective study technique for you and the particular subject:

HSC tips

3. Have a Rewards System

If you’re a major procrastinator, you’re not going to just magically start studying 24/7.

So instead, create a rewards system for yourself based on this simple time formula:

HSC tips

This basically means you get one third of the time you spent studying as a reward break!

Start off with shorter bursts of study:

HSC tips

And slowly increase to longer periods of study:

HSC tips

Just make sure you’re actually studying in your set study hours!

4. Keep Accountable

There’s no point having an effective study-rewards system if you’re not sticking to it! To avoid procrastinating during your allocated ‘study’ times, have someone keep you accountable.

The best person is someone who is around you the most – like your mum or dad.

Give your accountability person your study-rewards schedule and give them your phone, TV control, laptop, lunch etc. and tell them not to give it back to you until you can show them the completed work.

If you’re serious about saving your HSC, then do this, because it works! 

5. Use Class Time Effectively

If you think you’re screwed for the HSC then you’re probably not using class time effectively. If you still have class time, you need to learn how to use it properly!

We’ve written an awesome article outlining the 3 simple steps to maximising class time, that will help you save your HSC!

5 HSC Tips for Those in Overload Mode

1. Set your priorities
2. Breathe
3. Make a study plan
4. Effective study
5. Maximise your class time

1. Set Your Priorities

Write down everything you have to do in the week and then rank them from most to least important.

It might look something like this, for you to then fill in the blanks:

Consider whether you can drop anything, but remember you still need a balance – don’t cut out your family, friends, sleep and exercise, just so you have more study time!

2. Breathe

Yes this is a tip on its own, yes it’s important.

Take a moment to breathe.

Don’t freak out that you’re behind, don’t compare yourself to others – you have different commitments to other people, different goals, different academic levels and different skills!

You’re all different, so why bother making comparisons and worrying yourself!

HSC tips

3. Make a Study Plan

Write out a weekly study plan, allocating time based on your priorities of all your HSC tips and stick to it! Make it your desktop background, stick it on your wall, even give it to a parent to keep you accountable.

It might look something like this:

Note: Before you freak out because of the overwhelming number of colours and tasks, it’s only because there are lots of things to do seeing as you have a hectic life! BUT if you look closely, they are actually manageable time slots. It is very doable!

HSC tips

Notice how the HSC does NOT have to take over your life. There is still time for family, friends, sport, music, personal time and whatever else you may have on!

4. Effective Study

Be smart and effective with your study time seeing as you don’t have a lot. Do what is most effective for the way you learn and the particular subject.

Some examples are:

5. Maximise Your Class Time

You have to be in class and you spend majority of your school week in class, so don’t get distracted or merely ‘attend’ class, but make the most of your class time.

We’ve written an awesome article outlining the 3 simple steps to maximising class time, that will help you save your HSC!

Hopefully these top 5 HSC tips for procrastinators and those in overload mode will help you achieve HSC success!

Need some extra help to make sure you’re going to 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!

Lauren Lai was keen to move on from anything HSC-related back when she graduated from Cheltenham Girls in 2013. However, after realising so many students go through similar academic, motivational and wider life struggles, she joined Art of Smart Education to share her experience with and encourage current students. Lauren is in her fourth year of Law/Social Research & Policy at UNSW and has a passion for Indigenous rights. Lauren loves Jesus, exploring forests and staring up at the moon for a solid few minutes whenever she gets the chance.