Have you heard of the Law of the Lid?

The Law of the Lid tells us that whatever result you achieve in practice is going to be a lid on what you achieve in the actual exam.

This might sound crazy, but in reality practice is a lot easier than the real thing, right? 

For the actual exam, you’ve got time constraints, unseen questions, other people freaking you out because they’re writing quickly and moving through the paper fast!

Practice is always easier.

So, the Law of the Lid says whatever you get in practice is the maximum you’ll get in the actual exam. 

Understanding this law is super important in helping you prepare for you exams, and it also leads to the question:

Well how can I maximise what results I get in practice, so I can maximise my results for the real thing?

That’s where the +1 Strategy comes in. 

How does the +1 Strategy Work?

Let’s say your goal mark is 80%.

This means if you’re aiming for 80% in practice, once you get into the exam where conditions are much harder, you’re probably not going to reach that 80% goal.

That’s why you need to be using the +1 Strategy when you’re practicing and preparing for the exam.

Whatever mark you’re aiming to get, +1 and that’s your new goal in practice.

And this works because it pushes your lid higher!

So, how do you use the +1 Strategy?

Let’s say your goal mark is 80%.

Using the +1 Strategy, aim for 90% in practice. This pushes your lid from 80% to 90%.

Once you get into the actual exam, where conditions are much harder, if you’ve gotten 90% in practice, you’re likely to get that 80% you’re aiming for in the exam.

Action Point:

Step 1: Take out all your goal marks for each of your subjects (or write them down if you don’t have any yet)


Step 2: Apply the +1 Strategy. Figure out how you’re going to +1 this goal in practice, so you achieve it in the actual exam.

Looking for a tutor to support you to improve your HSC marks for school?

We pride ourselves on our inspirational tutors and mentors who can help support you!

With small groups classes, or personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at our state of the art campus in Hornsby, we can help you regardless of where you live!

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.