So it’s nearly HSC exams and you’re still not sure how to prepare for the HSC? Don’t give up just yet!
Voted the Customer’s Choice, Clara knows what you need to do to stay on track.
Check it out!
Tip #1: Hand in Practice Questions During the Term
Your teacher has probably been nagging you to hand in an essay, and you still haven’t. Clara tells us why you should.
Did you realise you already will have graduated by the time HSC exams come around? This means that your teachers have a new priority and cohort they are responsible for.
If you find it annoying when you don’t get much feedback on your assessments – start handing them in when no one else is!
This way you can get what you want and more.
Don’t expect your teachers to be responding to your emails during the holidays or you’ll be in for an unpleasant surprise – remember they’re actually on holiday!
Clara emphasises these don’t have to be perfect essays, in fact, the more feedback the better as you’ll know what not to do and it’ll stick better.
By doing your essays early, you have way more time to improve and less room for mistakes! Everyone is cramming! No time to wait!
Do timed essays
A quick way to smash out those essays and prepare for the HSC is to do them timed. This means 40 mins per essay instead of spending a whole day just trying to get started.
By doing so you’ll get used to exam conditions, increase your confidence and receive feedback.
Clara recommends taking a short break and then looking over your essay with fresh eyes for any mistakes you made in the heat of the moment.
If your teacher is not able to read over it, it’s critical someone is – even if it’s yourself.
In your last term, you should be getting to a point where you can distinguish between a good and a bad essay. Which brings us to our next point!
Tip #2: Start a Peer Review Study Group
Don’t ditch your classmates just yet. As your teachers are likely not getting back to you during the holidays, a peer review study group is a great way to attain feedback.
In the last term, gather a group of students and form your group! Clara emphasises the HSC is when you’re all meant to work together as a cohort and thus there are pretty much no downsides!
There’s no better time to ask for some notes from the top student in your class or just some help.
A study group provides moral support and several perspectives on your work – which can sometimes be better than just your teacher’s comments.
Not sure what you should be looking for when marking?
Check out our article here that showcases what a Band 6 essay looks like and how you should be marking!
Utilise Google Docs and the suggesting function. This way your classmates can make suggestions that you can easily review, reject or accept!
Create a shared folder in Google Drive and add in your work to get feedback while also learning from your peers!
Want an extra challenge? Complete a practice paper together and go through it after!
Tip #3: Organise Your Life
Clara loves organisation and you should too.
To prepare for the HSC and be your most efficient self, you should be organising all areas of your life. Especially by Term 4.
While the holidays between trials and the HSC are essential, they should not make up for a term’s worth of study!
Clara wants you to leave time to rest!
By the time the holidays came around Clara was burnt out from studying too hard previously.
While getting your content down early is great, too much of anything can be bad. Aim for consistency, not just quantity!
The way Clara helped her students relax was by creating study plans. These were structured like a regular school day so that when the holidays came around essentially nothing changed!
9am starts, recess and lunch breaks – studying doesn’t have to be so bad! Remember those days where you’d head to the library after a 6 hour school day?
You’ve got this!
This meant Clara’s students had regular breaks and worked consistently on each subject.
If this doesn’t seem like your vibe, check out our other study plans here!
During the term, Clara would ask her students when they would get their homework done.
Don’t just write down what needs to be done but when!
Writing things down has also been a proven way to retain information and become more likely to achieve your goals!
So get on it!
Organising your study space
Your desk at home should be just as spotless as your desk at school.
Keeping a clean study space reduces the need for you to spend time outside in a library and unable to work at home!
By clearing your space, Clara sees it as clearing your mind and this is super important for general everyday functioning!
For the Ultimate Guide to Staying Organised, click here!
Clara is a big fan of Google Calendar!
Google Calendar has tons of great features to help you get your life together.
With colour coding, links to documents, due dates and more – it’s a valuable tool that you can have on you at any time so that you know what’s going on.
Without it, Clara says she’d be majorly lost!
Ever wanted to create your own forest? Don’t touch your phone or they die.
If this sounds motivating, be sure to try it out and add some friends to challenge yourself!
Clara even has her students added so that she can see how they’re going!
Tip #4: Build and Maintain Motivation/Confidence
Handing in essays for feedback is part of a larger picture.
What Clara says a lot of students struggle with during this time is their motivation and confidence.These two go hand in hand.
When you’re feeling motivated, you’re likely pretty confident and when you’re feeling confident, you’re probably pretty motivated! The best way to prepare for the HSC is maintaining your motivation and confidence.
While this relationship is fantastic, don’t use it as an excuse to keep practicing things you’re already good at.
If you’re bad at math, you should be spending more time on it! Don’t tell me you’ve kept this subject with the intention not to do well!
If you’re not motivated, Clara says you’re probably not comfortable with it.
Why is that? Keep asking until you find a good answer you can work with.
I don’t like maths. Why? Because I’m bad at it. Why? Because I don’t understand it. Why? Because my teacher confuses me.
And then work from there!
Remember, you’ve got this!
And those are Clara’s tips on how to prepare for the HSC in your final term!
Looking for some extra help with HSC English?
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Gabrielle Wong is currently the Digital Marketing Assistant at Art of Smart. She is a second year student at the University of Sydney studying a Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Studies majoring in Media and Communications and Marketing.