BlogStudyWhy the First Term of Year 12 is Critical for the HSC

Why the First Term of Year 12 is Critical for the HSC

Students studying together - Year 12 first term

Settled into the first term of Year 12, but just cruising through it?

While you’re still adjusting to the dynamics of your final year of high school, it’s important to remember that this term sets the tone for the rest of the year.

If you’re still on the fence about making more of an effort this term, while your marks will start counting from the first assessment you get, we’re here to give you that wake up call 😤

Now let’s get into why this first term of Year 12 is so critical!

Reason #1: Year 11 content consolidation
Reason #2: First assessment in Year 12 is worth 25% internally
Reason #3: Get your routine together if you haven’t
Reason #4: Work out if you’re going to drop a subject
Reason #5: Getting into the habit of balancing extracurriculars

Reason #1: Year 11 content consolidation

Transitioning from Year 11 to Year 12 can be challenging. Year 11 often feels like the practice round, but Year 12 is actually the real deal now — your marks count! 

This is why it’s important to use the first term for Year 11 content consolidation. It’s a great time to revisit and reinforce material from the previous year, so you can lay a solid foundation for the new content you’ll be learning.

If you didn’t already know, a lot of the content you’ll be learning in Year 12 will be built on what you learnt in Year 11. 

For example, HSC Biology requires the following prerequisite knowledge from Preliminary Biology:

Year 11 Biology Prior Knowledge Required

By not going over your previous learning gaps, you may have a harder time comprehending certain content because of the missing Year 11 foundation. You don’t want to get behind on content for the rest of the year, and not get on top of your learning gaps by the time your HSC Trial exams come around.

Reason #2: First assessment in Year 12 is worth 25% internally

Your internal assessment results play a huge role in determining your final HSC mark. This is your chance to maximise achieving as many marks as possible, because you’ll typically know what to expect with your internal assessments — external assessments can often catch you off guard with all the unseen questions.

If you don’t do as well in this assessment, you end up playing catch up over the following terms attempting to make up for marks lost. This can add to feelings of stress and anxiety, which can make the HSC year feel a lot more difficult.

Assessment Marks - First Term of Year 12

Set the tone for the rest of Year 12 by doing as well as you can with your first HSC assessment. Ask for feedback from your teachers and make revisions to your work — build up your feedback loop habits now.

Lock in as many marks as you can with your first assessment, so the rest of the year doesn’t have to be as stressful trying to regain missed marks.

“I flopped it”… What to do if you’re disappointed with your first Year 12 assessment results!

Reason #3: Get your routine together if you haven’t

Having a well-structured routine is important for success in Year 12! If you haven’t already established one, the first term is the best time to do so. 

This is where you’ll want to optimise your time management for handling studying content, completing assessments and other commitments you might have outside of school (extracurriculars are important too, but more on that later!).

In order to build a new habit, it takes 66 days on average for a habit to become instinctual. This equates to roughly one term — 7 days x 10 weeks.

Use this term to create a study schedule that suits your needs and stick to it. Consistency really is key to improving your academic performance, but it’ll also help you deal with reducing stress and anxiety that is often associated with the demands of Year 12.

Reason #4: Work out if you’re going to drop a subject

As you go through Year 12, you may find yourself dealing with what feels like an overwhelming workload, particularly if you are completing more than 10-12 units. In cases like this, you should think about whether dropping a subject is the right choice.

The first term of Year 12 is the optimal time to drop so that you can invest that “free time” into focusing on your other subjects.

Look at how you’re currently performing across all of your subjects, think about what you would like to pursue once you finish school, and seek advice from your teachers and careers advisor. 

Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of dropping a particular subject, and whether you would like to have a safety net of units to fall back on if you don’t end up getting the best of marks in a subject.

Need help deciding on which subject to drop? We’ve got you covered with our ultimate fact sheet here!

Reason #5: Getting into the habit of balancing extracurriculars

While your marks count for every single assessment that you do in Year 12, this year isn’t just about academics. It’s also about personal growth and development.

This is where extracurriculars come in. Some students may perceive extracurriculars as a distraction, or believe that only academic achievements matter, but this isn’t the case at all!

They play a significant role in helping students become well-rounded, particularly developing skills like leadership, teamwork and passion. Engaging in extracurriculars is also how you can achieve early entry into university — by discussing your involvement in these activities in your applications. 

You can learn all about successfully applying for early entry, scholarships and co-op opportunities with The New University Entry Game book!

During this first term, you’ll want to find the right balance between your studies and extracurricular commitments. Join activities that you’re passionate and interested in, but also consider how they complement your academic goals. 

We typically recommend partaking in 1-2 extracurricular activities, but these should be balanced and take into consideration the following factors:

  • Gaining work experience or earning money
  • Fun and re-energising to keep you sane
  • Helping you achieve early entry or scholarship opportunities

Extracurriculars Venn Diagram

Developing this balance early during the first term of Year 12 can help to make the rest of the year run a lot smoother!

Get all the resources you need for the term with our Year 12 Term 4 Content Guide!

Looking for some extra help to ace your first Year 12 assessment this term?

We pride ourselves on our inspirational HSC coaches and mentors!

We can help you ace your upcoming first assessment with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at one of our state of the art campuses in Hornsby or the Hills!

We’ve supported over 8,000 students over the last 11 years, and on average our students score mark improvements of over 20%!

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!

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