BlogWellbeingHow a 90+ ATAR Scorer Reduced HSC Exam Stress

How a 90+ ATAR Scorer Reduced HSC Exam Stress

Find that HSC exam stress is ruining your study and preparation?

Meet Laura, she’s an awesome Maths and English Tutor and our Coach of the Month for September 2019 due to her incredible work with students!

In Year 11 and 12, Laura achieved a 90+ ATAR and was Dux of her school. Most importantly, she managed to do all of this and prepare for exams without totally freaking out!

So let’s jump in and find out how Laura went from zero study to intense preparation with no stress in 4 simple steps.

Step #1: Make a Study Schedule for You!
Step #2: Don’t Study on the Day
Step #3: Prepare for the Clock
Step #4: Change Your Perspective

Step #1: Make a Study Schedule for You!

Before Year 11 and 12, Laura didn’t study AT ALL.

However, because she had to face her first real exam blocks, she knew she had to implement a schedule if she was going to avoid HSC exam stress.

The problem is, so many people study the wrong way!

Laura chalks this down to one cause:

Often, students will only structure their study around the notes they’ve taken in class. 

They follow the syllabus dot point by dot point as they power through their notes.

This means that they cover all of the content EQUALLY. 

As a result, they waste their time studying what they’re already good at WAY too much. This leads to an extremely intense schedule.

 Rather, Laura believes you need to make a schedule that suits YOU!

Because of the nature of exams, you need a wide breadth of extensive knowledge in a variety of topics. You don’t want to over-study a subject you’re well versed in while the study of your weaknesses stagnates!

This is what you should focus your schedule around. You need to take into account the content you missed out on. 

Spend more time studying your weaknesses, this way, you can make the most of your study time and ensure that you have time to relax and cool off.

By wasting less time on stuff you’re already confident in, your HSC stress will be greatly reduced leading up to exams!

Step #2: Don’t Study on the Day

Believe it or not, Laura actually LOVED exams.

This is a result of her ability to build up the right mentality before entering the room.

Often students enter exams flustered and filled with dread. This leads to extremely poor performance despite the student having a wide breadth of knowledge.

Laura says that often, such a stressed-out mindset is caused by how the student chooses to act on the day of the exam.

From her experience, the key piece of advice is:

Don’t study on the day of your exam

If you do, when you get into the exam, there’s a high chance that your brain will be cluttered with the last thing you were trying to memorise. As a result, you’ll be distracted from remembering the content that is truly relevant.

You need to give yourself time to calm down and clear your mind!

If you really have to study on the day, leave at least an hour to rest and de-stress before the exam.

Remember, stress is your WORST enemy in an exam.

Step #3: Prepare for the Clock

Knowing that you’ll be able to manage your time within an exam will greatly reduce your HSC stress!

Laura says:

Don’t wait until your in an exam to figure out where you’ll be putting in the most time!

Do your research. Take a look at how long the test is. Be aware of how many sections there are and what these sections are specifically.

Once you’ve done this, you should assign a rough amount of time you’ll take to complete each section within the exam.

This time shouldn’t just be random. Give yourself a bit of leeway for the sections that you usually find more difficult.

In doing this, you can rest easy with the assurance that when you get into your exam, you’ll have a far better chance of staying within the time constraints.

Step #4: Change Your Perspective

Laura saw many of her friends fall victim to HSC stress leading up to exams.

Sadly, some of them had to sit out exams because of the pressure and anxiety they felt.

These pressures were caused by numerous factors such as:

  • Competitiveness
  • Desired Uni Degree
  • Desire Uni brand
  • Social status

When looking at this Laura highlights the importance of keeping perspective and mindfulness.

It’s important to be aware of your feelings, not just your marks.

Yes, a bit of stress and pressure is important to get you studying and working hard. However, always keep in mind what is truly important in life.

In the scheme of things, the HSC will be a blip in your life.

This is said a lot, but the HSC isn’t the end of the world and it’s not the only way to get into your desired degree or career.

So while you should try hard and put importance to it, always keep in mind that it is not the be-all and end-all.

This hard to do when School has been your whole life up to this point. But remember, life is about balance.

You need to take time to look at EVERY part of yourself. This includes socially AND emotionally. Take time to talk to your friends and family and seek help if it ever feels like too much.

There’s NO shame in seeking help.

Being mindful of your situation and avoiding the vortex that is HSC exam stress will help you greatly as you work towards your desired future!

Want to Work With a Tutor Like Laura?

Laura is our Coach of the Month after being nominated by students and parents!

One parent said:  “Our tutor Laura has been amazing support for my 15 year old son. She has worked with him on Maths and English, helping him with assessments and exam preparation which has improved his understanding and his marks. Thanks Laura! We hope to continue with her as we head into the HSC!”

We pride ourselves on our many inspirational mentors and tutors just like Laura who can help support you during the HSC.

With small groups classes, or personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at one of our state of the art campuses in Hornsby or the Hills (if you need tutoring support in Rouse Hill), we can find the perfect tutor for 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 TikTok!

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