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A brief guide to your Preliminary HSC- from a 2015'er :) (1 Viewer)

justem

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Hi everyone! I have been thinking of making a guide like this for some time since I would love to impart some of the knowledge and skills I have picked up through my Preliminary year. Another BOS’er, rumbleroar also created a thread which is amazing and definitely worth a look too! Now, onto the guide (just so you can have a rough idea from where I’m coming from, I did society and culture, chem, bio, 3u English, 3u maths for my prelim year)

THE JUMP:
The jump from year 10 to 11 is quite substantial in my opinion, its nothing extreme, but there is a definite increase in the workload and if you’re someone who has picked up an extension subject than at times it can feel more like another 2unit sub instead of a 1unit. Nevertheless, it is possible to keep up to date with everything and still enjoy a social life (yes it does exist!)in your senior years, its all about prioritising and organising.

ORGANISATION:
This is the one word that has always been drilled into our heads but something a lot of people seem to struggle with, which isn’t surprising especially when it comes down to HSC time. Personally, what I found best to do was to prioritise my work. Some people create rigid timetables that they abide by religiously everyday but I found that extremely impractical because not every day was the same for me, on some days I had tuition or early leaves or sports and having a regimented routine was just ineffective. So instead, every day when I would come home from school I would make a list and write it on my whiteboard in front of my desk, and as I completed the task I would cross it off (this in itself was a very satisfying feeling).

For the list, I would prioritise my work according to the subject, when it was due and its importance. Contrary to what most people I know do, I actually prefer to do homework and then study if I have time remaining as I find that the homework sets a foundation for me, without which doing any past papers or exams would be useless since I wouldn’t know the content. Also if I knew I had upcoming assessments, I would allocate a portion of everyday to doing some light revision for the subject so that closer to the assessment day I wouldn’t be running around like a headless chook trying to cram a semester’s worth of knowledge into my mind.

Something else I found that also helps tremendously, is have a copy of your assessment timetable stuck up somewhere in your study area so you have an idea of what’s coming up and you can prioritise things effectively.
Also I cannot stress enough the importance of having a diary/ journal to keep up to date with all your work. Every time the teacher would assign any work or we were notified of an upcoming assessment, I would instantly put it when it was due down in my diary and it honestly was the one thing that kept me organised throughout the year. It’s also a huge help when you’re trying to balance extracurricular activities or a job with your academic commitments, scheduling is key!

stuDYING:

Assessments are around the corner and alas it is time to put your head down and study (not that you shouldn’t have been studying briefly before this anyway). Now obviously different approaches will work for different people and different subjects but I’ll just share what worked best for me but you can always adapt any method to suit your needs.

For content heavy subjects like society and culture (also applicable to H.S.I.E. subs) I would basically make notes throughout the year from the information I would take down in class. When it would come closer to the assessment, I would make practice essay/long response questions up on the content we had learned and just write responses, often getting my teacher to check them. Another essential technique I used was having a list of key terms along with their definitions that I kept referring back to, so that it would be easier for me to incorporate them into my responses and gain the most marks. Colours work really well for subjects like this, both in the organisation of your notes plus it makes everything much more pleasant to look at!

For 2U/3U maths, the best thing you can do is KEEP UP WITH YOUT HOMEWORK!!!! It may seem obvious, but once the year starts getting intense you may fall behind a few exercises and this can be potentially deadly so pleaseeeeee be up to date with your work. I would also create brief summaries for each chapter which incorporated key formulas and examples of hard questions that we may encounter in the tests. When I was doing my homework I would highlight any questions I had a problem with or didn’t understand and show my teacher the next day because there is absolutely no point in doing homework if you don’t know what you’re doing! Closer to the test, I would make sure to expose myself to more difficult questions whilst also reviewing over everything we had learnt in the topic (this included past papers as well as questions from Cambridge etc.)

When it came to the sciences (I did chem and bio) I used a combination of the two previous techniques to study. I would consistently write dot point specific notes for the two subjects throughout the year (I hand wrote them because I remember content better that way). I would also do as many questions as I could (particularly in chem with the god awful moles) and once again ask my teacher about any problems I had. When the assessments would come closer I reviewed over all my content (DO NOT FORGET YOUR PRACS THEY CAN POP UP ANYWHERE, ANYTIME) and did past papers to get a feel of the exam pressure.

To be honest I was probably the laziest for English, but reading your texts is very strongly recommended. Also creating brief summaries on your texts and concepts also helps tremendously when it comes to essay writing. The most useful tip however, would be to do as many timed practice essays as you can. That’s pretty much all I did and I found that to be the most beneficial technique because I got constant feedback from my teacher and improved accordingly.

Extensions:
If you’re doing either extension one English or maths in year 11, be prepared for essentially doing another 2u subject. Although extremely rewarding, it is important to stay on top of all your work for both extensions as it is easy to fall behind. For maths once again being consistent with your homework and thoroughly understanding the concepts is of great importance, so make sure you know your capabilities well enough before picking up the course. In regards to English, it is a much more conceptually based course than advance and requires much more critical thinking from the student. Again, if you feel as if you struggle in English or dislike the subject, do not pick up extension because you’ll most likely hate it.

Extra-Curricula’s (?):

Yes these still exist in senior years, and I cannot express how important it is to have a balance of both academic and other activities. During year 11 I was a prefect, a part of the debating team, did public speaking, was a peer support leader, did a leadership program with Reachout, had weekly sporting commitments as well as 2-4 hours of tutoring a week. Honestly, I would not forgo any of these extra curricula’s (maybe tutoring haha) because they kept me sane throughout the year. Not only did having so much to do help to keep me organised and manage my time better, it also acted as a break from the monotony of studying and doing homework.

It’s also important to have some sort of social life, don’t just cut off from all your friends because you gotta get dat .95, balance everything and live in moderation. In all honesty, this was probably my most social year in high school life and although my mother absolutely hate me going out so much, I had to do it for my own sanity and because I didn’t want to be a hermit. The value of sleep cannot be underestimated as well and before you say anything I was exactly in your position, thinking I was invincible and could work on 0-3 hours sleep. BAD IDEA. It is detrimental to your health and it does not improve your performance at school one bit. Eating healthy is also good to do but honestly, it’s your last two years of high school pig out on macca’s if you want to, who cares?


So in conclusion to this horrendously long guide I wish you all luck on your HSC journey, have fun in your preliminary year, work hard but don’t stress! Essentially your prelim marks don’t count towards your HSC, this is the time to make mistakes so you’re better prepared for year 12. Leave any questions or queries down below and I or any other BOS’er will be happy to answer them :D
 
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mreditor16

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hey em,

looks a great guide. you might want to do some formatting - bolding, underlining, italicising etc. etc. - just to sharpen it up :)
 

justem

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hey em,

looks a great guide. you might want to do some formatting - bolding, underlining, italicising etc. etc. - just to sharpen it up :)
Omg I know I typed this all on word with bolded headings and everything , bos just screwed up my formatting :(( working on it now
 

justem

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Ok hopefully thats better ^_^
 

beaubrah

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[emoji108][emoji108][emoji108][emoji108][emoji108][emoji108]


rexona <3
 

T-R-O-L-O-L

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Thanks for the advice and tips. Good to see that you covered a whole range of stuff that most of us will or have come across! :smile:
 

jess_skinner

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Definitely agree with writing lists and crossing them off as you go! It's also a great way to clear your mind as you have a physical list of things to do and you don't have to worry about forgetting things.
Another thing I found handy in my prelims and will continue to do throughout this year is to keep a diary and actually use it for ANYTHING you need to remember. I use my diary for homework (subject, exercise and question no./task necessary), as well as SRC activities, shifts for work, and general social activities. This way I can see when I have busy and not so busy weeks and I can plan ahead so that I don't become bogged down and running out of time to do things :) Good luck 2016ers :D
 

happypeople

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Great guide! Super realistic and accurate in terms of expectations for the senior years at high school! :smile::smile:
 

EarthSci34

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To all new Year 11 students,

I wish you all the best in your upcoming HSC journey! It will be quite rough, with it's disappointments and victories. I personally saw Year 11 as an eye-opener in which I knew that I would be compared to the rest of the state. My advice is to persevere always, not matter what marks, assessments or challenges you've got. Have a dream/ goal for year 11 and 12 and work hard to achieve it! :) Good luck and enjoy it!
 

SammyT123

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Thanks for taking the effort to write this up, this actually helped me clear my thoughts and helped me realise a few things I should have done a long time ago :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

carolX

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Thank you for this guide.
Just a question here, how do you balance your social life, I mean like prefects, and at the same timing getting good grades?
 

RivalryofTroll

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Thank you for this guide.
Just a question here, how do you balance your social life, I mean like prefects, and at the same timing getting good grades?
When it comes to balancing between your personal time, studying time, social life and any extracurricular activities, the key is TIME MANAGEMENT.

The techniques/strategies for organisation in this guide are examples of how to improve your time management. You may have your own time management strategies.

If you feel that you're juggling too much, you may have to make some sacrifices (e.g. less procrastination/personal time, cutting down on some extracurricular activities, etc.)
 

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