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Study/Motivation Tips (1 Viewer)

Without Wings

Super Moderator
Dec 15, 2003
I've taken everyone's tips from a range of threads and put them all here so they are easier to read. Thanks to everyone who contributed their study and motivation tips. Feel free to add any tips you have

Studying Tips
Remember everyone studies differently, therefore just because something worked for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you, so pick and choose wisely and don't feel you have to do something on this list just because it worked for another student.

Bored of Studies also has a range of study tips and links available here: Bored of Studies.

General Studying Tips
• Studying is something learnt. Don't expect it to come automatically. And furthermore, you won't be able to study well for something you hate.
• When you do study successfully reward yourself with something fun.
• Organise your subject notes and resources using an effective system. Keep your exercise books/papers neat so that you will actually want to open them up and look over them for study. This might mean colour-coded pens, line breaks, legible handwriting, etc.
• Use the syllabii to structure your notes. You can even turn each syllabus point into a practice question by putting an appropriate key word at the beginning.
• Cramming: Some people say that cramming doesn’t help. But others believe it does. Make use of your time the best possible way, which may include cramming the night before and the morning of the exam. But don’t forget you also have to study throughout the year too!
• Some people find that studying ahead makes the information a lot easier to digest when you face it in class.
• The key to HSC success is CONSISTENCY, you have to keep studying throughout the year you can't just cram the whole course in a few weeks
• This is for subjects with a practical and theory component, eg dance, music, drama, possibly art as well. Don't let yourself get lazy once the prac part is over, once you've performed your pieces or handed in you BoW or whatever...there is still a theory exam to be gotten through and it's equally important!

Methods of Studying
• Use a variety of techniques that suit you. Find the best method that suits you. Know your preferred learning style (visual learner, auditory learner or kinaesthetic learner)/ This may be: writing notes, doing practice questions, reading your textbook, mind maps, recording your notes and listening to it, colour coding your notes etc.
• Do a lot of past papers. These are a great way to practice applying your knowledge to a question, and familiarise yourself with how your exams will be structured. You can get your teachers to marks your answers and suggest improvements.
• Remember there are strategies which work better for different subjects, therefore you may not necessarily use the same method for every subject.
• Some people study well in groups or with a partner, if this is you organise study groups or a study partner.
• For certain subjects some students find memorising practice essays is a great way to remember quotes, techniques, statistics etc. But remember if you do this then you have to adjust the essay to suit the question, you can't just spit out the same response every time! A lot of teachers, past students etc will tell you that memorising essays isn't the best way to study.
• Repetition: review what you have learnt the previous day
• When studying for maths re-write the formula in each question you do to assist with remembering it
• For English subjects, read widely. Read your prescribed texts ASAP so that if needed, you have time to re-read them. Study-guides are useful but not essential. SparkNotes: Today's Most Popular Study Guides is a good resource.
• Practise writing fast and legibly for English subjects.
• Work consistently through the year, that's very important. If there's something you don't know, make sure you do more of it, and practice it, especially with maths. Don't avoid it.
• Sitting down with someone perhaps and talking and arguing through the points in the syllabus is a source of preparation for subjects where you need to write argumentative essays, such as economics, modern history or extension history. It also helps you to develop and share understandings.

Concentration Tips
• If you can't concentrate, then forcing yourself generally WON'T work. What you need to do is either convince yourself to study or more likely, change your environment. e.g.: noise, seating, light, room smell (fresh air does wonders).
• Go to the toilet before you start a study session, fill a water bottle up, and shut the door behind you. That way you have any excuses to get out of your chair.
• Take breaks between studying. Don't sit at your desk for three hours. Rest every now and then, or switch subjects. Study in short periods of time, with breaks if you have a short attention span.
• Try studying at the local library or in a boring room to limit distractions. This environment may suit you better.
• Some people find that giving up drinking juice, soft drinks, coffee and anything else and only drinking water when you are thirsty will increase concentration levels.
• Some people find taking vitamins, herbs etc such as gingko biloba, helps improve their memory, concentration and alertness.
• Listen to soft, quiet music whilst studying.
• Make sure your desk is well lit.
• Make sure you are sleeping well.
• If you are stressed take a breather. Do something else until you calm down and get back into the right frame of mind for studying. At that point, you probably won't be able to do anything and will burn out if you try. Just go out and forget about the HSC for an afternoon. Once you've had your break, everything will be back to "normal".

Time Management Tips
• Set aside a certain time period every day or however frequently (but keep it strict) and study during that time.
• Create study notes as you go. Seems simple enough, however it is often over looked and left last minute. If you are able to create them at the end of each chapter or unit it makes studying that much easier, basically because you do not have to spend vital time creating them.
• Set yourself to finish revising 3 days before the exam so that during those last 3 days, you can do some light revision and relax.
• Make sure you do all the things you'd normally do, provided they don't mess with your regular study, but this I mean girls/boys, work, sport, etc. It really is important to have some outlet, ie, for me, sport.

Sources of Assistance
• Talk to your teacher about the course, the content, any difficulties you are having etc to gain a better understanding.
• Don't try to go through the HSC on your own. Help your friends out and they will help you out. Support each other, and you will be much better of and the stress will be less.
• Get all the advice you can - talk to other students who did well in your subjects
• Use the resources available to you on the web. That includes the bored of studies forums, resources and biki.
• Take advantage of opportunities for extra work/study/tutoring in subjects that you're weak in or really want to excel in. For example if your teacher offers extra assistance take it.

The Idiot’s Guide to studying just prior to, and during the HSC exams (by glitterfairy)
glitterfairy said:
In a perfect world, everyone would have started typing up their study notes months ago, and have everything memorized precisely 2.3 weeks ago. However, few of us are perfect, so here’s some advice that came out of my own cramming session back in ’04. Enjoy!

* dates and times being played with below are actual HSC 2006 ones.

I’m going to begin by giving a rough timeframe of when things should happen. Even if this is “too late” for you, it’ll still give you an idea of what you should do first. A "study outline", if you will.

A few weeks prior to the HSC:
It goes without saying that you should know what your HSC 2006 Exam Timetable is by now. This is also the time when you should either start getting your study notes together, or be writing study notes in a group. If you don't already know exactly how the paper is going to be set out, now is the time to get hold of a past paper and have a look through it!

Often people can become overwhelmed by the sheer size of the content you have to cover. Don't fall into the temptation of staring into empty space, thinking "omg so much... omg too much... hello fail!" Rather, just start it! Break up your content into more managable pieces. Most subjects have several parts to them - for example Eng Adv can be broken up into modules, Ancient History can be divided up into Personalities/Societies, and so on. For the few subjects that can't, just start from the top.

Many people like to retype their notes during this time. This is perfectly fine, and will likely be very useful later on :) In the rare event you don't know the way you can study most effectively yet, now's a good time to experiment :p Whether it's speaking notes out loud, bribing yourself, discussing topics with friends, discussing topics to your pet goldfish, locking yourself in your room, disconnecting the internet... do it!

If in the event your school notes or pre-existing study notes are in total disarray, sort them out before you try making sense of them.
* If all your subjects are mishmashed together, putting them into piles according to subject is your first point of call. Just organise them on the floor - a table might not be big enough!
* When notes are already sorted by subject, sort them into 'sections' and staple any notes that should be kept together. Alternatively if a bunch of notes are already stapled but you feel they shouldn't be, just rip them apart (however you should never rip up a textbook! lol).
* Keeping your notes from falling apart: I used big elastic bands to keep sections separate, and used either a giant elastic band or some ribbon to keep the different study note sections of a single subject together. This worked like a charm - not only could I easily reach for say, my "General Maths" stack or "Ancient History" stack, but it was very easy to pick out a particular piece of information (say, "Techniques" in Module B of Adv Eng), and also to see if there were any "gaps" in my study notes which needed to be filled.

* To put some order into your study notes so they are easier to study
* To figure out what the heck you actually need to know for the exam
* To get a stronger grasp of the syllabus (this is more important than you realise - having an idea of what is and isn't crucially important makes "last-minute-selective-cramming" somewhat effective)
* To make life a hell of a lot easier for yourself down the track

The week or so prior to the HSC:
Now that the notes have been typed up, it's time to test your grasp of the content by doing practice papers TO TIME, and by hand. If in the event you have not done your study notes yet, start now - but remember to prioritise!

In either circumstance, I strongly suggest putting a calendar or planner together - I had several sheets of paper stuck up on my wall for this purpose, and I'd cross off days as the exam period progressed. Some people are suprisingly calm during their hsc, others are reduced to pulp-like figures of panic, not knowing what to do next and too stressed out to decide what to do. Having a "Today is the 21st of October, and you are going to study English Extention 1" on your wall can be very helpful!!! For those who need to do some serious prioritising between typing up study notes and studying for an upcoming exam, a calendar/planner will help keep you organised, as opposed to letting you finish typing up Ancient History notes 10 minutes prior to your Maths exam starting.

Ah, but what to study first? The subject you have no clue on, or the one that's coming up in 5 days? As a general rule I preferred to give myself 2-3 clear days of cramming per subject just prior to an exam (adjust accoringly depending to your study habits and challenge level of subject).

This is a typical HSC study plan

18th Oct - Study English AOS
19th Oct - Study English AOS
20th Oct - ENGLISH AREA OF STUDIES EXAM 9.20am to 11.30am / rest <-- account for both mornings and afternoons
21st Oct - Study English Adv
22nd Oct - Study English Adv
23rd Oct - ENGLISH ADVANCED EXAM 9.25am to 11.30am / Study Ancient History

Here's an example of what your planner could look like if you need to juggle writing up study notes and actual cramming:

24th Oct - Study Ancient History
25th Oct - ANCIENT HISTORY EXAM 9.25am to 12.30pm / Write up English Ext notes
26th Oct - Finish English Ext notes
27th Oct - Write up General Maths notes
28th Oct - Write up General Maths notes
29th Oct - Study General Maths
30th Oct - Study General Maths
31st Oct - GENERAL MATHS EXAM 9.25am to 12.00pm / Rest <-- good to put some rest moments in
1st Nov - Study English Ext
2nd Nov - Study English Ext
3rd Nov - ENGLISH EXTENSION EXAM 9.25am to 11.30am

In odd circumstances where you have two exams on the one day, or two exams over 2 days, then still give yourself a few days per subject but you can set it out something like this:

4th Nov - Study History Ext
5th Nov - Study Textiles
6th Nov - Study Textiles / TEXTILES AND DESIGN EXAM 1.55pm to 3.30pm/ Study History Ext
7th Nov - Study History Ext / HISTORY EXTENSION EXAM 1.55pm to 4.00pm

^In situations where you have an afternoon exam, remember you still have that morning to study. The opposite holds true for morning exams.

When you KNOW one subject will require significant more study than others, factor this in. Here, the "weak" subject is Ancient History.

15th Oct - Study Ancient Hist
16th Oct - Study Ancient Hist
17th Oct - Study Ancient Hist / English AOS
18th Oct - Study English AOS / Ancient Hist
19th Oct - Study English AOS
20th Oct - ENGLISH AREA OF STUDIES EXAM 9.20am to 11.30am / rest <-- account for both mornings and afternoons
21st Oct - Study English Adv / Ancient Hist
22nd Oct - Study English Adv
23rd Oct - ENGLISH ADVANCED EXAM 9.25am to 11.30am / Study Ancient Hist
24th Oct - Study Ancient Hist
25th Oct - ANCIENT HISTORY EXAM 9.25am to 12.30pm / English Ext notes

Some people are pedantic about studying in "chronological" order. That's fine too

26th Oct - Study General Maths <-- maths first
27th Oct - Study General Maths
28th Oct - Rest / Study Eng Ext <-- then english ext
29th Oct - Study Eng Ext
30th Oct - Study General Maths <-- and back to maths
31st Oct - GENERAL MATHS EXAM 9.25am to 12.00pm / Rest
1st Nov - Rest / Study Eng Ext
2nd Nov - Study Eng Ext
3rd Nov - ENGLISH EXTENSION EXAM 9.25am to 11.30am

It's also perfectly fine to "split" days, if that's most comfortable for you

4th Nov - Study Textiles / History Ext
5th Nov - Study Textiles / History Ext
6th Nov - Study Textiles / TEXTILES AND DESIGN EXAM 1.55pm to 3.30pm
7th Nov - Study History Ext / HISTORY EXTENSION EXAM 1.55pm to 4.00pm

Bear in mind this is not the ONLY, "best" or "most effective" way to study during exams. It's just the way I did it, and it worked for me.

I started my planner by working backwards, from the last exam to the first. Why not the other way around? Because you're always relying on knowing how much time the following subject will take to cram before you can plan how the preceeding one is going to fit. When in doubt, give more time to the study of a subject than less. And do remember to give yourself rest periods as well! Be realistic about what you can expect out of yourself.

Two important things to keep in mind when doing a planner:
* Towards the end of the exam period when freedom is in sight, it becomes harder to study. So either give extra time to this subject, or ensure all study notes for your last exam are done in advance!
* Anything longer than 2-3 days between exam tends to send people into "holiday mode", and it becomes hard to pick up the pace again after this especially if you had several days of rest/bludging. Be alert to this sort of thing (or make sure you have stuff planned every single day even if only a half day), and you'll have a better chance of disciplining yourself.

And remember - Daylight Savings comes in Sunday the 29th of October!

Particularly if you are preparing for a exam which is heavily based on the regurgitation of information (Maths, Textiles, any subject with loads of definitions or multiple choice sections) a "Master" set of study notes or "Cheatsheet"is something you may wish to work on during this time. Now that you're somewhat familiar with the syllabus content, pick out the most important parts and put them together. Dot points usually work best - don't even TRY memorising entire paragraphs. It's a good idea to try and keep these master notes/cheatsheet as condensed as possible, or do a more extended 'preliminary' one now and a condensed one later, or a shorter one now and a more extended version just prior to the exam when you know you've already memorised most of the stuff (whichever works best for you).

When you've already done one past paper, search for another! Alternatively if you are working on a particular section such as Module B of the Eng Adv paper, just search for questions for that either via internet, friends, school, making them up on your own etc. I spent a lot of my time last year pulling out random essay questions out of a hat :p Sometimes knowing your stuff isn't enough - for essays you need to be able to answer a question and to make your response look good.

* To become more familiar with exam content
* To mark when Daylight Savings comes in!
* To do as much as you can to ensure things can run like clockwork during the exam period

The few days prior to your first HSC exam
It's time to start preparing for your first exam - ensure you are familiar with exam paper layout and all exam rules. Time all attempts and ensure they are handwritten unless you have special provisions.

When preparing for an upcoming exam I like to be completely focused on one thing at a time. I like to start off with a hard copy of a past exam paper in front of me and I'll work section by section, normally "hardest" to "easiest" (theory here is that even if I spent more time than intended on say, Module A (Transformations) in the Eng Adv exam, I can confidently pull out three decent responses as opposed to 2 decent ones and 1 crap one.

Ideally, at this point you do not want to be running into "OMG I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS *crawl into a hole and die*" type moments. However it is quite likely that this will happen at least once during your HSC period. The important thing is to try and remain calm, and use all the resources avaliable to you. HSC Online. The HSC Advice line. BOS (there are a lot of post-HSC students such as myself still roaming the academic forums). Tutors. Classmates. The earlier you find your problems (this is why it's a good idea to tackle the scariest part first) the more time there is to fix it.

On a side note, I like to make a habit about talking to classmates a few days before going to exams. Time has shown that one person's strengths are another's weaknesses, and so on - the greater your "knowledge pool" is, the better off everyone is. But a word of caution! Some people find 'group studying' or group discussions in general to be detrimental and frustrating as opposed to helpful. Even if they're your best friends don't assume that means instant compatibility as studybuddies... if this is the case, don't push it and just find someone else to study with :)

Particularly if you are preparing for a exam which is heavily based on the regurgitation of information (Maths, Textiles, any subject with loads of definitions or multiple choice sections) a "Master" set of study notes or "Cheatsheet"is something you may wish to work on during this time if you haven't already. Rather than having to repeatedly trawl through a very heavy set of notes, you can compile all the really important stuff (or, just ALL the stuff) into a more compact set of notes that is easy to cart around and certainly more digestible for the mind.

Hint for when you need help: The more specific you are the better. If you ask someone to tell you all about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern because you know nothing, the person you're talking to is most likely to say "uhhh, I don't know. Buy a study guide?". However if you ask something like "What are some particularly good existentialist quotes in Hamlet's monologue?" you're going to get a more detailed, specific answer.

The importance of handwriting trial responses: Fact #1: Most people type faster than they can handwrite. Fact #2: Developing speed-writing skills takes practice Fact #3: The art of handwriting requires slightly different thought processes than computer typing. For starters, there's no backspace key. You have to get used to a) trying not to screw up and b) quickly crossing out (DO NOT WHITE OUT, WAITING FOR IT TO DRY WASTES TIME) is something you only get used to whilst handwriting. Additionally, some people like myself find there is a different kind of flow to writing/reading handwritten work... while you're at it you might also want to work on your speed-writing legibility ;)

The importance of knowing what your exam paper looks like: Even if your teacher has "explained" it to you, there's nothing quite like seeing it for the first time. You cannot afford freakout moments during the exam, as they take up valuable time and can dislodge precious crammed information... and heaven forbid you find a section of the exam paper no-one's told you about! Also - knowing exactly what's in the paper, how many related texts will be required, and how many marks are allotted to what will give you an idea of how much time you're supposed to spend on a particular section. Sometimes suprises pop up, such as the Board requesting two rather than one related text or the integration of an unseen stimulus text for the English Extension 1 essay. Whilst rare, things like this do and can happen and you should try to prepare yourself for them. Don't assume that simply because it's already been done that it won't or can't be done again!

The importance of understanding time management during the exam: When the exam is over, it's over. So that means if you're "behind" by about 20 minutes, you're not going to be allowed to continue. Get used to the idea of working with a time limit - the exam is not only testing what you know, but also your ability to write a response within a particular time frame (as a general rule, the more marks a question is worth, the more time you should spend on it). Only with timed practice will you gain an idea of what you can write within a particular time frame - if you are writing less than what you need to, then you know you need to start condensing, or developing speedwriting skills.

Establishing a pattern and sticking to it
Regardless of whether you're a "day" studier, or a "night" studier, or somewhere in-between, now is not a good time to be having erratic waking hours - it's good to try and get 6-9 hours of sleep around the same time each day. :)

Make sure you have the right stuff before walking into your exam room!

Need a ruler? Make sure you have one. Need some pencils? Take two! And a pencil sharpener! Is there a possibility you need an eraser? If you need a calculator, make sure you have one - AND that it's not about to run out of battery. If you're not sure, make sure you have a spare, even if you have to borrow from a Yr 10 student or something. Make sure you have everything BEFORE the night before, which is when you could be concentrating so hard on your studying you can barely think of anything else.

My pen of choice for exams is the Pilot BPS-GP-F/M. The smoothness of writing with this pen is to die for. Nonetheless, regardless of what pen you're using, make sure that it works the night before, and ALWAYS take at least one spare into the exam room.

Additionally, you will only be permitted to use see-through pencil cases (plastic sleeves also work well). This was a rule in 2004 but does not appear on the list today, however I assume it is still in effect. Can someone please confirm this?

For a more detailed list of what is and isn't permitted in the exam room, see here

* To get enough sleep each night
* To either know all your notes inside out, or to have a master set of study notes/cheatsheet handy
* To generally be as prepared as possible for whatever the exam throws at you

The night before your first HSC exam
Assuming you've got your master notes/cheatsheet and are going over practice papers, the most important thing now is to remain calm :)

Being calm brings nothing but good things. We retain more things when we're calm, we can find answers with greater ease, and can spend more time "doing stuff" as opposed to running around the house in a mindless panic :p

That being said I wouldn't be suprised if a large number of people are really stressed right now - not because they're not prepared (even if they don't think they are :p) but simply because this is your first BIG exam. It's new, it's big, it's the lilypad between here and that other big "scary" (but so totally not scary) thing called uni, and so forth. Don't worry so much about all the what if's - "what if I fail", "what if I don't get the uai I want", "what if I screw up my first exam and are set to screw up the rest of the hsc and then my life is screwed" etc etc. There are SO many back doors at tertiary level education that it truly is not worth getting worried about. Just say to yourself - "I am going to give this exam my best shot. After it's over, it's over and I'll concentrate on the next one". :)

The exam is not a ten-armed googly-eyed monster out to eat your pet cat!
From past experience, your English AOS exam (most people's first exam) is the easiest one you'll do. The first section of the paper will be extremely straightforward and almost every single person I know has walked out of the examroom saying "wow! That wasn't so bad!" (the few people who didn't say that were accelerant students who had done HSC exams the year prior. They came out saying "meh. That was as easy as I expected.")

Oh and just to reiterate. The HSC exams will be MUCH, MUCH easier than the HSC Trials. :)

Bribery and corruption is a bad thing. Except during your HSC, when it becomes perfectly legal
If you want to promise yourself a treat after the exam tomorrow (so you have something to look forward to), then go for it ;) I remember having chocolate ice cream cravings around this time last year, so before my first exam I was like "ooh, stressed!"/"oh yay I get to have ice cream after this!"/"gah, I just want this exam over now, I want my ice cream..."

Read this before you start getting too enthusiastic about your upcoming exam :p
Plan to have a good dinner, pack your bag for tomorrow, set your alarm clock, and get a good night's sleep. If you have erratic sleeping patterns or are at risk of getting so stressed that you will have trouble sleeping (case in point: I didn't think I had ANY sleep the night before my Eng AOS exam), then make arrangements to have some herbal tea, warm milk or sleeping tablets or something just before bed :)

* Get a good night's sleep!
* Stay calm and convince yourself the sky is not going to fall down tomorrow
* To organise something that makes your want to look forward to getting the exam over and done with :)

During your HSC exams
I can't think of a gimmick line here. Suggestions welcome! :p

I remember when I was in Yr 7 or 8, looking at the Yr 12's and thinking "wow. They're doing their HSC." *insert various life-altering, rite-of-passage connotations here* The funny thing is that once you get there, it's not that bad. Of course there are going to be some moments when you bash your head against a wall, or against a desk because they asked the ONE question which you weren't prepared for. But after the initial shock/sitting your first exam, you're more prepared on an emotional/psychological level to deal with the rest :)

Keep your eyes in front - not behind!
Once an exam is over, it's over. There is nothing you can do to change what you did in the exam, so don't waste any time at all thinking "damn, I should have written blahblahblah" or "holy crap, I don't think I did as well as I should have. Oh no my UAI is screwed!" Regardless of how good or bad you felt you went, focus all your energies on the next exam.

-under construction, almost done!!!-
Study Tips from a variety of members
Sparcod's Tips
Tip #1: Be a bit more resourceful: practice quizes (on the Board of Studies site), past exam papers (trust me, do it with timing), syllabuses, more practice questions, participate in 'marathons' in your subject forum,

CSU website: (nice HSC website) NSW HSC Online
Find your subject and they've got tonnes and tonnes of summary notes, practice quizes and helpful hints! It'll take forever to get through them all.

SMH Website: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/...332372684.html
This one's for English but you can click the links for other subjects. They've got more helpful hints, study tips and most importantly- the format of the exams.

UNSW Physics: they cover a lot of content (for those who do physics). They also have nice summaries of the syllabus with good detailed explanations of everything.
HSC Physics Resources

Tipe #2: For maths, first learn the formulae and the required steps, second- read through and follow an example, third- try an easy/short question

Tip #3: Improve your handwriting (for obvious reasons). You won't be surprised by the amount of 'poor marking' by teachers who have lost interest simply because they are struggling to read answers written by kids. Also, if your handwriting is bad- it'll be hard for you to read your own notes (which is a shame because you've wasted your time writing it down).

Tip #4: Get off the internet and stop wasting your time here. (You're losing your interest in study you know)

Let's talk exam papers here.

First off, the types of questions in the exam papers are the ones that are really going to asked. Do pick a handful at first to do.

Get enough practice.

Do the practice papers under exam conditions a few days before the real thing. Familiarise yourself with the exams' duration, questions, format, layout and marking schemes.
Practice papers are a great way to prepare yourself and to put your knowledge to the test. The more practice you do, the quicker you'll get (at writing especially). They're also a great way to find out what weaknesses you have.
Thought that these would be useful at this time or later on.....

Useful Websites

Past Papers/Extra Questions
1. Past papers for Chemistry, Physics, Business Studies and up to 4u maths.
q=questions, s=solutions

2. 2001/2002 HSC Exam papers with solutions (HSC Standards Package) + Online MCQ.
ARC :: Online Multiple Choice
(the syllabuses may have had minor changes since 2001)

Need Clarification on some things?
1. CSU's website- all subjects
NSW HSC Online
(They're so good at making things clearer for you by the syllabus dot-point; I could proabably teach myself Italian or German there...lol).

2. http://www.smh.com.au/specials/hsc20...158011672.html
SMH's site giving advice for HSC and trial exams. All subjects- this link is for Mathematics only.

Study and Exams
Again, by the CSU which specialises in study advice for the HSC.
HSC Online

Beyond the HSC
HSC Online
Stuff on Careers, gap years, courses etc.
Hudson's Assessment Tips
Assessment tasks, or more specifically assessments that are of an essay-type form. Put everything that you possibly can into them. Now, despite the promises I made to my parents and myself at the beginning of Year 12, all my assignments were done the weekend before. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, as long as you're prepared to stay up until 5.30AM on Monday morning to get the bloody thing done. However I would really recommend to strive and start the assessment from the day you get the notification because, regardless of whatever natural ability you possess, you may just get caught out in the last minute rush.

Secondly, I'd suggest really trying to dazzle the teacher by going beyond the assessment key points or the syllabus (unless strictly forbidden of course or your teacher is notoriously “old school") and demonstrating a wide-ranging knowledge. If you can present information/a point of view that is relatively unique to the assignment then you're on your way to bigger marks. Remember though, keep it all within reason in regards to both the relevancy of the content and the size of the work.

In order to push the boundaries a wealth of resources can never go astray. If you've managed to get a hold of many sources, not only does it (usually) help you to present a variety of points with greater sustainability beyond the teacher's suggestions, but it also demonstrates that you've really put in extra effort. This will doubtlessly impress your teachers and at the higher echelons of class rankings every little bit helps. Thus, to transform your work area into a formidable wall of books that will deter even your most loyal kindred from attending, you need to:

a) raid the school and local library ASAP, but remember to be considerate to your fellow students as well -- nobody likes a selfish hog.

b) this is a no-brainer, but try and grab books by authors that are recognised and praised. A quote from a well-known scholar will hold far more weight than the word of an unknown.

c) refer to only a reasonable amount of sources (i.e. only what you can handle in your allotted timeframe). Overloading yourself with information can be a coup de grace to your efforts, especially if the project is left to the last minute. Becoming depressed and overwhelmed by the workload is a sure-fire way to suffer a percentage loss.

I will stay on the last point for a minute. No matter how many resources you have at your disposal, it will become a struggle to juggle them efficiently. To provide some order and balance to the situation I suggest using one text as an "anchor" from which the other sources will contribute to, counter-point and strengthen. For instance, an essay on the causes of Hitler's defeat on the Eastern Front saw me draw on William L. Shirer's 'The Rise and Fall of the First Reich' as my primary reference point for events and personalities. I found the basis for most topics in Shirer and searched the index of other texts for relevant information. The result of this was the way that I approached many of the paragraphs were defined by ‘The Rise and Fall.’ Consequently, my other texts were utilised largely in a supplementary fashion and served to both reinforce and present contrary arguments to Shirer. I found that this method, when applicable, brought harmony to chaos and made assessment tasks much more manageable.

The following two points are straightforward, but nonetheless worth mentioning. In order to rely on one resource to provide the core of your work you need to weigh up the disadvantages and advantages of the text. In the example above, I knew Shirer's canonical work was biased and dated, but it was very broad and more contemporary accounts, such as Beevor's 'Stalingrad,' were on-hand to balance things out. Also, avoid overcrowding your assessment with quotes from your central author to avoid bias and the implication that your other sources are only for "show." Make certain each text (or the most important ones) gets a balanced look in.

*The preceding suggestion only applies for Ancient History students, so others can skip this paragraph if they wish.

It is worth referring to the primary sources on the topic first-hand rather than relying on your textbook's interpretation and selection of them. Sure, the likes of Herodotus and Plato can challenge Shakespeare's writing in the comprehension stakes but its well worth the effort. Personally, I found a number of useful quotes and perspectives by looking through them. This method can present a dual advantage -- some information in your assessment may differ to your peers and there's more opportunity to draw fresh conclusions or to analyse sources. In addition, this extra exercise shows the teacher that you're a dedicated and interested student, which is always handy. By the way, you can find free e-Book versions of texts at Aristotle: free web books, online or through Project Gutenberg.

There is something I have to address that we've all seen happen to ourselves or other students -- don't ever be late with your assessments! While bleeding obvious, this point really can't be stressed enough in Year 12. If it gets to the stage where you risk losing 10% then it doesn't matter that you don't complete the work to your best ability or if you miss some dot points. It's important to keep things in perspective also -- is it worth risking lost marks on an assessment just so you can go earn a diddley bit of cash on Saturday? By the same token, should you stay up until the early hours of the morning to gain a few extra marks when you have a Maths exam the very next day? And don't ever think you have enough time to complete a task because, as countless others and I can attest, things can become a lot more difficult than anticipated. Basically, ensure that you leave sufficient time for error so the idea of getting a doctor's certificate doesn't occur.

What I am trying to say here is that your assessment tasks are always worth the extra little bit of effort. It's vital to look at your assessments not through the mindset of merely completing the task to meet the requirements of the respective band sufficiently, but to approach them with the view of ‘what can I do to give myself an edge over my cohorts?' Indeed, you should be seeking out every possible advantage in terms of not only marks but how can you improve the teachers perception of you and to expand your depth of knowledge (which is always helpful in exams, of course). Whether you like it or not, the HSC is ultimately a competition and as such you should be aiming to do everything possible to improve your assessment mark. Also, if you're anything like me then exams are hardly your forte and perhaps your final HSC results maybe below expectations, but it's always comforting to know that you tried your hardest in assessments.

Well, this little post certainly ended up bigger than intended yet I can't but help feel that I've glossed over some of the finer points. The majority of these recommendations were self-taught by considerable trial-and-error throughout Year 11, so no guarantees they'll work for you. However, I do hope I have shed some new light on approaching assessment tasks and haven't insulted your intelligence in the process. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Thank you for reading.

Iheartjm's Tips
Hello future HSC undertakers!

I just stumbled onto this thread. I don't know if this was mentioned but I suppose it could be a reminder (because I'm way too lazy to read through the seven odd pages given). The best piece of advice I could possibly give you as a 2005 HSC completer is when given the syllabus, revise over the learning outcomes on the Right side of the column. This is very important as the questions from the HSC is determined from that side of the syllabus. I know in my CAFS exam, a friend and I intentionally studied the whole of the right hand column and not surprisingly the questions were based upon them.
Also on this topic, think logically... how many questions (that haven't already been used) can they ask from a concept/topic/core? Exhaust all possible questions that could rise as a potential HSC, trial question.

Use and abuse your resources.. (moreso use, less abuse... but depserate times call for desperate measures I understand) This means techers, peers, study days. librarys, internet sites, old records i.e. past papers... use them until they are exhausted and literally near beating you to death. I did that with my teachers and don't regret even one bit of it. (the marks could beg to differ however)
Past papers help. Don't just go through them, but time them, get them marked and redo them. Sounds like a lot but really helps. Also get those example answers from previous years and read the markers notes. That way you gain a better understand of what they are looking for in an answer. And look to teachers who are markers in your school. Ask, push and prod them about the topic and what exactly the markers are looking for.

Old habits die hard... mine was the old little saying that I have grown very fond of "procrastination is the key to sucess." Now... in some cases... yes... in that it makes you stress and become more alert filling your bloodstreams with adrenaline. But also no... in that you will become most anxious in our upcoming assessment. My only realistic advice for this is be weary of it. I know you can't change it. Believe me I tried... but I soon learnt to acknowledge me faults and embrace them as my own. So just be weary that you are procrastinating or whatever the chosen dirty closet secret and try hard to stay on task.

Respect those who want to learn and those who want to teach. Don't jeopardise others who are worthy of learning by your own unwillingness to. Nothing annoys me more than an arrogant student who disrupts the class in their own callousness. So be respectful and mindful of those who want to be there to learn and let them do their full potential. A lot of people say that the stuff you learn will never be applied in "real" life, e.g. year Ten algebra and trig. But believe you me there are some subjects worthy of the thought. English... many of you cringle at the thought and word, teach fundamental concepts that can be applied to life in becoming a more worldly/better person. Humanities subjects are also very useful, and enlightening. So if you've learnt anything in your most hated subjects, learn the concepts. Don't knock it till you've tried it.

For goodness sakes talk about it! There is nothing worse than a bottle of overdue anxiety that smells like sour cream. Get the load off. If there's too much pressure talk to someone about it, your best friend, your parents, your teachers, your dog, a random person. You can only change what you've acknowledge. And even though it still sticks on you like one of those bindies at least you've gotten it off your chest. There is nothing worst than a pessimist cramping your style... and hey that very person could be yourself. Don't become self-deprecating... because you'll only then start to believe in your own inabilities. So for the sweet mother of God go talk to someone!

And I know you'll probably think, "why are you telling me this biatch?" But try to relax. I know, they say it's not the end of the world, what's done is done, try to relax... yada yada yada you don't understand the situation so go stick a syllabus up your aaaa........ but believe me relaxing does help, even though you mightn't see it at the given time because everyone working had gone home from the late shift and had turned off the lights, but there is a light at the end tunnel ... even if it's dim and a canary has died.

And I suppose finally, be proud of your achievements. Give it your all and have something to be proud of. You are the only one who can control your failure. If you make a habit of it you'll come out of the year either not given two fff... cares or disappointed that you didn't seize the opportunity. But proud of what you've done. 6 years in high school is a tremendous feat so radiate and the world will follow with you.
Stazi's Tips
1time4theppl’s HSC Tips and Tricks


**If any mod wants to make this a sticky that'd be swell. If anyone wishes to add anything: equally swell**
Part 1: Year 12 information round-up

“I want to go to Uni,” you cry as a student in Year 12. You obviously know that you’ll get into the course of your choice and will ace all your subjects because you attended in excess of fifty HSC preparation days, even for subjects you don’t do such as ‘Vikings and Wenches – 16th Century studies in feminism’. Sure, you’re ranked first in that prestigious Latin course at your school that only you do. Does this all guarantee you a high UAI? My answer is simply “No”.
What you do from now on counts. I don’t want to scare you into studying 24/7, especially if it means that your time spent watching Teletubbies will be minimised. The fact is, you don’t have to. What does matter, though, is how well you complete your assessments, how much you stay on top of your classes and how well you would do if the teacher randomly threw a 50% weighted quiz in one of your classes.
I’m not going to argue and say this: hey, there’s plenty of time in Year 12 to go out and have a kick-ass social life, accumulate at least 3 varieties of STD’s (one tropical) and pillage villages. Well, there is, especially in the early stages, but everyone’s different. Some people prefer to stay home and study; on occasions reading a book and watching a good film. So don’t have a go at someone on this forum just because they haven’t seen sunlight for the past six months (for all you know they may live in Scandinavia).
So let me paraphrase all that minus the comedy: ‘Year 12 is a time where you can continue to have fun in moderation, as long as you can stay on top of your studies and when it comes down to the clichéd ‘crunch time’, then you need to commit yourself 100% in order to obtain the maximum result.

What result am I aiming for?

Lie to yourself. If you need to get an 83 UAI, convince yourself that the cutoff will rise by more than 2 points in the following year. That way you set the bar a bit higher and allow yourself some valuable leeway for mistakes that can occur during the HSC. Obviously, I have to make references to myself. I made a lot of mistakes, which is why it is a great idea for the ‘05ers to learn of them. Mind you, I think I did a lot of things right as well. I needed to get about an 86uai for the Bachelor of Arts degree at Sydney Uni. However, I kept telling myself that the cutoff will rise to 89, and I’d need a 90 result for safety.
Whilst concrete goals can work (i.e. I wish to get a 91.25 UAI), they aren’t the best approach. You don’t know how much your career and degree aspirations will change throughout the year. With myself, I could never expect to do anything bar an Arts degree and after the HSC, I realised that Marketing/Advertising would be the perfect profession for me. Never, in setting my goals would I have included a 92+ UAI requirement for such a course. Luckily, I did get the UAI that I needed for it but it was extremely nerve-racking wishing that I tried harder whilst waiting for the results. ‘The skies the limit’ – sorry to use a cliché again but this is definitely true. Aim for the 100 mark. Believe me, anyone can do it. If someone like myself ranked in the bottom 20 out of 190 people in my grade for my school years in years 7-11 can pull of a ranking in the top 50 for his final year in most subjects, you can do it to (oh, and this is a selective school).

Every Assessment matters

Every assessment (no matter how little it's worth) will matter as it will greatly shape your ranking. In PDHPE, I could have potentially topped the state or come close to it, had I thought that a 10% weighted assessment was important at the beginning of the year. I only scored 5/10 on an assessment it was easy to get 10/10 in (in fact most of the class did). These 5 extra marks would have increased my internal ranking from 9th/11 to around 3rd-4th/11. This in turn would have shifted my 87 internal mark to something a lot closer to my 93 external mark, if not higher.

Studying tactics

Make friends with a library (preferably the State Library as they have famous dictators patrolling the hallways, urging you not to talk). Perhaps the reason for why I didn’t do as well for my internal examinations, is because I had not familiarised myself with Libraries yet. Once, considered by me, to be scary places populated by the homeless and the craziest of nerds, they turned out to be great institutions for studying…and the homeless. The fact is, at home you have distractions: your computer, books, TV, movies, gay porn etc etc. In the library, you’re almost forced to study and there’s nothing else to do. The first 6-hour study day will be difficult, the second will go slightly faster and by the third it will just fly by.
The only way that I think I saved my HSC is by going to the library every day for 2 weeks and doing 6 hours of study each day. (I only wish that I started earlier than 2 weeks prior to the HSC).
Don’t type up your notes. Instead, manually write them down, summarising from your text book and cross-referencing them to the syllabus (this is for text book subjects). The syllabus is your greatest friend. Study it and remember it. Make sure you can answer each syllabus dot point.
For subjects such as English, memorise your practice essays. If need be, tape them on a tape recorder or record them in mp3 format and listen to them a lot – and I mean A LOT. Once you can quote easily from the texts you are doing, then you can safely say that you have prepared yourself enough.

Coming up Next:
Closer to the HSC, I will give you further study tips for individual exams. What you need to remember. What you need to put on forms etc etc.
After the HSC, I will type up info about UAC, preferences and how not to royally poop them up like many a mate had done in the past. Also about selecting the uni and course for you.
Then I will provide details on selecting subjects and starting your University life.
Finally, study and social life at uni will be discussed.

Hope this helps for now.

I will leave you guys with a parting thought:

"the future hangs over our heads
And it moves with each current event
Until it falls around like a cold, steady rain
Just stay in when it's looking this way"

-Conor Oberst
Forbidden's Tips
Some traditional methods of study
• Copying out notes and condensing them down further and further
• Practice papers
• Listing and categorising points in a topic
• Highlighting key words and phrases with your highlighter, colour-coding different topics
• Re-reading class notes or novels, poems, exams and essays
• Surfing the internet, but beware of the source, some information could be dodgy
• Draw mind maps for all your topic areas
• Draw columns for any comparisons or information that can be divided, e.g., in PD/H/PE the factors that increase or decrease the risk of cancer
• Summarise all class notes repeatedly or type them up using different fonts and sizes for different topics and the importance of the information

Some more "out-there" methods of study for the highly imaginitive individual
• Pretend you're a teacher and you have to give a lesson on the topic you need to study. Devise a fun and education lesson of the text or topic. Actually deliver the lesson to a fake class (alone)
• Tape record your voice reading out your notes and play it back to yourself before you go to sleep at night
• Re-lyric your favourite song to fit your study notes, try to make it rhyme and it will stay with you
• Go and tell your parents all about the topic you are studying. It helps arrange it in your head plus you get brownie points from your parents
• Get up early and do study at 6am at least it's different !
• Make signs for your room, putting up quote posters or formulas you need to know, get artistic !
• If you are having trouble getting that essay done, pretend you are in an exam and put yourself under the clock for 45 minutes, or that you are the star of a movie about the genius who writes a brilliant essay and that the shoot takes 45 minutes
• Invite some studious and focused friends around or out for a coffee where you have to discuss or your thoughts and knowledge on a particular subject. Have a Quote-off competition to see who can deliver the most.
• Memorise your English poems and perform them in a dramatic monologue
• Visit places that are significant to your study, like an art gallery or a museum
• Lie down with your eyes closed and just think about the topic in a quiet meditation - try not to fall asleep
• Keep telling yourself you are smart and great. Also remind yourself that the first 5 minutes of study is always the hardest
• Pretend the characters in your English texts are actual friends of yours imagine yourself in the world you are studying - it may help you take more of an active interest
• For every 45 minutes of study completed, do something fun or indulgent for the next 15, e.g., have something to eat, phone a friend, listen to music, etc.
• Keep changing study location if you feel a bit stale for a fresh perspective

Green highlighted dot-points indicate I have attempted the above methods of study and prove successful.
Studentleader's Tips
What I have done is:
1. Set up my career goals and course at uni, even if you have a back up plan NEVER EVER result to it untill you get all of your marks back. Its better to say I'm going to do law then doing bad and saying oh well I can do commerce rather then saying half way through the year, I don't needa try this hard i'll just do commerce.
2. Start competing with a higher spectrum of classmates, I dont know about you but it really aggrovates me when people think they are smarter then me for getting better marks then me which acts as an incentive to do better.
3. Actually try studying. Say to yourself, next test I want an A, even if you overstudy for it, that A feels real good over your C average and it promotes you do to better work.
4. Give yourself atleast one goal of study to do. Say to yourself, today I will write up syllabus dot points 5.1-5.2. I would make sure that you have extensive syllabus notes analysing these dot points because it makes sure that if your teacher misses something (my chem teacher missed production of electrochemical cells) that you know it, it puts you 1 step ahead of your peers. Make sure your teacher reads these and states that they are 100% right, you dont want to lose marks because you forgot an appropriate statistic in that economics essay.
5. Test yourself, get resources! If there is a chemisty test tommorow on electrochemical cells then do all of the electrochemical cells questions in the HSC exam, if you dont know the answer don't panic, ask someone!
6. Make a list of goals, mine included things like achieving a 75 average in the semester 1 exams. maintaining x hrs of study a week etc.
The aim is motivating yourself with the prosperity of sucess then never getting demoralized because of a bad test mark. A friend of mine got 25% in a test weighted 8% and he had a sad untill he got 95% in the next one.

Without Wings

Super Moderator
Dec 15, 2003
Motivation Tips

10 Tips to Staying Motivated in your Study Time
1. Develop realistic expectations for yourself; set your own goals and develop a positive attitude towards learning and earning your qualifications.
2. List your motivators for achieving your academic goals: extrinsic (grades, parents, money), intrinsic (mastery of material, desire to learn) and other personal reasons.
3. Make a commitment as to when you will work on an assignment. Be specific about when you want to complete it and put the date for starting the assignment on your calendar where you will see it daily. Then stick to your commitment.
4. Break down big assignments into smaller parts and work on the assignment a little at a time; set dates for completing each part.
5. If you are finding assignments difficult, complete small, easier tasks first in order to build your confidence.
6. Ask for help if you don’t understand an assignment. Obtaining clarification from a lecturer or tutor may put you back on the right track and decrease frustration.
7. Find ways to relate class material and assignments to your life or future career.
8. Find ways to deal with distracting personal problems that are making it difficult for you to focus on your academic work.
9. Minimise self-defeating behaviors and thoughts (e.g., procrastination, low confidence, wanting a “perfect” product) which may impeding academic achievement. Look for small improvements and small successes, as you change your behaviors.
10. Reward yourself when you finish each task and complete an assignment. Feel good about what you have accomplished, don’t just focus on what’s left to complete.
Source: Trancesolutions

Tips from Various Members

Yoakim's Tips:
Remember the five P's...
Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
Casmira's Tips
Ultimatley, you need motivation that'll last you throughout the entire HSC not some short run advice. Most of you guys who are studying your asses off (especially the ones at selective schools) aspire too get into a certain uni degree. Imagine yourself in that dream course, not having too transfer or any bullshit like that. Now, know that if you work hard the dream is there.
Deltan's Tips:
There are at least three practical ways of increasing your motivation. They are:
-self rewarding yourself
-effective goal setting
-re-design your study environment

Motivation tips

-First of all, it is important to clarify your reasons for attending university because they provide the motivational foundation on which you studies will be built.
-establishing a strict routine is one antidote to lethargy

USING REWARDS FOR YOUR STUDY (positive reinforcements)

-Using the reward system is very useful for studying as you learn to associate study with pleasurable consequences, then, over time, studying will become an enjoyable activity on its own.
-Use rewards (for eg. watching television, having a coffee break, going for a walk, visiting a friend) for accomplishing planned study goals (eg, to summarise a designated chapter in your textbook)
-Of course, rewards can only be earned by achieving your study target- otherwise you will be ecouraging slipshod work habits.
-You do not have to be initially interested in something in order to study something. By breaking an assignment into stepping stones, and by rewarding yourself for achieving each target along the way, you can learn to motivate yourself indefinitely.


- A goal is a target or objective which we set for ourselves (e.g passing an exam or submitting an assignment on time).
-Research shows that some type of targets are better motivators than others. For eg, goals which are specific (eg reading a particular chapter in a textbook) tend to elicit greater effort and persistence than do more general targets( eg read around the course).

The most effective way to approach goal setting is by using the acronym SMART
The clearer and more specific your goal is, the more likely you are to achieve it.
For eg, a goal such as 'I want to make notes on Chapter 8 of my chemistry textbook tonight between 7pm to 8 pm' is more motivating than 'I may do some Chemistry later if i have time'.

If you cannot measure your progress towards your goal, then you will quickly lose interest in it. So it is useful to keep a record of your progress. For eg, if your composing a paper using a computer, you could record the number of words you've written every night- just to remind yourself that you're making steady progress on the task.

Unless you identified a number of action steps (tasks which take you a step nearer to your goal) for each of your study goals, you may be confused about what to do next. For eg, after each lessons you attend, you should ask yourself: what specifc books can i look up in the library in order to learn more about this topic?

Your study goals should be realistic and achievable using hte resources available to you.

Have you ever noticed that most people do not begin jobs until a deadline approaches? Clearly, time-pressures create a sense of urgency which motivates us. But to avoid panic which presure can cause, it is best to work backwards from the completion of the date to the present date. For eg, you may think 'In order to submit the assignment by the end of the month, i shall have to have it written by the middle of the month, which means i shall have to do the background research for it by next week


New Member
Dec 21, 2012
This helped to an extent but than again like you said everyone is different. :)

cheers though.


Active Member
Jan 13, 2007
Uni Grad
Changing your quality of life is not a question of ability it is a question of motivation. Create a vision about who you want to be and live into your vision. In my case it was to be in the top ten per cent Economics students at my high school. As a result I was able to score an ATAR of 92.75. I entered Bachelor of Business at the University of Technology Sydney and I am now doing Economics and Finance majors.


Active Member
Dec 16, 2012
Uni Grad
I have purchased a binder folder for each subject so once a week I can write down revision notes for each subject. Then when it comes to exam time - voila!


mai waifu

New Member
Jan 29, 2013
thankyou! this really helped cos' i'm a real poop at studying ngl OTL


Gap year? If only...
Nov 27, 2011
Posted this in the 2014 forum, but I think it'll be useful for you guys as well.

"Hey 2014'ers (and 2014+'ers), so you're reached your final year(s) of high school and maybe you're feeling a bit anxious about the upcoming year(s). Lots of work to do? Daunting ATAR aims?

Well, I guess the biggest thing stopping you from studying and getting the results you want is PROCRASTINATION. You put off doing maths homework in favour of watching the latest movie or stalking your facebook friends. Well, I recently wrote up an article discussing the difference between Short-term Pleasure and Long-term Fulfillment and I think it would help you guys out and get you motivated and dedicated.

"Most ‘recreational activities’ in our daily lives are acts of pleasure. It’s not just drugs like alcohol or cigarettes. It’s the things that are so integrated in our lifestyles that we don’t realize how self-destructive they are. They prevent us from improving ourselves and helping others.

Shopping sprees. Excessive food. Social media. Facebook. TV shows. Casual sex.

It’s all novelty. It’s all consumption. And each and every pleasure forms an addiction and dependency. Temporary solutions to a lack of fulfillment in our lives. Temporary solutions that lead to permanent problems."

Hopefully by the end of the read I at least made you question the way you view your procrastination habits. The end of high school doesn't have to be boring and work-filled. You can make it a journey to build yourself and prepare for the world to come after high-school. Enjoy it and try not to waste too much time doing nothing, haha :D"


Dec 30, 2013
Thats a great idea, I think I'll try that.


Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2015
Good guide, will definitely be incorporating some of these tips in my already established study method.


New Member
Feb 22, 2016
Hey everyone! Just my two cents...

When I came to studying for my actual HSC exams, I found that writing a daily study schedule worked wonders for me (bearing in mind I was a notorious procrastinator). I wrote what exactly I would be doing for each day in the weeks leading up to my HSC exams, til the last day of my exams. For instance, I would have something like "Monday 21st: 2 maths papers + marking, revise english notes, practice music performance) - and so on and so forth for everyday. I would also schedule in study breaks, or even whole day breaks, to give myself a chance to absorb everything I'd revised, as well as give my brain a rest from studying so I can come back the next day refreshed and motivated to study. The biggest motivation for me in doing this was the ginormous red line I would draw through each day of study once I had actually done it. Seeing it in this layout on paper made the HSC seem less daunting, and gave me a sense of focus when it came to studying. Otherwise, I probably would have just studied for random subjects each day, and this would not have been as effective. I also kept a scented candle nearby when I studied, because I love scented candles. Find something that helps you relax, or that you love, and this will help you be more motivated to maintain your study habits. Coffee also makes me super happy - so although I'm not recommending everyone start drinking coffee, if there is a food you really love, I don't think it's generally a good idea to deprive yourself of these things during a time where spirits may be low! In saying this, I think taking care of yourself both physically and mentally is really important. Apart from this, water is essential. It has tonnes of benefits (apart from just keeping you alive in general) - so drink plenty of it! All this stiff aside, I think just recongnising that the HSC is not the be all and end all - so as long as you do your best, you've defeated the HSC!
Good luck !!! :)


New Member
Oct 2, 2017
Really great tips! I'm hoping to use them in my study for the next couple of years!

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