MWNS teachers share their top tips for making a commonly stressful experience, a successful one.
The HSC is heralded as the ultimate test, the culmination of thirteen years of education which is referenced and threatened frequently thought-out the school year. Despite this pressure and the associated stresses, there are some steps that students can take to help them ‘survive’ the HSC. While these will vary between subjects and students, there are some key steps that can be taken to make this difficult year more manageable and less stressful.
Organisation and preparation is fundamental for anyone undertaking extensive studying or work. Start as you mean to continue! Begin by getting an outline for how the year will progress and what is required of you. Write down every assessment and deadline into a diary and calendar to help you keep track of what is coming up and plan how you will prepare for it. Writing down deadlines and plans for approaching these tasks can also help, as it will prevent procrastination on note writing or beginning an assignment.
Keeping on top of class work and note writing is also vital. While it can be tempting to forgo homework and study to focus on a heap of assignments, it is crucial that you do not allow these to pile up as this will increase stress and difficulty completing this work. Although it may seem impossible with assessments to prepare, by doing a small amount of homework and study every evening, you will make it much easier for yourself when exams come around and you need to know what you do and don’t understand. By doing this continuously throughout the year, you will better retain the information, aiding studying in the long run.
Not all subjects require extensive writing and memorising of notes. For many, such as maths and English, doing past papers and questions is crucial for success in the subject. With the more conceptual subjects, understanding how to apply evidence or formulas is more important that memorising masses of them. As such, you should incorporate past papers from NESA or your school into your study plan, as it will allow you to apply your knowledge and cement your learning in a format that you can receive feedback in a non-formal manner.
While these study tips are important, it is more critical that you look after yourself during this stressful year. By retaining family, health, and social requirements, you can help to look after your physical and mental health. If you find that stress is overwhelming and occurs more frequently than it does with peers, approach your teachers for help. Talking with family, friends, and school counsellors can also be beneficial, as it gets worries out of your head and into the world, where they can be dealt with.
At the end of the day, while it is important to try your best in your HSC year, it should not be a terrifying year that you have to ‘survive’, and the stress from it should never make you sick or suffering. If you find you are struggling, don’t just carry on, look for help and remember that it is only one year. Your family, friends and teachers are all there to support and guide you in every way possible. Good luck!!