Hi everyone!! This is a post that is dedicated to those who are going to take their HSC exams in about a month’s time, and for those who are going into their last year of high school, and are preparing themselves for the BIG year ahead. These ten tips are things that worked out for me, and I hope that you all find it just as useful.
Let’s Start! (By the way, they are in no particular order, kind of…)
1. Organise those notes!
Now obviously, this won’t work if you have literally done nothing over this past year (if you haven’t then *inhale* good luck). But, before I start, I have to emphasise the fact that THERE IS NO SECRET TO GETTING GOOD MARKS ON AN EXAM WHILE DOING NOTHING ALL YEAR.
Seriously, there isn’t.
Those people who say “I didn’t study” and still get a good mark are either lying to your face or they’ve studied the subject/topic before. It is impossible to do so, and you know it.
So, read that material, make some handwritten (and take note that I say handwritten) notes all over them and then either keep them filed neatly or type them up onto your computer so that you can refer back to them quick and easy. This tip may seem a bit obvious, but you wouldn’t believe that amount of people I see who just read the article/textbook and don’t do anything with that information. You aren’t reading that text just for the sack of “oh, this seems like a good story to read during my spare time”. You want to absorb everything that that text can give you, and make it into something that is going to get you those marks that you deserve *fist pump*
2. Find your zone/place
Now, for many of us, it is absolutely impossible to study at home. If you have the most perfect study area, and it’s in the convenience of your own home, then you should be grateful, trust me.
However, for those who aren’t as lucky (like me lol), finding a proper place to study is a difficult challenge to encounter. However, this is absolutely crucial since you need to be able to find a location where you will be able to concentrate. For me, my bedroom was just that, a place with a bed in it. That meant that it was practically impossible to be able to study in at ANY time. Also, considering I was surrounded by food, televisions etc, my bedroom was not the place to be. Still to this day, I mostly work on assessments either in the living room or at the library because my room is just NOT the right place.
When I studied for the exams, there were two places that really helped me with studying:
1. The State Library of NSW
This was the place where I could sit there for hours and just WORK. Seriously, the whole atmosphere just encourages you to work. That alone was very motivating since everyone around you went there for a reason – to solely just study 🙂
But, the trip there is really tedious. For me, it takes a good 45 mins to get there from where I live. Despite it sometimes being well worth the time spent, I am aware that many live even FURTHER than I do. So, the other place that I went to was
2. Hurstville Library
Now this is likewise a bit of a hike for me however, it is shorter than the other. At the back of the library there is a whole room made JUST for students who want to study by themselves. It is quiet, and the atmosphere once again is quite motivating for anyone who is in need to have some alone time by yourself to just do your own thing.
So yeah, there you go. I highly recommend these places since they did wonders for my concentration to study.
3. Do practice papers
Now, this reminder may be tedious but I can’t emphasise enough about its importance. In the end, questions can’t just pop out of thin air – there will eventually be times were questions have to be repeated because regardless of when, some content never change. This may be mostly applicable to subjects such as history or the sciences but you should never stop doing them. Do as many as you can get you hands on; you won’t regret it. In particular, math practice papers were definitely helpful – you literally can answer ANY QUESTION POSSIBLE by doing them 😄
4. Don’t stop asking your teachers, just don’t!
Alright, being a history fanatic, and someone who is truly passionate about anything to do with history, I just adored my history teacher to bits. She truly was, and still is, the most inspiring and loving person I have ever met in my life. Hell, she is probably the reason as to why I decided that a degree in education was the way to go. But on top of that, what she taught me was that I was allowed to take advantage of all the resources available to me, which included her knowledge and skills as well.
I emailed her regularly my essays, possible questions and responses during the studying period before the HSC. She was always prompt in her replies, and always provided the best advice. Her dedication to her students was really touching, and her assistance really helped the workload.
So, what I’m trying to point out here is that teachers are willing to help in any way, shape or form. They wish for you the best result, because it really reflects on how well they have taught their students all year. A proud teacher can be seen with a really successful class of students 🙂
5. Dump your company (not literally but…you know what I mean ><)
Okay, the title of this one may be quite misleading but, what I mean is, DON’T BE TEMPTED TO JUST CHILL AND HANG WITH YOUR MATES AFTER SCHOOL’S OUT! Soooooooooo many people that I knew did that and trust me, they were not pretty to look at once the exams started. What I mean is, they just relaxed until literally the last 2 days before their exam (it was English which is not only important, but also compulsory) and tried to cram 3-4 essays in two nights, which is practically impossible!
So guys, don’t worry, your friends won’t be offended if you explain that you REALLY REALLY want to study, rather than go and party with some mates for 3 days straight. Once in a while, it is absolutely healthy to wind-down and just hang with people but seriously, the HSC is a good enough excuse for you to become a hermit crab for a month *shifty eyes*.
6. Look up everything you need for the exams
Go onto the Board of Studies and look at what you will need/can’t bring. The coordinators on the day are kind-of like a lottery – you have no idea who you will end up with. They either can be the coolest/most chill people ever, or they can be pretty strict about the whole ‘must follow rules’ thang, you get what I’m saying?
So, don’t risk it, and seriously bring what you need. This link should tell you pretty much all you will need: http://studentsonline.bos.nsw.edu.au/go/exams/Exam_equipment/
Check out the rest of the site for any more information needed however, you should already know this stuff, I hope.
7. RESIST THE TEMPTATIONS!!!
You all should know what I am talking about here, or at least have a broad idea.
If you are a crazed/obsessive stalker who must be on SNS (social-networking sites) 24/7 then honey, it has to stop. Deactivate Facebook if you must, or block Youtube if it is the only way you can avoid these distractions. What ever you must do, DO IT!
Remember children, this is only a short-term amount of time in your life. Don’t allow it to consume you life! Taking a break from these sites, if you think about it, may be a healthy thing. It also may be a good excuse to hang out with your friends face-to-face to “study” rather than just chatting with them online *wink wink*
8. JUNK FOOD IS NOT THE ANSWER!!!
RESIST! RESIST! The junk food that you are most likely to turn to WILL NOT HELP AT ALL! I know, we are too busy studying hence why there is not enough time to make a sandwich. As science can clearly demonstrate to us, opening a packet of chips uses less time than making a sandwich HOWEVER, that packet of chips will not provide you the same amount of energy than that sandwich could have given to you.
If time really is the issue, then invest in nuts/fruits. Dinner can wait! (Don’t skip that either *stares through you*)
9. Be updated with the current news around you
Now, this probably is more relevant to those who are taking the humanity subjects (especially you fellow Legal Studies students) but it really is important to be up-to-date with current headlines etc. They are excellent in acting as evidence in any argument PLUS you can use it as a cool-down session and just read random stuff. That way, you are ‘technically’ still studying *cough cough*
The title says it all. Don’t think that an all-nighter is gonna get you the marks. Your brain needs that sleep to reorganise those countless hours of information you just attempted to stuff!
Even if you think that you haven’t studied enough, no sleep is just going to let those thoughts and notes just fly…away…and they WON’T stay in your head!
So please sleep! (But don’t sleep in! That would be bad! *whoops!*)
All right, so there you have it! My ten tips for you future HSC-examinees. I totally understand the stress and pressure you must be under right now (hell, I had experienced the exact same thing just last year!) but please understand that THIS WILL NOT LAST! And once you are over, you will have the most longest/magnificent holiday EVER! IF that isn’t motivating enough, then….I don’t really know what else is LOLOLOL
So, I wish you ALL the best of luck! Don’t give up – you’ve already come so far. Give it your all and remember, this is only a short-term thing and it doesn’t define your life FOREVER! When I did the exams, I freaked constantly, panicking and over-thinking that these exams meant the end of me.
However, through the support of family, friends and teachers, I had come to realise that anyone can really jump over these hurdles; it is possible.
So, my dear children, do not stop fighting! Good luck and my best wishes to you all!
Biggest hugs and kisses to you all,
❤ Yami Hyunnie ^^~