Tips from former Year 12 students — on study

Who better to give you the inside scoop about getting set up for your HSC exams than HSC students?

Check out advice from past HSC students about all things exam prep, how to keep a balance and more to get you feeling confident and ready for HSC exams.

Image: (Clockwise), Michelle Ung, Jordan King, Jasmin Morrissey, April Willis, Abram Liddell.

Michelle Ung: Practice for the real deal

A good study routine doesn’t always mean just having a quiet place to concentrate.

Michelle, who came equal first in English Advanced in the 2021 HSC, says having a well-researched plan for exams helped to create a study routine that kept her focused and feeling on track with her progress.

Remember, different HSC subjects may need a different approach to study; as Michelle noted, English Advanced requires independent work and preparation, rather than frequent, long study sessions.

Michelle’s Top Tip

Seek guidance from your teachers and practice for your final HSC exams with past papers.

Check out: Quick tips to get set up for your HSC studies.

Jordan King: Create a balance

When you only concentrate on HSC study, practice papers, flash cards and quizzes, it’s easy to forget about taking time to also enjoy your HSC experience!

Former Armidale Secondary College student, Jordan King’s approach to study was to “enjoy what you’re learning” and remember to keep it balanced by making time for your social life, hobbies, sport or whatever helps to alleviate stress and refresh your mindset toward study.

Jordan’s Top Tip

Trust your preparation and feel confident that all your hard work and knowledge will hold up against any question you face in your exams.

April Willis: Keep things in perspective

It can be overwhelming to think about everything you need to do in the lead up to your final exams. Take time to reflect on how far you have come and how much you have already accomplished; you’ve got this!

April Willis learned to cope with HSC stress by breaking down her study and giving herself weekly goals to achieve, “I would set one syllabus point to focus on each study session and that helped me get my head around the fact that I could get it all done easily.”

April’s Top Tip

A positive mindset is key; remind yourself that you will get through Year 12 like every other year, and your hard work will pay off.

Learn about: practical wellbeing tips.

Abram Liddell: Know your limits

“A great car isn’t great if it’s out of fuel.” We couldn’t have said it better, Abram!

You might think it’s a rite of passage to pull an all-nighter before big exams, but you shouldn’t sacrifice your wellbeing just to squeeze in an extra hour of study.

Abram Liddell, who came first in the 2021 HSC exam for electrotechnology, said the pressure of HSC can easily fog your perception of your body’s needs.

Remember, HSC is just the beginning. So, don’t burn out before you can really get going!

Abram’s Top Tip

Understand what your limits are and work within them, particularly during exam period.

Take the quiz: Are you burning out? (ReachOut)

Jasmin Morrissey: Don’t sweat the small stuff

Nobody has it all together all the time and that’s okay! Even former school captain at Tweed River High School, Jasmin Morrissey, said staying motivated was her greatest challenge during HSC.

If something hasn’t gone quite to plan or you’re not feeling as prepared for exams as you thought you’d be, try not to stress. Instead, focus on what you can do to get yourself back on-track and feeling confident about exams.

“I wouldn’t say I was amazingly organised throughout my HSC but definitely having good time management with my study, work and personal life helped with managing the workload.”

Remember, your mates are most likely feeling the same way, so have a chat with them about how you’re feeling!

Jasmine’s Top Tip

Do your best and if you don’t achieve amazing marks, it’s not the end of the world; there are so many pathways and opportunities out there.


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