How much study is enough for the HSC?

The HSC may seem extremely daunting as you first enter Year 12 and it seems as if you have to do copious amounts of study to do well. Whilst an aspect of this is true, in the sense that you must dedicate some time to study, it isn’t necessarily beneficial to be on a constant study grind. In fact, telling yourself that you are in constant need of study can build up high levels of stress which can actually make it more difficult for you to have productive study sessions. It is very important not to burn out in Year 11 or Year 12. Year 12 and the HSC is a massive step up from junior years and Year 11 in terms of content. You will be exposed to lots of new concepts and receive assessments that may challenge you more than in junior years. Here are some tips to help you manage your time. 


To maximise your study, one of the most important things to do is pay attention in class. Whilst this may seem quite trivial, it actually will save you a lot of time, by allowing you to understand the syllabus content in class. Actively listening during class is a time efficient way of learning the content, providing you with time to ask questions to your teacher and classmates regarding any concepts you are unsure of or struggling with.


Generally, a rule I kept in mind when studying was that for each class I had at school, I would dedicate 1 hour to study that subject at home. For example, if I had 4 periods of Maths every week, then I would try to fit in 4 hours of home study on Maths throughout the week. I did this for every subject and any leftover work would be completed on the weekends. However, it doesn’t have to be 1 hour per subject! If you feel 1 hour is too much or even not enough per class, have a go varying your study times such as studying in 45 or 30 minute blocks! Using this strategy, I was able to manage my time effectively between subjects, ensuring that I spent my time equally between subjects. However you can definitely be flexible with a schedule like this! If you are feeling confident on a certain subject, rather than spending time on that subject, dedicate it to a subject that you are struggling with. 


Another important aspect of the HSC is review. Since you are expected to know such a large amount of content, it is vital to review the things you have learnt to prevent yourself from forgetting! This is especially important during holidays. Despite it sounding like a drag, even just a 10 minute read of your notes will help you retain content in your mind, especially if this is done consistently according to a regular schedule


Overall, everybody has different study techniques and everyone will ultimately study for different amounts of time. It is important to remember that it isn’t necessarily the amount of time you study that determines how well you perform in the HSC but rather it is the quality of the study you do! So don’t waste hours studying if it isn’t going to be productive, make sure you are engaging in active studying. In this way, you will be able to study smarter rather than harder!


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