HSC STUDY STRATEGY!
Many students spend most their time leading up to HSC examinations creating a beautiful set of study notes. In their minds these notes seem like effective exam preparation. They read over them repeatedly in an attempt to memorise material to overcome a common fear of forgetting content.
Whilst effective organisation, note taking and reading is a key part of HSC exam preparation I emphasise the importance of past exam practise through the following analogy;
“Would you sit a driving test with little to no practice driving a car? Preparing for examinations by only taking and reading notes is like preparing for a driving test by only reading and memorising the road rules”.
The benefits of completing practise HSC exam papers are vast and include:
• Extending knowledge beyond memory retention to understanding and application of information.
• Pinpointing gaps in knowledge by focusing on questions tested and failed during completion of practice exams.
• Giving the student a sense of format and timing when completing examinations.
• Increasing overall confidence for the actual exam.
• Provides a means for “Active Learning” as oppose to “Passive Learning” therefore facilitating improved memory retention and allowing for higher order learning outcomes.
We are now past the midpoint to the HSC examination period. In reference to the above our year 12 students should continue creating notes, setting a routine of study time and also completing past HSC examinations. NESA syllabus documents provide a great reference point of all areas of content that may be covered in the HSC. Key web links for syllabus documents and past examinations are as follows:
HSC PAST EXAMS AND MARKING GUIDELINES: https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/11-12/resources/hsc-exam-papers
NESA SYLLABUS: https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/understanding-the-curriculum/syllabuses-a-z
YEAR 12- STUDENT TALK!
This week we interview Morgan Woolnough- Waterford House Prefect to share his knowledge and advice on preparation towards the HSC:
1) What do you feel are some of the main challenges that a year 12 student faces in preparation for the HSC?
Procrastination is the main barrier I think many of our students face. Distractions such as youtube, social media and other activities such as basketball can often interfere with focus.
2) In reference to procrastination what are some strategies that you recommend to avoid procrastination when you receive assignments/ homework?
Turn your phone off and do as much of the assigned work done, then after a period of time that suits you turn your phone back on have a scroll, message people then turn it off again in order to avoid those distractions.
Have study blocks whether you choose the 30 minute work and 10 minute rest method, I personally prefer that, it is your responsibility to get the work done not anyone else’s.
3) What study strategies work best for you?
I have a study timetable consisting of 2 hours of study each and every day. Of course this will not always be the case and as such whilst this is a goal it is flexible. For example, I will spend more time studying when there is a test coming up. Nonetheless, having a study routine and/ or goal I feel is important as it holds me accountable. It allows me to manage my time and find balance in life between study and other commitments such as Basketball and social activities.
5) What do you think are the main benefits of practising past HSC exams as a study strategy?
Personally, it benefits me highly as it is likely that what I haven’t written about or answered in past HSC exams can be applied in my writing in my current assessment tasks, showing me how to articulate different paragraphs or sentences so suit the question.
6) Do you think reading over notes and memorising is effective as a primary study technique? Why? Why not?
Not as a primary method. Past questions would be primary but of course you have to know the content in order to answer those questions. However, reading over notes will not assist you in exams and tasks unless they are applied to questions which is a priority.
7) Any other advice that you wish to impart/ share with fellow students?
Make sure you attend to your relationships with your friends as these are your means of support. Your friends will be there after you finish school and they create the foundation of your high school life. I certainly wouldn’t be able to get through this time without the support of friends and people to consult with. In short, make sure to attend to your relationships.
Waterford House- SRC Prefect
Mr Marsh & Mr Breeze
Pastoral Care Coordinators