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How to Know When You’re Prepared for the HSC

How much working out you need to get muscular depends on if you're The Rock or..

Rishabh Jain
Head of Product & Head of Chemistry
Question: How much preparation should I be doing in order to feel 'ready' for the HSCs? e.g. a certain number of trial & HSC papers?

Rishabh Jain (Head of Product & Head of Chemistry)

How much do I need to work out or go to the gym to be muscular? That depends. How muscular do you want to be? Where are you now?

If it's me: I have negative muscle density, so I probably need to go 3-4 times a week and train hard. But also I can't train too hard otherwise I might injure myself.

If it's The Rock: He's already good, so he just needs to continue with a light pace to stay muscular.

What's the point I'm trying to make?

1. The Answer to Your Question Depends on a lot of Things.

  • How well do you want to do in the HSC?
  • Do you want to just feel ready to 'pass' it with okay marks, or do you want to sacrifice a lot of things to get a higher mark? (there is no current answer here, and balance is important)
  • Where are you right now?
  • If you're smashing Trials, came first in all your subjects, then you probably don't need to do many papers to feel 'ready'.
  • If you're struggling, don't understand concepts, a more thorough learner etc, then you might need to do more prep.

2. Number of Past Papers Does NOT Equate to Study Quality.

Yes, past papers are crucial. But I have seen way too many students who smash out 15 past papers in a week, and end up failing their exam. Why? Because they didn't do it well.

Doing past papers is about finding your mistakes and learning from them.

  • It's about saying "Okay, I really stuffed up this binomial theorem question. I will look at the solutions line by line, and as soon as I see the first place where the solutions are different to mine, I will use that as a starting point to try the question myself. If I get stuck, I will go to the next line to get a hint, etc."
  • Do not simply rewrite the solutions. this is not learning.
  • It's about writing down the mistakes you make, and storing them in a book, so that you can review your mistakes and have them front of mind when you do papers to avoid repeating them
  • It's about finding your weakest areas so that you can go back to the textbook or research to learn.

(These are just things I did and have seen others do, they are not necessarily the best strategies. Always take it with a handful of salt!)

3. You are the best person to answer this question.

  • You are the best person to know how good your study is
  • You are the best person to know how much you still need to do
  • You are the best person to tell if you are burning out

Self-reflect each day. Where am I at right now? Am I on track for where I want to be?

4: Create a long-term plan.

  1. Write down what you have finished so for
  2. Write down want you want to have finished by the HSC (e.g. past papers, notes, etc. - be specific)
  3. Break those goals down into weekly goals and distribute your tasks
  4. Reflect each week to see whether you are on track for your goals or not

You got this! ❤

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