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