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Amanda’s Hacks: Reflecting on the 2020 Academic Year

The HSC exams are nearing! What's a better time to reflect on how far you've come?

In this article Matrix Scholarship holder and James Ruse Agricultural High School student, Amanda Shi, spends time reflecting on the 2020 academic year and shares insight about what was effective, and not so effective.

She achieved an  ATAR of 99.85 in her 2020 HSC.


What was your high point of the year?

I never thought I would say this, but going back to physical school after months of Google Classroom and Microsoft teams…


What were your HSC Trial marks?

Subject Trial marks
English Advanced 93
Mathematics Ext 2 95
Mathematics Ext 1 96
Chemistry 95
Physics 96



If you had 2020 again, how would you have approached the study of your subjects differently?

I would have started doing past papers earlier and hassled my English teachers more.

Applying content is so different to just learning it.

Also, I feel that my Maths and Science marks could have really benefited from more practice.

Same goes for English where you also need the opinion of the teacher to set you on the right track.




How could you have utilised Matrix courses to your advantage better?

I feel as though I utilised Matrix holiday courses really well (I did the courses for Maths Ext 2, Chemistry and Physics all in the holidays) and that enabled me to spend more time on practise and revision during the school term.

However, I haven’t been to as many workshops as I would have liked. So I wish I was more on top of scheduling dates to seek support from the tutors.

(Note: If you want to learn how to effectively use a study diary to schedule your time, take a read of Matrix’s How to Use a Study Diary to Study Effectively article.)



What’s your study plan in the next 40 days?

While I’m aiming to read my notes weekly, my focus now is revising the content I learnt for trials by applying it to past practice papers from NESA, my school and other schools.

Matrix teachers are definitely going to be a fantastic help for giving feedback for my practice long responses, essays and any lasting anxieties I have.

If you want to take a read about how to prepare for the HSC in 28 days, check out Matrix’s Get HSC Ready in 28 Days Guide.




Read more of Amanda’s articles:



Boost your Physics marks like Amanda did

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Written by Guest Author

We have regular contributions to our blog from our Tutor Team and high performing Matrix Students. Come back regularly for these guest posts to learn their study hacks and insights!


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