In this post, Girraween High School and current Matrix student shares his organisation tips and tricks to live a balanced HSC life and simultaneously achieve great marks.
Are you struggling to stay on stay on top of your HSC game? Do you feel stressed out because you can’t balance your HSC life? Don’t worry! Read on to find some great organisation tips to balance life and ace your HSC.
Girraween High School
Bachelor of Commerce/Computer Science UNSW
I love computers! I love the way they use mathematics and how the world revolves around such small machines. It awes me.
Organisation during the HSC year is so much more important than we think it is. Nothing scares me more than watching an assessment task slowly creep up, hiding behind the piles and piles of homework and then suddenly hitting me like a truck.
That’s why organisation is so so important!
However, not everyone has millions of sticky notes, notebooks, diaries and planners all set out to our disposal.
Instead, I organise myself through applications on my devices!
For students that wish to use the same application, It is called Countdown Timer Plus on the Mac App Store.
Applications like these are super helpful, as they prevent deadlines from getting the best of me. This keeps me on top of my tasks and stay organised! As soon as I get a notification for an assessment task, I put it my organiser. Also, every time I open my laptop, I can see all of my tasks and when it is due.
This way my work timetable is automatically wired into the back of my head and there’s no room for nasty assessment surprises!
These 15 minutes will go a long, long way, use them wisely.
Now that I have everything organised, I just need to do it!
I cannot stress this enough, but the best way to tackle assessments is doing past papers.
Past papers are great tools for me to prepare for exams because they tell me everything I need to achieve my best mark.
How I guarantee high exam marks (especially in Maths) is by looking at and attempting past papers BEFORE I receive my notification.
Attempting past papers before I’m entirely comfortable with all the topics and content can be a challenge, as re-learning the content can be extremely time-consuming. However, it is great practice.
I also strongly recommend booking the free Matrix workshops that is complimentary to your Matrix course.
In Matrix workshops, I bring difficult past papers and questions before assessments and work through them with the Matrix tutors.
I essentially learn everything that I need and face no major obstacles because I have a tutor right beside me to guide me through the questions. (If you want to check out the Maths workshops, I recommend my favourite tutors Andy Tran and Andy Sun!)
By doing past papers in this fashion, I ace my exams with no stress whatsoever.
Enrol into Matrix’s Math Ext 2 Course to access their complimentary free workshops!
The idea of cruising for months on end, until the last two days before an exam may sound oddly familiar.
To ensure that this doesn’t happen, I make a habit of revising my notes every day.
However, this doesn’t mean that I spend hours re-learning content.
Instead, I spend a mere 15 minutes re-reading today’s notes from every subject. This allows me to set my knowledge in concrete, so I don’t need to cram the night before.
This ensures that I am on top of my tasks and my HSC results are maximised,
For the majority of our subjects, our syllabus shows us exactly what we need to learn.
I like to use the traffic light methodology for my syllabus, to help me maintain my strengths and improve my weaknesses.
How this works is:
Sometimes, we overlook the biggest resource available to us. Our teachers!
Our teachers know what they’re doing and since they write our assessment tasks, it would make sense for us to annoy them to help us!
In preparation for assessments, I find it super helpful to always email my teachers and send them my notes and essays. Doing this early allows me to prioritise and get help from my best resource of education.
Don’t forget, it is your HSC and our teachers are only here to help. There’s no need to be shy to ask for help!
I tend to find it useful for me to spam my teachers with emails asking for areas I can improve in, even if it is the slightest help.
Along with staying organised and doing your work, it’s extremely important to make sure you balance your life!
Personally, I did all of the above to balance my life.
I realised sleep is so indispensable to me because of how much it affects my learning. This is why I made sure get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
It’s understandable that sometimes 8 hours of sleep is hard to achieve because of our great workload. This is why my organisation tips are so important and helpful!
Along with sleep, I also exercised to balance my life during the HSC. I love playing sports and getting active. I found it important to make time for myself to do this to maintain my mental health whilst juggling the HSC.
During my HSC, I:
Playing sport and exercising helped me relax and de-stress myself, even if it’s just a little as going for a run after a long day. This lets me release endorphins and maximise efficiency for studying.
As well as staying active during my HSC, I also love being involved with my community. You should always be in the lookout for things happening around you, such as volunteering events.
I love helping out at my local age care centre, because it’s so fulfilling. They’re always willing to have a helping hand too!
You can also volunteer for the upcoming federal election. Just find the location of your nearest support group and go support your party!
Burning out is never a good thing, and what’s a better way than taking a break from studying and helping your community at the same time.
Not only is this a fulfilling activity but it also helps improve my portfolio.
Do what you love! One of the best decisions I made in my Preliminary Year was picking the subjects that I love. No day goes by where I despise going to class, as doing what I love makes learning genuinely fun, interesting and easier!
The HSC year is only a year, and is no reason to stress out and kick yourself in the back over. Take a step back and make most of it, as it goes by very very fast.
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