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How I Scored An ATAR of 98.3 – Alec Peng

Read how Alec scored an ATAR of 98.3.

My HSC Subjects

HSC SubjectAssessment MarkExamination MarkHSC Mark
English Advanced939594/100
English Extension 1464747/50
English Extension 2474345/50
Maths Advanced949896/100
Legal Studies929393/100

My HSC Experience

Year 12 and the HSC experience was by far the greatest challenge I have ever faced. I entered 2014 with fresh optimism; I had a great Year 11 experience and achieved good results. I thought that I was prepared for the kinds of difficulties I would face amidst mounting workloads and challenging content. After my first term of Year 12, however, and a disappointing set of results, I felt as though I wasn’t ready for such a big leap. I realised that I had to make changes to my mindset, study routine, and approach towards assessments in order to gain stronger results.

Some Tips That I Found Really Useful:

1. Beat your procrastination.

I tried to tackle my assessments and workload head on by challenging my lazy and procrastinating tendencies. This was difficult at first – I would easily choose doing nothing over working on an essay. A bit of mental conviction, however, goes a long way, and I was able to motivate myself into completing the essays, study notes and maths exercises that I needed to be on top of.

Find the necessary motivation to spur you on. For me, it was my competitive streak, my desire to keep going and succeed. The idea of failing to achieve the results I wanted simply because I was a little too lazy seemed to work every single time.

2. Be able to work effectively in study groups, and individually.

Study groups are more effective than most people would think. I initially had doubts as to whether being in a study group would be able to help me pick up extra marks. Working in a group, though, allowed for a broader understanding of content, different perspectives on how to answer questions, and a more engaging and dynamic approach to studying and learning. I personally feel that working in study groups for each of my subjects, and especially for Maths and English, was what helped me achieve the HSC results that I was aiming for.
Aim to start a study group that consists of hard-working students who are also aiming for great results.

3. Organise yourself in a logical and confident manner.

First study the subjects that require the greatest effort, and work on the assessments that require the most time, making your way down your priority list. Try to evaluate what needs to be done now, within the week, and during the term. Set tangible and attainable goals – they are beneficial because they encourage improvement.

Make your goals specific, and work on setting them as soon as possible. On a typical day, I would complete any required Maths work, review English notes I had taken during the day, and write a few chapters of notes for my other subjects.

Most importantly, make sure you keep a calm head when organising your studies. Often you can feel overwhelmed at the amount of work that needs to be done, but the key is to remain relaxed and confident. Soon you’ll gratifyingly see your work start to disappear as you knock off each task that you’ve set yourself.

Have an ATAR Goal but No Plan?

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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