In this article, we will go through different ways you can collaborate with your peers for different HSC subjects!
A collaborative approach to your HSC studies will ensure that you find the year a whole lot more enjoyable. It will also allow you to refine your study approach by considering what has been effective for others.
Collaboration can involve forming groups within your own school for specific subjects or with students from other schools. The latter tends to be a less competitive environment and allow easily share resources with one another.
While it may not appear so, a collaborative approach to studying HSC English is one of the most successful approaches.
This is particularly true in light of a syllabus that demands a comprehensive understanding of the prescribed texts.
The first step? You should form an English study group with students who are studying the same prescribed texts as you.
Then, designate one day per week or fortnight to come together and reflect upon the ideas you have been discussing in class or have come across in your own time.
The discussions that arise from this smaller group setting are often much more valuable than class discussions as everyone will have a chance to give their honest opinions.
This approach also allows members to expand upon and reconsider those opinions in light of the contributions of other group members. This study group can also function as a book club that will make sure you keep on top of your readings for your prescribed texts.
Along with considering thematic ideas collaboratively, your study group can offer valuable feedback on your creatives or essays.
Let’s be honest, while Matrix teachers and tutors can get you feedback, it is sometimes difficult to resubmit your work multiple times for feedback from your time-poor school teachers. So, it is really useful to have your peers read over your work and offer their perspectives.
While the feedback will be less technical, your peers will be able to pick up on your expression issues and strengthen your arguments by offering counters.
There are a couple of useful group apporaches to study you can take for Maths.
When studying for Mathematics, one of the best approaches is to complete past paper questions.
One great way to make use of a study group in this scenario is to designate a set of questions from a past paper for a study session.
Then, complete each question individually followed by group discussion.
For the higher Mathematics courses where questions must be solved using multiple methods, doing past papers means that you are exposed to a greater variety of techniques.
This is useful as you can use these techniques whenever you are faced with a similar question in the future.
Arguably, you can’t claim to really understand and know a subject or idea until you can successfully explain it to somebody else.
So, armed with a whiteboard or even just a pen and notepad, you are ready to teach your peers the principles and equation types you need to know.
A good process to follow is:
Many of the concepts you come across in the HSC Science courses will quite difficult to digest conceptually at first.
In your study group, similar to Mathematics, you can run through questions in past papers one by one. Then, you should focus on collaboratively identifying the important points for each question.
This way, you can reflect upon all aspects of the syllabus at once.
You will also identify those areas that you are struggling to understand or are not as comfortable discussing in a response.
Another great approach to Science study is to work through each of the syllabus dot points in your study group.
It is a great idea to first test each of the members in your study group on certain topics. Then, once you identify gaps in knowledge, you should take turns adopting the role of teacher (see the process for Maths).
This is a very useful study technique as it will test how well you understand concepts, given that you should comfortably be able to explain them to your peers.
Verbalising the content is also a great way to practice explaining concepts in a logical manner, which is demanded in longer responses in the HSC papers.
Another method for study is to complete the past paper individually. Then have your friends strictly mark your work against the marking guidelines.
In this way, you can more honestly reflect upon areas of improvement for yourself.
Specifically, you can determine whether you are losing marks because you do not understand a concept, or because you need to more rigorously apply relevant information to structure a logical response.
Often your peers from other schools will have different resources given to them.
While it is important to focus on understanding the nature of your school’s assessments first, it is also a good idea to expose yourself to as many question styles as possible for each subject.
This can be done by completing past paper questions from other schools.
It is a good idea to form a google drive of HSC resources with your friends.
This way you all have access to plenty of study material that is mutually beneficial because you are exposing yourself to a vast array of question types.
For more material dense subjects, you should consider creating a google document of notes where you and your friend collaboratively work together.
You should summarise information from school or textbooks under each of the relevant syllabus dot points.
This way, you can highlight and comment on particular sections of the notes where phrases are unclear, and suggest example questions that could be added.
The more active the approach to studying, the more likely you will be able to retain the information.
Instead of skimming your own notes passively to revise content, consider getting together a group of equally motivated, like-minded students.
Take this time to quiz each other on the topics that are being tested in the upcoming exam.
Collaborative studying for the HSC allows you to determine how well you understand the content you are learning and gain valuable skills, approaches and knowledge from your peers who have different strengths to you.
All in all, collaboration makes the studying process much more enjoyable and memorable.
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