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How To Goal Set Your Way To HSC Subject Rankings

When it comes to goal setting, we need to find the best motivators for ourselves. In this article, we will show you how to find these motivators!

Academic success is a unique venture for everyone, because we are each motivated differently. In this article, we will show you how to goal set your way to HSC subject rankings.

When it comes to any form of goal setting, it is important that you set goals which plays into your emotional motivation.

What we mean by this is that your goal needs to elicit a strong emotion within you and be stirred by something greater than the present moment.



Step 1: Figure out your macro goals

The most successful HSC goal setting starts with the macro and then transitions into a consideration of the micro.

What are some great examples of the macro?

A great starting point is to think about where you see yourself in the next five years.

Think of the big picture.

What do you want to study at university? Will it be within Australia or perhaps (when things open up) overseas?

What kind of life experiences do you value and how will specific university choices cater to those (for example, would you like to have the option to study internationally within your degree)?


1. Decide out what you want to study and your ATAR goal

The HSC is not the be-all and end-all. However, it offers you the very prized possession of choice.

That is why it is a great idea to think about what you want to study, and then, what the ATAR cut-off for that degree is.

With the ATAR goal in mind, you are already in a much better position for your senior years.

If you are uncertain about what you want to study, think about the general fields of study that interest you.

Then, set yourself a goal that will give you maximum choice within the relevant degree options.




Step 2: Set micro goals

Once you have goals set regarding university courses and the relevant ATAR, it is important to turn to the micro aspect of goal setting.


1. Use an ATAR calculator to figure out your subject goals

There are plenty of ATAR calculators out there (including the Matrix ATAR Calculator) which will allow you to input your specific courses and your ATAR goal.

Using this information, they will output weighted HSC marks that are required for each of your subjects.

The calculators are designed to automatically generate an equally good mark in all of your subjects.

In many cases, you’ll find that you can achieve higher than the generated number in one subject, but are less confident in another subject.

So, play around and change the values of each subject according to your strengths and weaknesses.

Once you have designed a list that feels practical for your abilities, transfer this to a table.

These marks will become your goal HSC marks for each subject.


2. Reflect on your current marks by using a tracking system

The next part of HSC subject goal setting is to reflect upon your current marks in each of your courses, and compare them to your subject mark goals.

From this process, it will become clear which of your subjects requires most of your efforts.

Organisation and a tracking system are key to achieving your goal mark for each subject.

It is a good idea to have an excel spreadsheet (or similar software set-up) which allows you to record the weighting for each of your assessments and the percentage of the marks you achieve in each assessment.

At the end of each assessment block, you should reflect upon your current mark for the subject.

Here, determine whether the extra effort you have been investing has been worthwhile, and perhaps which subjects require more of your time.

Remember that the HSC is an equal culmination of all of your subjects.

So, it is important to maintain your strengths but also ensure that you are targeting your weaknesses, even though you may find them more difficult to study and as a result less enjoyable.


3. Consider subject rankings

In addition to tracking your marks throughout the year across all of your subjects, you should also consider your subject rankings and how you are performing in comparison to your school.

This will be a good indication of your path to your goals.

You should be familiar with the certain strengths and weaknesses of your cohort because this plays into the marks you will achieve.

With knowledge of how many Band 6s the previous cohort achieved in your subjects, you can get a relative idea of the ranks you need to maintain within your school to achieve your goal ATAR.




Step 3: Ask for advice!

In addition to this process of self-reflection, it is important to consult those around you for their advice and insights.


1. Ask your teachers

If you find that your marks in a particular subject are not improving as much as you hope, you should have a conversation with your teachers and tell them about your goals.

Your teachers can help keep you accountable.

They understand your learning and performance best. So, they are a great resource for targeted feedback.


2. Ask your peers

As well as this, make sure you talk to your peers and see what works best for them.

Organising study group sessions is a great way to actively test yourself and make sure that your study approach is effective.

If you want to learn more about working collaboratively with your peers, take a read of our How to Work Collaboratively with Your Peers for HSC Study Success.



Key points to take away!

Staying motivated and consistent with your studies throughout the HSC year is sometimes really tough.

It is important to always think back to the macro whenever you are feeling unmotivated.

Think about all of the choice you will have when you achieve your goal ATAR and how you are able to study a course of your own choosing.

So, keep an eye on your marks and rankings to make sure that they are at a standard that will help you achieve your goals.

Although bear in mind the caveat, which is that the numbers are often arbitrary. So, focus on preparing yourself as much as possible and boosting your exam confidence.

Whenever the going gets tough, try to think back on what got you started and hopefully remembering this will stir you back into action.


Matrix will help you achieve your ATAR goals

At Matrix, our HSC experts will guide you through every step of the HSC journey. Learn with our comprehensive resources to reach your ATAR goals. Learn more now. 


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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