My Top 3 HSC Maths Tips – Laura-Jane Liau

Posted on July 12, 2013 by Laura-Jane Liau


1. Time Management

While time management leading up to the exam is crucial, it is equally important to use the allocated time effectively during the HSC exam. A huge lesson I learnt, however unfortunate for myself, was during my Maths Extension II trial when I thought we had a total of two hours instead of three for the exam. One can imagine how happy I felt that two hours and fifteen minutes after the start time, I still hadn’t heard ‘pens down’. But that was far from the supervisor’s mistake. Apart from rushing through the exam itself, I skipped a simple three mark question and for my ignorance, it was hard to forgive myself. Know your exam time and know it well.

On another note, I have heard the simple rule of allocating three minutes of exam time for every two marks-but don’t put your money on that tip. The HSC exams are designed to progressively increase in difficulty so you would need to spend more time on the monster Questions seven and eight rather than question one.

2. The ‘they won’t ask that this year’ mindset.

Exam writers from the Board of Studies are intelligent. They are not going to give you questions that have been previously asked (particularly in Extension II) or come straight from the textbook. This is why it is important to know all your fundamental rules and to apply them well to each question. Like English, you cannot predict what they’ll test on so it is not just good enough to memorise formulae.

3. Reading Time

In my experience, reading time is not an extension of writing time so don’t start doing question one in your head! Flip through the whole paper (each side too!) and know which questions require the most attention to detail-e.g. those with restrictions. It is a good idea to make a mental note so that you remember when it comes to completing it in full.

Last but not least, don’t give up! Remember that working out is usually rewarded by partial marks, which will definitely go a long way in the exam. Good luck !

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