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Oscar’s Hacks: Staying Organised for the HSC in Year 10!

Want to know what it takes to do HSC subjects in Year 10? In this article, Oscar shares his tips for staying organised for the HSC in Year 10!

Academic success all stems from your organisation. Many junior students ask us, “what should I do get organised?” Well, in this article, guest writer Oscar Iwas shares his tips for staying organised for the HSC in Year 10!


Me, Myself and I




Fort Street High School

University Course Goal:

B Arts/Law

ATAR Goal:


Dream Career:

Anything to do with film or music that would allow me to express my feelings and thoughts!


My Year 11 Subjects

  • English Advanced
  • English Extension 1
  • Mathematics Advanced
  • Mathematics Extension 1
  • Economics
  • Modern History
  • Drama
  • I completed my HSC for Business Studies this year (2019)

My current best performing subject is

History due to my interest in the subject and the essay writing experience I have gained from Business Studies.


My current worst performing subject is

English due to my lack of analytical skills and experience with writing English essays. But the Matrix English course has helped me improve in this subject over the last year.


Staying Organised for the HSC in Year 10!

It has taught me the level of study and the type of study required in order to achieve great results.I recently completed my Business Studies HSC in Year 10 after accelerating it and this experience has taught me many things about the difference between senior stages and junior stages.

This is why I am sharing my findings with you.


Effort = Results

We all know that one friend who was able to get straight A’s through years 7 – 10 just by doing their assignments the night before, but senior the stages are a whole new ballgame.

The results you achieve in senior school is completely dependent upon the time and effort you put into your work.

This means how many times you rewrite and read your notes, how many practice essays you write and how many trial papers you do. The more time and effort you put in the greater the results in exchange.


Work smart, Not hard

While effort does equal results, the effort you are putting in must be the most effective at providing you with the greatest return.

For example, if your trials are around the corner you could spend 6 hours reading and rewriting your notes or you could spend 6 hours doing 2 past papers.

What I’m trying to say is, you must tailor what you are doing to what you are trying to achieve. Therefore, writing 2 practice essays will probably be more effective at getting you that 20/20 essay than if you just read notes for 3 hours trying to remember content.

Be organised

It’s time to get a journal if you don’t already have one! In Year 11 and 12, a high volume of work is going to get thrown at you daily.

I’m talking multiple choice quizzes, short answer questions, worksheets, textbook exercises, practice essays and personal work that you got to get done yourself like notes. This on top of your other extracurricular activities could start to become a recipe for disaster.

It is important that you get something to write down all the work you have, and this doesn’t have to be a fancy journal that you write in. It can be as simple as your note’s app on your phone.

Just write something down!

How do I stay organised? I keep a weekly planner on a whiteboard

What does this mean for you?….


Get a Whiteboard

This tip may seem weird, but it goes hand in hand with the previous tip. A journal is small, and you may not always remember to look at it but if you have a whiteboard in your room with a list of tasks to complete then you will always be able to see what you need to do.


Remember to be creative with it! You’re not limited to my bland and boring structure you can use colour markers and even draw on it to SPICE up your study space.


Don’t Stop Running!

Think of the HSC like a marathon, especially if you accelerate subjects). It’s this long race, and because of that you’re going to get tired at some spots and that’s ok!

You can slow down, catch your breath and speed up again when its time but if you stop to a standstill your body will probably give up and you’ll have difficulty gaining pace again.

This is the biggest mistake I made while doing business studies. After my trials, I was so excited for the holidays that I completely stopped studying for business and when I finally tried to start up again it was already too late, and my HSC was just 3 weeks away.

It is vital that you continue to revise content and do work, even if your only doing light study on the downtime such as multiple-choice questions or Quizlet (online flashcards) to keep content fresh on your mind.

Here’s a link to my Business Studies Finance Quizlet (you can create your own sets or look for ones created by others)!

Also remember that if you run the whole race, you’ll probably tire out very quickly! So, make sure you do slow down at some points to have a breather.

Never Give Up

Last but not least, remember that there is never a point where you have to give up in Year 12. Even if your second assessment mark was terrible or you bombed your trials that’s not the end of the world!

The most important thing is your HSC, which carries a 50% weighting and can raise your marks. The trials should be used as an indicator of your skills and where you have to improve to achieve that high band 6 in the HSC.


Bonus Social Science Pro Hack

For people doing social science subjects following the news can be hard.

I found that using Google Alerts to send you daily news alerts around key terms such as “business”, “economics” and “law” made my life so much easier.


While it is better to actually watch and read the news, having a skim of these daily alerts is a great way to have a basic understanding of what is happening.



Be prepared for the HSC like Oscar is!

Accelerate past your peers by enrolling into our Matrix+ Online Course. Clear and structured online lesson videos, quality resources, and forums to ask your Matrix+ teachers questions and for feedback.

Learn more about our Matrix+ Online English course now.


My final advice to students studying senior subjects

3 Things You Must Do

  1. Send your teacher your work
    They will give you invaluable advice and criticism
  2. Do past papers
    They provide you with an insight into the type of questions you will see in the HSC, make sure that you are comfortable with the content in the test and improve your test-taking skills e.g. time management
  3. Tick off a checklist
    The feeling of ticking off work will make you feel accomplished and can act as a morale booster and motivator

3 Things You Must Not Do

  1. Memorise prewritten essays
    Memorising prewritten essays and hoping that your specific question will pop up is a terrible idea, instead, learn how to write an essay so you can guarantee a 20/20
  2. Leave notes to last minute
    Notes should be written as you go so that when it comes to exam time you can focus on past papers and practice essays
  3. Only do what is assigned
    What your teacher assigns you is the bare minimum, ensure you are always doing more work than what is assigned


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!


© Matrix Education and, 2018. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matrix Education and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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