Reflecting on the 2016 HSC Year

Reflecting on the 2016 HSC Year - The Maths Team at Matrix have compiled their daunting HSC experiences, and want to share with you what they call 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' of Year 12.

Written by:
June Heo

Want to know what the Matrix Maths Team thought of 2016? Spring is a season of new beginnings; including the season of blooming jacaranda trees which have always been linked to the beginning of the HSC period. As the purple flowers fall, the HSC also comes to an end for the class of 2016, but for the new and rising class of 2017 this is just the beginning.

“The Good”

HSC is your final year of schooling. 13 years done and dusted. Now, take a moment to absorb that after your final exam in November 2017 you will have four whole months to travel, eat, and watch all 10 seasons of Friends without leaving your bed for anything but food! Although that is an excellent thing to look forward to, we all know Miley Cyrus was semi-correct when she said it “ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the climb”.

But before we plan for the end of your HSC year 2017, let’s think about the good things that can come from this year. Your HSC year will be about facing new challenges; take this opportunity to embrace new ideas and open your mind to new perspectives. High school is just the beginning of your education and you should take full opportunity to use the resources around you in school, as well as, do some research yourself. Have a goal in mind for the beginning of the year and each week or month, modify/ adapt that goal with the new things that you have learnt along the way. Studying with a goal in mind is much more rewarding at the end of your HSC as you know you have planned and put all your efforts into achieving that goal.

Lastly, enjoy your final year with your cohort. Year 12 is not all about study and finishing with a E4 on the certificate. It is also about cherishing those memories and friendships you have created the past 6 years in high school. Kill two birds with one stone and create study groups with your friends across each subject so that you are motivating and supporting each other. The last thing you want during your final year is feeling alone and stressed, and not being surrounded by a supportive environment.

“The Bad”

Unfortunately the matter of fact is, in the HSC year, a student’s intelligence is based on 6 standardised exams. Sadly, this means that your final year of high school, in particular the months leading up to the almighty exams, will be filled with stressful late nights, post-exam stress eating and pre-exam study snacks (always craving those midnight chocolate snacks).

BUT that’s okay, you can treat this as a new challenge, take it as an opportunity to learn a little bit more about yourself. Take for example, learning that you’re a very goal driven person can result in studying more efficiently by setting small goals to reach every day. You may learn that efficient study is not about memorising the content, rather it is about learning how to cope with stress and understanding what learning style best suits you. Once this is decided, you can be in your ultimate study zone!

“The Ugly”

The most difficult part of completing the HSC is feeling a little disconnected from friends and family. The feeling of being completely disconnected from others, closed off by the walls of a bedroom, and spending every moment of the day studying, summarising notes, and preparing for the next assessment, means that there is little time to spend with friends and family.

For example, feeling guilty when going out for dinner can become a huge issue, especially when eating should solely be a time of joy and relaxation. In order to maintain a balance between school and your social life, organising a time-based schedule has proven to be a great way to eliminate unnecessary stress and ensure that you reward yourself. A typical weekend outing to a restaurant could pan out like this:

Ordering food
15 minutes
Eating food and chatting
1.5 hours
Transport going there and back
30 minutes

Sitting down and eating a meal with friends or family is usually a minimum of 60 minutes. In this amount of time half an exam paper could be completed, highlighting the valuable study time lost when going out.

However, throughout the ugly times, your study life and personal life should always be in harmony with each other. It’s important to be able to balance different aspects of your life! Remember, your friends and family will be your strongest support, so it is highly recommended to use that to your advantage. Sit down and eat a meal with your family, so that after the meal you can get your siblings/parents to help you memorise your biology notes.

Bloom like the Jacaranda Trees! 

Overall, the HSC is a tough and challenging year, but it’s only one year of your life which you dedicate yourself to, in order to determine what path you take next. Take this as a new learning opportunity and we promise you, you will receive the rewards afterwards in November 2017 once you complete your final examination. Remember with every good, there is the bad and the ugly, but without the bad and the ugly, you wouldn’t know the good.


Do You Want a Competitive Edge Against Your Peers?

Deal with the good, the bad and the ugly of Year 12 with our holiday courses, which are designed to help students learn essential skills. The holiday courses cover all the topics prescribed by the NSW Board of Studies in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics Advanced, Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2 and English Advanced. Students will be exposed to key topics in the holiday program to ensure they are confident in the material and course work. At Matrix we have the most experienced teachers working with the best, time-tested resources to help you excel.

View our holiday courses at 


Written by June Heo

June launched the popular Matrix Blog in 2011 to make high-quality resources accessible to all students. Before working at Matrix she was a news producer at Sky News.

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