Top 10 Study Tips for Your High School Journey

Learn the skills you need to ace your way through High School.

Written by:
June Heo

Your journey through high school is one you need to prepare for. We interviewed some of our Matrix graduates who have received exceptional ATARs, and asked them for their essential study tips. We combined their top 10 study tips below. Read the list and start putting their advice into practice!

1. Time Management

Time management is key for your academic AND mental success. Making sure you have created your own personal study timetable is crucial, and will save you from last minute cramming and stress! Use this timetable as a daily planner, noting all of your upcoming assessments and exams, and allocate the time realistically required to prepare for these tasks. With this guide, you’ll know exactly what to do each day, and how much time you’ll need – leaving you organised and relaxed.

Make sure you invest in a checklist or a diary so you can happily tick off tasks once they have been completed – there’s nothing more satisfying!


2. Goals

Set yourself clear and defined goals. Without goals you lack focus and direction. Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your current situation, but also provides you with a benchmark for determining your own success.

Find that spark of motivation to keep you working throughout your high school journey. It’s really important you appreciate the reason you are studying. What do you hope to do when you’ve finished school? Understanding why you want to achieve good marks, and focusing on accomplishing your future goals keeps you motivated and provides you with strength to persevere throughout the entire year.


See also: How To Set Goals To Enter The University Course Of Your Choice

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Many students think that they can gain an advantage by studying into the time they should use to sleep. Research suggests otherwise. Lack of sleep affects concentration, memory and the ability to learn. Students need between 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best. A good night’s sleep will ensure that students are refreshed for their next school day, and that they can tackle whatever tasks are given to them.

Get enough sleep throughout the year, but especially in the weeks before and during exams. This not only helps to consolidate what you have learnt during the day, but also helps you recharge and refocus on your work on the next day, which is important in maintaining effective study and high performance in exams. Our recent graduate Supuli wrote about how important sleep was during her HSC year. Read her article here: The Ultimate Planning Tips that Scored Me a 99.85 ATAR.

4. Stay Motivated and Be Confident

A key aspect of success is to find ways to remain motivated through ups and downs. Everyone has moments where they fail to achieve the mark they aimed for – that’s fine! It happens to the best of people and low marks can be beneficial in that they make you aware of what areas of study you need to focus on. At times, you can be your worst enemy. Self-confidence is key when completing any assessment or exam, no matter how prepared you feel. Acknowledge the fact that everyone around you is in the same boat and that you are not alone.

5. Avoid Procrastination

Overcome the temptation to go on your phone or laptop for hours on end. Physically put your phone away in a different room when you are trying to complete work! For more information on ways you can break your procrastination habits read 8 Ways To Break Your Procrastination Habits.

6. Utilise Your Teachers

Teachers are there to ensure you are able to reach the goals you set for yourself. Ensure that you draw on their knowledge and abilities to improve your own! Don’t be scared to ask for help, because trying to study for subjects that you have little to no understanding of is just wasted time and effort. Remember, your teachers are there to see you succeed, and are there every step of the way!

7. Get a Study Buddy

Plan study sessions with your friends. Ask one another difficult questions, test each other and compare notes. Surrounding yourself with people that are in the same position as you is beneficial, as you have an outlet to express your concerns and discuss different study routines.

8. Maintain a Balanced Lifestyle

It is important to maintain your overall health and well-being to benefit your academic performance. Make sure you balance your HSC study with other commitments.

Whilst maximising the study you need to get done, giving yourself time to relax and enjoy life is important! You will burn out if you continuously study for long periods of time without any breaks. This relaxation time might be spent playing sports, practicing a musical instrument, watching a TV show or spending time with your friends. Unwind and reward yourself with the down time you deserve! Take some pointers from the article How Matrix Helped Me Score 98.65 ATAR – Cedric Barakat, who made sure that he was able to maintain a school-life balance.

9. Learn From Your Mistakes

It is extremely important to focus on your weakest areas. Don’t spend all your time focusing on your strengths, and neglecting your weaknesses, as it won’t help you in the long term. Instead, identify your weaker subjects and focus more of your time and energy on trying to improve your knowledge and understanding in these areas. You might want to try keeping a “Mistakes Book” as recommended in the article How I Scored an ATAR of 99.35 – Jehan Karem.

10. Have Fun!

At the end of the day, you should be grateful for the world-class education you receive and the limitless opportunities made available to you. Thirteen years of schooling is tough, but with a positive mindset and a great support network, you can achieve anything you want!



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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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