DO you wish you could find a walk-through guide for the HSC like you can for most games? Well, in this post Yvann gives you just that in his guest blog post "Surviving Year 12: The Gamer's Guide to the HSC."
In this article, Yvann Sinson offers a creative take on how surviving Year 12 with his gamer’s guide to acing the HSC.
Marsden High School
Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions at UNSW
Year 12, the last instalment to the role-playing game franchise “High School”. Most players who have completed the franchise say that it’s the “more difficult version of the previous game Year 11, and possibly the hardest out of the entire franchise”.
Worry not, I’m here to talk about my experiences and guide you through it to make your “playthrough” as easy as possible.
Quick note, if you breezed through the previous game, Year 11, you may find yourself having a smooth transition into Year 12 as you’ve likely figured out what you’re supposed to be doing. However, a quick refresh of memory never hurt anybody.
To get organised in the early stage of the game, I would often read the future content I was going to learn and prepare questions to ask my teacher, to have an easier time understanding it. I also had a regular weekly checklist to further organise my time efficiently.
Matrix courses were great (I was enrolled for Maths Ext 1 & 2 and Physics) as they would give you the material for the term/holiday and you could easily work ahead.
During this stage of the game, you will have tiny tasks to finish, the most common one being homework.
Players often choose to ignore the importance of these tasks as they are relatively easy to complete and takes zero to no time.
This leads me to my first tips.
Set yourself daily goals ensuring that you stay on track and manage your workload efficiently. It feels great whenever you cross out your list after finishing each goal.
I would take into consideration the subjects/tasks I know I struggle with and prioritise them. That is, putting it earlier and more frequently in the study planner. After this I would ensure that the study planner covers all my subjects, meaning not overlooking ‘easy’ subjects and still include them for light revision.
Don’t let work pile up!
If left to become a bigger problem, you may find yourself in a predicament. Especially later into the game, where you will receive much more difficult tasks to complete.
Dealing with these small tasks will avoid burdening you with a large quantity of workload.
Completing these tasks rewards your character with experience, which you can then use to upgrade your character to become the best possible version of yourself.
I found writing things out by hand really useful for consolidating my understanding of the content. It also meant I’d produced a set of notes that had all the information I needed.
I used binders and loose-leaf paper for notes, exercise books for homework.
By now you should’ve gained an adequate amount of experience and upgraded your character. During this phase, you will receive more challenging tasks like assessments and mid-yearly exams. In order to compensate for the increase in difficulty, you must put in more effort.
To overcome this I enrolled in the Matrix holiday course, stayed back after classes and would ask for more guidance. After finishing the lesson, I would summarise the content I learned and research more on the parts I wasn’t fully confident in.
Have a set idea on what you’re meant to be doing every week. That is, knowing what kind of workload you’re working with, and knowing how to manage time efficiently. As well as starting to considerate your weaknesses and how to overcome them, that is, the subjects you need help with.
Be smart and organised and keep track of what you’ve studied and need to study.
Once I had learnt all the content for my subjects, I moved on to applying this knowledge by doing past papers. There are heaps online available to download, and I did the relevant ones for each exam. Once I’d finished them, I’d go through and mark them against the solutions I could find.
For the HSC, I made a checklist to keep track of which ones I’d finished or needed to mark.
I highlighted any long response questions that I couldn’t mark (lack of marking guidelines) and gave these to my school and Matrix teachers for feedback and help. I’d keep track of all this on a journal in my phone.
Approach these difficult tasks and challenges with a can-do attitude. Don’t be afraid to stay back after classes and ask your teacher for guidance – you can also book workshops if need be. However, ensure that you are reasonable to yourself and have a balanced lifestyle.
During the early part of Year 12, I was anxious that I wouldn’t be able to maintain to stay in Advanced English and move down to Standard, as English isn’t my first language. As a result, I regularly stayed back with my English teacher. I would stay back for around 2 hours almost every day for three weeks straight, asking questions and working on writing materials (e.g. essays and creative writing).
Taking into consideration that you will have to sit your first set of exams, it’s important to be prepared. The most effective strategy I found was making summary notes for each subject.
Doing this ensures that you have understood your study materials adequately. Make sure that you are looking at short dot points instead of an intimidating wall of text.
You’re almost finished with the game, you must now battle the final boss of the game, the inseparable duo Trials & HSC. Now is DEFINITELY NOT the time to slack off, you must work hard as ever!
By the end game, the player’s notes should be finished, if not being finalised. And they should have a set idea on what to focus on, that is their weaknesses and strengths – topics that you need more guidance with, and topics you are confident in answering.
From my own experience, all my notes were finished and I was working on cutting them shorter to make it easier to study. I’ve also had numerous guidance from tutors and teachers with topics I struggled with, so it was mostly independent work during the end game for me.
Skip questions that you are 100% comfortable in answering, and instead focus on the harder ones. Keep a collection of the challenging questions you struggled with, be sure to revisit them ensuring that you are confident with the topic.
You should never perceive bad results as signifying total failure. It’s not Game Over, it’s an opportunity to respawn, consolidate, and level-up the skills you need.
Instead, focus on developing a growth mindset – constantly try to learn and grow to better yourself. Write down your mistakes, and improve upon it.
After my half-yearly exam, When I got an exam result much lower than what I was expecting for Extension 2, I took it upon myself and booked two hour workshops every Sunday (with the permission from my workshop tutor: John Shin) and ensured to cover topics that I was struggling with, as well as ask for more resources and do more practice questions.
If you’re collecting a copy of “Year 12 – The RPG”, here are my final bits of advice to you:
Get ahead of your peers with our Year 12 Physics Holiday Accelerated Course. With advanced completion of contents before it’s taught at school, you’ll be well-prepared for your next assessment. Learn more about the Year 12 Physics Holiday Accelerated Courses.