Study tips helping improve marks and ranks

Study Tips

Have exams? Need study tips to improve your marks and ranks? Want to revise more effectively?

Here are a few study tips to help you achieve your goals:


“Take a walk after every hour of study. Fresh air is good for your brain and helps you concentrate.”
– Tegan Schetrumpf, Head of English (Master of Letters in English, Masters by Research in Arts)

“Make a realistic plan and stick to it! Know your weaknesses and areas you struggle most and concentrate on those by trying a wide variety of questions focusing on those areas. When it gets closer to the exam, don’t panic. Stay calm, take a deep breath, read the question multiple times if you need to and always make sure you are answering the question! You have come this far, well done!”
– Catherine Koh, Maths Teacher (Bachelor of Commerce – Actuarial Studies

“Know when to take a break! Overstudying can definitely be bad.”
– Reginald Young, Chemistry Teacher (Bachelor of Science – Chemistry, Pharmacology)

“For 2 unit and 3 unit Maths, going slowly but accurately is good, but not necessarily for 4 unit Maths. For 4 unit Maths, you want to finish the paper with 20 to 30 minutes checking time, but liberally skipping questions you can’t immediately solve. The strategy here is to do anything to maximise marks, this is by getting all the easy marks, even the ones in Q16.”
– Stanley Luk, Maths Teacher, Top of the State in Maths Extension 2, ATAR 99.7

“For English HSC exams, do the sections in order of what you find the easiest. Do not allow yourself to go over the 40 minute mark for any paper, but leave and come back if you have time. Try and build up a reserve of extra time for the harder sections – creatives!”
– Heidi Liu, English and Maths Teacher, ATAR 99.85 (Bachelor of Commerce/Law)


Study tips from our tutors

“I think one of the most obvious yet important exam tips is to complete past papers under exam conditions. This can help with stress management and highlight sections of work that needs to be revised.”
– Rachel Gray, English and Maths Tutor, ATAR 98.9

“Try not to stress or panic during this stressful time. Stressing or panicking especially during the exam is definitely going to restrict you from performing at your best. In order to prevent excessive stress before an exam, you need to make sure you prepare as best as you can. This involves doing practice many papers to boost your confidence and also getting the right amount of sleep and exercise to keep a healthy state of mind. I always think that the students that stress or panic before a test are the ones that have not prepared well. So if your preparation is good, there should be no reason to be too stressed.”
– Daniel Haque, Maths Tutor, ATAR 97.75, Studying Bachelor of Applied Finance and Actuarial Studies.

“The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. The process of explaining the concept to another person can flesh out your understanding of it yourself. If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t fully understand it…Take care of yourself physically as well as mentally. Don’t feel too pressured into thinking that the HSC is the end of your life, because it’s actually just the beginning. In the spirit of this fact, do your very best and start life on a good note!”
– Mitch Koh, Maths Tutor, Studying Bachelor of Computer Science.

Need more study tips? Check out the HSC study guide from the NESA website

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