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3 Tips to kick-start your HSC year!

By Larissa Grinsell on 30 January 2018NSWblogGeneral

January is kind of like the Monday of months, pretty slow to get started and full of expectations which very rarely translate into a productive reality. If you’re anything like me and already managed to break a minimum 75% of your New Year’s Resolutions by now, you might be well on the road to existential crisis-town.

Luckily, Atomi’s got your back.

Here’s a list of to-do’s to start the year off right and get the most out of your Summer holidays:

1. Vive le structure

As truly wonderful as sleeping until midday can be, the reality is that being on holidays is no good reason to slip into a routine-less funk. In the end you’ll feel more tired and study way less effectively. Everyone has their own study routines that work for them, and if you don’t, it’s probably time to start experimenting until you find one. Maybe you like to dedicate a whole day to a subject and really sink your teeth into it, maybe you can tolerate 60 minutes on a single subject max before you have to move onto something else, or risk falling asleep at the wheel… err, desk. Some routine-lovers even continue following their school timetable in the holidays, working from their local library.

Whatever it is that works for you, make sure you make it super visible - maybe a big calendar above your desk that you cross off daily, or iCal reminders - and stick to it. Netflix will always be there to welcome you home, but only after you’ve ticked off your scheduled study for the day.

2. Set your priorities straight

I’ve said it before, probably, but I’ll say it again anyway: not all subjects are created equal. There are loads of factors to take into consideration when thinking about how much time you need to give to each of your subjects. Subject difficulty, exam format, your strengths and weaknesses, all of these things should come into play when allocating your study time.

The Summer holidays is a great time to get to grips with your workload and figure out how your subjects should be ordered according to their priority. Maths might just click for you, while writing English essays is a serious ordeal. Maybe you have a knack for remembering dates in history, but really struggle with learning terms in biology. Allocate time and effort to subjects according to these factors. The measure for whether or not you’re dedicating enough time to a subject should always be your results from practice papers.

So, yeah, you better make sure you’re doing a couple of them too, and adjust your subject priorities (and study schedule!) accordingly.

3. Get the ball rolling on your major work. Seriously.

This one goes out to those Extension 2 English, Extension History, Visual Arts, D&T etc. students feeling that serious major work heat. The Summer holidays are the most opportune time to dig deep into your major works. For the rest of your HSC year you won’t get the same period of time to focus intensely on your project. I don’t want to be so extreme as to say now or never, but… the time for getting ahead of the game may or may not be now or never.

So, that’s all well and good, but what if you feel like you just can’t get going? Don’t know where to start? Creative juices not flowing? It’s important to break your project down into smaller chunks which you can assign to realistic periods of time. Set yourself a word limit you want to reach by the end of the week, or come up with some other small goal. Thinking about your major work as a whole, complete, giant thing can be pretty scary, so breaking it down in this way is really important. And, make sure you treat yourself when you reach each of your small goals. Don’t underestimate the power of positive reinforcement!


As enticing as that poolside slushie or eight hour Black Mirror marathon looks right now, if you want to seriously play the HSC game you need to capitalise on the start of the year. This period of time is the best opportunity you’ll have to get your study into order, and trust me, you will love yourself for it later.

It’s a marathon not a sprint, so settle in!

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