Last Minute HSC Tips!

It’s that time of the year again- with only 14 sleeps until English Paper One kicks off the beginning of the HSC!

Stress levels are certain to be high in all students and their families at this time.

Here at Breakaway Education, we believe that balance is definitely the key to success this HSC season! Individual well being is just as important, if not more important than the study and sitting of the exams.

Below are our Top 10 tips for being successful in your HSC this year!

#1- BE KIND TO YOURSELF!! Practice positive self talk. We are our own worst enemies. We often feed ourselves all the negatives such as “I can’t do this”, “I’m going to fail”……. Breakaway Education wants you to be POSITIVE!! Because you know what?? You can do it! You’ve already made it to the end of Year 12 and this is a huge achievement in itself!! Kudos to you!! And you are going to be fine. You aren’t going to fail, and you most certainly can achieve everything you want to! The way we talk to ourselves in our mind, also displays on the outside too. Just remember YOU ARE AWESOME!

#2- BALANCE There is no point in studying 24 hours a day. This isn’t going to help you achieve anything but stress, anxiety and sleepless nights. Instead, you need to break your day into 2 hour sessions. Study for 2 hours. Find a space that is free from excessive noise, away from a fridge, that is warm and comfortable. Turn off your phone and social media and bunker down for 2 hours. At the end of the 2 hours GET UP! Move around!! And plan to do something else away from your desk. Go for a walk, play with the dog, run, dance, stretch, eat some delicious and nutritious food. Have 2 hours off to do something PHYSICAL! Then you can come back for another 2 hour bumper session. You will feel refreshed and be ready to concentrate and settle in.

#3- !!EXERCISE!! I hinted at this above. But in case you missed it. You MUST exercise!! Your brain, mind and body will definitely thank you for it. Stuck on idea? Need to expel energy? Go for a jog, try a boxing class, go to the gym, go for a swim. Need to calm down and relax? Try some yoga, there are plenty of free classes online with my personal favourite being Erin Motz, Bad Yogi (I am seriously in love with it)!! Stretch, blast the beats and dance, do ANYTHING where you are moving!! Thank me later!!

#4- Eat well This is something we tend to overlook at times. When we are stressed we tend to reach for the easy stuff that gives us a temporary boost of energy….HELLO chips, chocolate, lollies, cake, soft drink, Macca’s etc etc etc. Does this help? If you want to climb the walls, Sure! For study? Not in the slightest!! For exams….. No way!! For well being?? Never! You need to fuel your body with the good stuff! Think wholesome, nutritious foods. Not only will you feel better physically and mentally, it actually will help you study better and increase your memory, concentration and production levels. Think nuts, berries, fish, red meat, veges, complex carbs…. All the best stuff. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.

#5- Sleep Tight Get rid of the phone, TV and electric devices from your bedroom. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary. A place free from stress and used for rest! Go to bed early (9:30 Max!) and get a quality, restful sleep. Pack away your studying tools at dinner time, and then just relax! Read a non related book or magazine before sleeping and get rid of all the bright devices. Not just now in the lead up to exams and during them, but every night! You will notice a difference in your concentration levels, production levels and general well being as well. BONUS! You can’t concentrate if you are tired.

#6- Practice Writing You have to write for your HSC, don’t you?? You need to practice! With a pen, not on a computer! Not only will this help to strengthen your hand and wrist, it will also help again with memory. Did you know we remember more of our study if we write it by hand? As much as computers are leading the way, anything I need to remember, I write by hand first… even if I type it up later! Apart from that, you can only gain confidence in your writing abilities for your essays and short responses if you actually practice them. Get online to the BOS and download some past papers for all of your subjects. Practice completing them in the allocated time slots- break it into your 2 hour study slots. The more you get comfortable with the variety of questions and style of exams, the more confident you will be. Writing an essay? Write it in 35 minutes, instead of 40 and use the extra 5 for checking your response. You may have to push yourself a bit to achieve this, but if you can’t do it now…. you can’t in 14 days either. The more questions, the more memory you are drawing on, the more prepared you will be!

#7- Get Ready NOW! Make sure you have all your pens and pencils and highlighter and calculators working. Make sure you have them in the clear bags/pencil case now. Take 10 pens….. not 1. Do it now!! Less stress the night before…. and you know it’s all there ready for you!

#8- On the Day! When you wake up on the day of your exam, DON’T wake up early for a quick study session. If you don’t know it now, you won’t in 2 hours. Get enough sleep (going to bed early and switching off), Don’t turn your phone on and chat about how nervous you are to your friends. Eat a healthy nutritious Breakie. Do some exercise. SMILE! This will help eliminate unnecessary stress and anxiety. I am not saying you will feel wonderful doing this…. but you will notice the difference when you walk into the exam room.

#9- In the Exam! Read each question carefully. Use a plan to help you order your ideas before writing your response. Watch the clock and write your time at the top of your page to track it! STICK TO IT!!! Stuck? Move on and come back to it. Most importantly…. BREATHE- Deeply and fully to calm yourself and concentrate. Short, sharp breaths actually increase your anxiety and stress levels, leaving you more likely to panic.

#10- After the Exam! Pat yourself on the back!! You did it! Smile! Rejoice! Go and get something to eat (especially if you have an afternoon exam) and allow yourself to reset. Have a few hours off doing something enjoyable. Go for a walk or run. Most importantly…. DO NOT…. I repeat… DO NOT!!!! Discuss the exam with your mates. I know it’s tempting. But you will just fall into an anxiety and stress trap that you cannot do anything about. Forget about it. You tried your best. Time to move forward, past the self doubt and questioning yourself and your skills. Tell your friends to move forward too!! No point judging yourself against others opinions of the exam. This also goes for your results. Know that you did the best YOU could. Don’t worry about others!

Most importantly know that there is a magical, exciting life waiting for you at the end of your exams. Life will move forward no matter what your end result is. YOU are wonderful and successful!

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