The 3 most effective things you can do AFTER your HSC trial exams!

Have you just finished your trials, and not sure what to do now? Can’t find that motivation to keep going?

Firstly, this is completely normal, after the stress and anxiety attached to your trial exams. With the run into your final 5 weeks at school, full of all of the fun and parties and celebrations…. Sometimes it can be hard to find the momentum and continue your study patterns you set up before the trials — or perhaps you didn’t set up any study patterns and just hoped for the best! 

So how do you set yourself up for effective study after the conclusion of your trials?

#1 Start with reviewing your exams, once you get them back. This is your ultimate starting point. Make sure you read all of your feedback for all of your exams and use these as indications of what technical elements of exams you may need to continue to focus on.

This means, don’t worry too much about the subject areas your struggled with (although this is a good starting point to determine what areas of focus you need to revise more than others). Rather, you need to look at the actual technicality of the exam. For example: perhaps you bombed out in the multiple choice, but short answer questions were your jam! Maybe it was that you were selecting the correct answer first, and then second guessing. 

It could be that you struggled to understand what the question was asking you, or you got part of the question, but missed the last part. 

Perhaps your essay structure is not strong enough, or you retell too much of the text and don’t include enough examples.

By pin-pointing these technicalities within the exam, it will help you to determine what skills you need to begin to work on, in conjunction to continual review of content.

#2 Once you’ve got a list of skills you will work on, you want to go back to your study plans and study timetable that you completed for your trials.

What was effective? What was not effective? Perhaps you just had zero motivation at all, even with the timeline. Perhaps you spent all of the time constructing study notes that should have been completed at the conclusion of each topic throughout the last year! 

By analysing what things were working the best and least, will help you to reimagine and redesign your study patterns to hopefully be more effective. 

One thing that I find students struggle with the most, is always around the amount of subjects they are trying to study in a single day! I’ve heard and seen all kinds of varieties, but honestly, you need to ensure that what you set in place is sustainable, and allows for the maximum and best quality study, to maximise the results.

Trying to study for every single subject in a single day with no breaks and time away until you sleep – sorry to tell you, is NOT effective! AT ALL! 

Studying during the afternoon or night time is also not effective if you are really tired by the time the afternoon hits. So it’s best to design your study AROUND that! 

Things to consider when redesigning your study timetable includes things like:

  • When do you have the most energy, patience and concentration to sit and work through your study routine? You might find the morning is the best time, so you will block your study for the morning and then block in something that is easier for the afternoon.
  • Do you flip between too many subjects? Do you have a subject swap every 1 hour, meaning that you can’t find the groove in your study to really, effectively study.
  • Did you not have any periods where you blocked out time to practise an actual exam? Remember that as much as you can read your notes….. It’s the actual practical experience of sitting and completing as many exams as possible that will show you how to use the information for your exams.
  • Did you not factor in things to relax and calm down at the end of the day and perhaps studying all the way to bed time – and then couldn’t sleep? Making your timetable in blocks – a morning block and an afternoon block will avoid over stimulation. 
  • Did you forget everything as soon as you sat down at the table? Well here, you need to go through some techniques to help you in an exam – and we have another blog coming for that shortly! 

#3 Was your avenue of study just not effective?

It could be completely possible that the methods of revising your notes was not effective at all. Perhaps you didn’t have enough quotes for English, got completely stuck with the worded problems in Maths and just didn’t remember any of the skills to use for Geography?

This will indicate to you that there is something lacking within your study. This can help you determine the areas to build on.

Perhaps reading your notes just did nothing for you, so now you might try recording them and listening to them through earphones?

Perhaps mindmaps made you confused, so you need to turn these into flip cards that you can use on the go.

Perhaps you didn’t retain anything reading, but when you sat and read them aloud, that was the thing that worked the best! 

Acknowledging that something in the way you were studying was not effective is the first step to making sure that you change this and are able to push forward more successfully across the next 7 weeks before you exams. 


Had a read of these and in Year 11? Feeling a bit stuck in terms of effective study? We have the course for you! No need to book in for week to week tutoring! Our 5 weeks, self paced course is perfect for you to go through each week and add something new to your study routine! 

Study Essentials is designed specifically for students completing their HSC years.

AND at a bargain for $50! Complete with an online facebook community to help you get a bit more assistance outside of the course! 

Jump in today! 


Alysha Griffiths is a passionate educator, owner of Breakaway Education and a mum to June. With over 20 years teaching experience, Alysha’s passion lies in education and helping kids and parents to connect the puzzle pieces of education! With a Masters in Teaching (Secondary) a Bachelor of Arts (History, English) and a Graduate Certificate in Education (Learning Difficulties), Alysha continually works to gain more insight and knowledge across many areas of education.

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