Post Trial Advice – Students

WHAT TO DO AFTER TRIALS Most of you would have just finished your trials or will be finishing them in...


Most of you would have just finished your trials or will be finishing them in the coming weeks. For most of your subjects you’ll have covered majority, if not all, of your syllabus content. Suddenly, you’ve gone from weeks of intense exam preparation to a whole heap of free time. So what now?

After teaching for nearly 25 years (including 14 years as a HSC marker) I’ve found that students who use this time of year most effectively are consistently the ones that achieve band 6s in their final exams. Here’s my tips on how to stay on top of your game and make the most of this post-trials time period:

Take a break!

Firstly, make sure to have a break. Trials are huge part of the HSC calendar. They take a big toll on you mentally, emotionally and physically. If you’re worried about burning out before the HSC exams hit, then use the time now to give yourself a short break from the books and recharge your batteries.

This is also a great time to get on top of your life admin so that its not creating anxiety for you in the months to come. Sort out your UAC preferences, scholarship applications or your plans for next year now so that they’re behind you.

Revise and assess where you are at

Secondly, once you’re back in the frame of mind to study, go over the exams you’ve sat this year. Not only trials but also your half-yearly exams and in-class tests. Use them to identify your weaknesses and areas that you know you need to work on. Questions to ask yourself are:

  1. Are you lacking in specific knowledge?
  2. Have you responded with enough depth in your answers?
  3. What comments are teachers consistently providing?
  4. Are you regularly running out of time for extended response questions?

Make note of areas you know you need work on.

Plan it out

Thirdly, make a plan. The next few months are going to be busy – not only with study and exam preparation but also with end-of-school events and other important milestones. Make a thorough schedule accounting for these events and then build your study plan around them. You can use the weaknesses you found from your past exams to guide your study focus.

Get back to work!

Fourthly, it’s time to get to study. At this point you should have some form of summaries that you made for trials. Strengthen and expand these using your own knowledge, but also from others; get resources from your teachers, peers, or from online.

What gives students the edge now is to practice reviewing exemplar essays marked by actual HSC Markers and to learn from them as much as possible so that you’re familiar with their style of marking. We have two ways that we can help you:

  • HSC4ME – Thousands of practice questions, videos, exemplar responses, study notes, etc.
  • HSC October Workshops – Spend a day with a Senior HSC marker before you sit your exams (20 subjects to choose from).

The key now is practice practice practice! The only hurdles you have left ahead of you are the actual HSC exams, so you need to practice applying your knowledge towards exam style questions.

There’s still plenty of time for you to ace your HSC as there is still 50% of your marks up for grabs!