Question: How much preparation should I be doing in order to feel ‘ready’ for the HSCs? e.g. a certain number of trial & HSC papers?
Rishabh Jain (Head of Product & Head of Chemistry)
How much do I need to work out or go to the gym to be muscular? That depends. How muscular do you want to be? Where are you now?
If it’s me: I have negative muscle density, so I probably need to go 3-4 times a week and train hard. But also I can’t train too hard otherwise I might injure myself.
If it’s The Rock: He’s already good, so he just needs to continue with a light pace to stay muscular.
What’s the point I’m trying to make?
1. The Answer to Your Question Depends on a lot of Things.
How well do you want to do in the HSC?
Do you want to just feel ready to ‘pass’ it with okay marks, or do you want to sacrifice a lot of things to get a higher mark? (there is no current answer here, and balance is important)
Where are you right now?
If you’re smashing Trials, came first in all your subjects, then you probably don’t need to do many papers to feel ‘ready’.
If you’re struggling, don’t understand concepts, a more thorough learner etc, then you might need to do more prep.
2. Number of Past Papers Does NOT Equate to Study Quality.
Yes, past papers are crucial. But I have seen way too many students who smash out 15 past papers in a week, and end up failing their exam. Why? Because they didn’t do it well.
Doing past papers is about finding your mistakes and learning from them.
It’s about saying “Okay, I really stuffed up this binomial theorem question. I will look at the solutions line by line, and as soon as I see the first place where the solutions are different to mine, I will use that as a starting point to try the question myself. If I get stuck, I will go to the next line to get a hint, etc.”
Do not simply rewrite the solutions. this is not learning.
It’s about writing down the mistakes you make, and storing them in a book, so that you can review your mistakes and have them front of mind when you do papers to avoid repeating them
It’s about finding your weakest areas so that you can go back to the textbook or research to learn.
(These are just things I did and have seen others do, they are not necessarily the best strategies. Always take it with a handful of salt!)
3. You are the best person to answer this question.
- You are the best person to know how good your study is
- You are the best person to know how much you still need to do
- You are the best person to tell if you are burning out
Self-reflect each day. Where am I at right now? Am I on track for where I want to be?
4: Create a long-term plan.
- Write down what you have finished so for
- Write down want you want to have finished by the HSC (e.g. past papers, notes, etc. - be specific)
- Break those goals down into weekly goals and distribute your tasks
- Reflect each week to see whether you are on track for your goals or not
You got this! ❤