Senior School > Academic Program > HSC Preparation

HSC Preparation

The secret to peak performance in any area – including the trial HSC is being mentally and emotionally prepared. The following tips will give you strategies to do this.

1. Work smarter not harder

Make good use of your time by studying efficiently. To do this you need to know, among many things, some of these essential study skills:

  • How you learn (your learning style).
  • How to study and organise your study.
  • How to create good study notes. For practical study skills ideas go to Enhanced Learning.

2. Get enough sleep

The research is clear; getting enough sleep will help you deal with unpleasant or unwanted circumstances in your last year of Senior School.

“The average amount of sleep you need to function at your best is between 8.5 and 9.25 hours a night.”
To help you sleep you can use lavender oil, peppermint/chamomile tea, have a routine for sleep, avoid stimulants like caffeine, coffee and cola at least two hours before you sleep.

3. Exercise

Exercise will help you feel healthier and more alert both mentally and physically. Regular exercise provides a fantastic way of releasing muscle tension and accumulated adrenaline, which is the result of high stress levels. If you are not a fan of exercise, starting with a 30-minute walk 5 times a week is a great way to begin.

4. Concentration foods

Brain tissue is 85% water. For optimum brain function you need to keep hydrated by drinking water.
Glucose is the sole source of energy for the brain, and not eating means you have a low blood glucose level.
Nutritionists around the world agree that certain foods can be called ‘brain food’.
Lean protein, raw nuts – walnuts and almonds especially – and hard-boiled eggs.
Low-fat cheese is best for alertness as it contains amino acids.
Eat slow-release carbohydrates and low glycaemic index foods for a low and sustained release of energy to keep your mood stable and brain performance at a consistent level throughout the day.

5. Relax

Get comfortable. Imagine a soothing, restful scene (e.g. a quiet place in the bush or walking on a beach). See yourself there, relaxed, peaceful and happy.

Deep Breathing
Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Simply notice your breathing – in and out. When your mind wanders just go back and notice and pay attention to your breathing. You could also try breathing in through your nose for 4 and out through your mouth for 6.

Do things that take care of YOU! Some things you could do are exercise, take a warm shower or bath, talk about what’s troubling you with a trusted friend or adult, go for a walk, make a ‘to do’ list, reward yourself. Perhaps you could reward yourself with little things that make you feel good e.g. a movie, facial, massage.

Laugh and smile!
Laughter makes our muscles go limp and releases tension and pressure. For relaxation techniques and strategies go to Human Connections.

6. Avoid the after trial HSC crash

I believe the trial HSC is more difficult than the HSC. What I mean is that the trial HSC is in the midst of your other requirements such as attending class, assessments etc. When you sit the HSC exams, class and assessment requirements are over. Many students want a break after the trial HSC. However, don’t rest for too long as you might find it harder to get going again. To be motivated to do anything we need a “big enough WHY”. That is a strong reason to take action. Also, ask yourself, “What will it cost me, if I don’t take action?” And, “What will I get if I do?” While you are procrastinating, focus on past success in your life in any area, e.g. sporting, academic, social, work. As you remember these past successes, you will notice a change in how you feel, especially about yourself. Try doing some study after this exercise.

For ways to create motivation and access past peak performance states go to Human Connections.

To find out how Human Connections can help support the Senior Students and Parents at your school, click here.

Source: Human Connections: Connecting you to your new skills: Pre & Post Trial HSC Tips