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The best approach you can take is to set your own personal
goals and then strive to achieve them
Those inverted commas around the word ‘survive' in the heading are
deliberate. There's a lot of hype at the moment about the HSC exams.
How crucially important they are and how your entire career path will
be determined by your ATAR. In a nutshell, this isn't true.
But the exams are still an important step in your educational
journey. And it's also important you give them your very best shot.
With this in mind, here are a couple of tips to help make the journey
as smooth as possible. And to help you emerge at the other end still
It sounds boring and it sounds obvious, but it's true. Getting a good
amount of quality sleep every night is important for a whole swag of
things that really matter right now, especially information absorption
and memory retention. Aim for at least eight hours every night. And
where possible, removing
electronic devices from your bedroom is also recommended to help
induce quality sleep. That little blue light emitted by your phone,
tablet or laptop is not your friend.
Another one that sounds bleedingly obvious, but which many people
tend to overlook at challenging times. If you survive on junk food or
other highly processed foods, you're sabotaging your chances of
performing at your very best in the exams. Plenty of fresh fruit and
vegetables (especially leafy greens) are essential here, as well as
oily fish (which is good for brain function), some lean red meat and
nuts and legumes. And try to limit the sugary drinks, especially the
so-called ‘energy drinks'.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed when there's heaps to do and not enough
time to do it all in. A simple way around this is to actually schedule
your study sessions in batches of time. Once you've allotted specific
time slots for all of your subjects, you'll feel more in control of
the workload. You may even realise that you actually have more
available time than you first thought.
Try to avoid comparing yourself to others. Although the HSC has been
increasingly framed in highly competitive terms, the bottom line here
is that it isn't a competition. Everyone has different needs and aspirations.
It's also worth remembering that, like the Olympic Games, the HSC
isn't an equal playing field to begin with. Different students, even
students from the same school, can have had vastly different
opportunities, resources and circumstances throughout their schooling
years. Comparing yourself and your progress to anyone else is only
going to invite anxiety.
The best approach you can take is to set your own personal goals and
then strive to achieve them.
The HSC probably seems like the biggest thing in the world right now.
But you may be surprised at how quickly their importance fades over
time. Even one year from now you may find yourself struggling to
remember what all the hype was about.
In short, the
HSC doesn't determine your career path. You'll probably have
several different careers throughout your working life, quite possibly
in completely different industries. Education is a life long journey.
The HSC is just one pit stop in that journey.