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10 simple tips for ensuring the greatest exam preparation

Exam time is stressful for boys and their families. There is nothing worse during this time than the question, “did I remember to cover everything?” and the paranoid feeling that comes with it.

It’s important that, as a parent, you are kept in the loop with all the exam information and procedures so that you can best support your son during this stressful period. Below are ten simple tips for ensuring the greatest exam preparation your son can achieve.

Developing a Study Plan

It is important that your son works through his study plan in the preceding months before the exam period. Our ten simple exam preparation tips for the HSC fall into two areas: general study and exam preparation. 

General study
  1. Have a dedicated study space that is free of distractions.
  2. Use the Pomodoro technique to review and prepare for exams.
  3. Get hold of past papers for each subject you are focusing on.
  4. Mark past papers and take note of your areas of weakness, then:
    1. Make time for focused study in these areas.
    2. Book time with a teacher to go through these areas.
    3. Get external help through friends or tutors.
  5. Know exactly what ATAR score you are aiming for – this is a powerful mindset tool that will keep you motivated and on track.
  6. Take regular breaks.
Exam preparation
  1. Be organised:
    1. Know the date and time of all your exams.
    2. Have the right equipment and bring backups. For example, calculators can lose battery and pens can run out of ink – have spares ready.
    3. Familiarise yourself with the HSC Rules and Procedures Guide – the school’s Academic Coordinator will be keeping you thoroughly informed.
  2. Make yourself comfortable with all ‘clue’ words.
  3. Get familiar with exam techniques when answering different types of questions. Here are some great starting places:
    1. Multiple choice
    2. Essays
    3. Maths
  4. Get a good night’s sleep before every exam – sleep consolidates all the information from your study sessions.

In our HSC Survival Guide – A Guide for Parents of the HSC, we see that exam preparation is the final step of the larger plan that your son should be working through.

Coming up to exams, your son should have learned to:

  • set goals
  • create a timeline of subjects he will study in the lead up to the HSC
  • reach out to teachers and tutors for extra help
  • manage distractions and procrastination
  • find an effective study space
  • create a study routine
  • become familiar with subject areas that cause stress and anxiety, and work to lessen their effects.

Dr Pru Salter at Enhanced Learning Educational Services has also provided some popular resources for students and parents to make HSC preparation as focused as possible.

Things to Avoid

It’s important that your son has a plan when approaching his study. Exam preparation should not involve:

  • cramming
  • working on too many subjects at once
  • pulling ‘all nighters’
  • additional stress and anxiety
  • an attitude of ‘winging it’ on the day
  • a space with distractions.

If your son is focused on achieving the best results possible, give him a head start by supporting him thoroughly through the stressful exam time. Download our specialised HSC parent resource and help your boy realise his potential.

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