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Questions for those who got a 95+ Atar (1 Viewer)

luo_ge

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My aim is a 95+ atar but my first term of year 12 was quite average (or slightly above) and I'm looking to do a lot better. I just have a few questions:

1. Approximately how many hours a day did you dedicate to study/homework each day (school days and weekends)? I have soccer/basketball training from Monday - Friday and I get home around 6pm.

2. Approximately how much sleep did you get a night? A lot of people have advised me to get around 8 hours a night but I think i can operate with 6-7.

3. Did you play video games or watch tv shows/movies during the HSC year? Or did you just stop that altogether? I have to admit I still get distracted with tv shows/movies.

4. What did you do during your study breaks? Did you leave the house or just surf on the internet?

5. Did you struggle with procrastination? I feel that's the main thing holding me back from getting the best mark I can possibly get.

6. Did you guys get great internal marks for all your assessments? I didn't do as well as I was hoping in term 1 of year 12.

Thanks in advance guys.
 

strawberrye

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Just to give context to this advice, I got 99.20 ATAR in 2013.

1. Approximately how many hours a day did you dedicate to study/homework each day (school days and weekends)? I have soccer/basketball training from Monday - Friday and I get home around 6pm.

I dedicated around a minimum of 4 hours of study in weekdays, and probably 8-10 hours on each day of the weekend. But in your situation, probably 2-3 solid hour of studies would be adequate if you come home that late.

2. Approximately how much sleep did you get a night? A lot of people have advised me to get around 8 hours a night but I think i can operate with 6-7.

I slept around 10-11pm each day, and woke up at 6:30/7:00am, so probably 9 hours of sleep. Sufficient sleep of high quality is important for the brain to function properly and process things quickly, but of course different people have different sleeping patterns, so do what's ideal for you.

3. Did you play video games or watch tv shows/movies during the HSC year? Or did you just stop that altogether? I have to admit I still get distracted with tv shows/movies.

One of the misconceptions of doing well in the HSC is you have to sacrifice everything you like, that's not the case. I did watched plenty of TV shows/movies during my HSC year, in fact spend the 1-2 hours after I get back from school to catch up with 3 TV shows (but bear in mind I fast forward my shows when it gets boring or too slow haha). However you should play video games/watch tv shows probably sparingly and only on the weekend considering that soccer training is taking up an enormous chunk of your time in the weekdays.

4. What did you do during your study breaks? Did you leave the house or just surf on the internet?

I did both, sometimes i surfed Facebook, other times I would go out and take a walk.


5. Did you struggle with procrastination? I feel that's the main thing holding me back from getting the best mark I can possibly get.


I didn't really struggle with a lot of procrastination because I had a very determined goal and I had fought for a good HSC results for an extremely long period of time, in fact ever since I came to Australia more than 10 years ago, given that I have fought for the chance of getting a better tertiary education ever since I was small, my determination only strengthened rather than faded during the last year of my high schooling.

6. Did you guys get great internal marks for all your assessments? I didn't do as well as I was hoping in term 1 of year 12.
I only passed for one of my practical chemistry assessment near the end of the year, but besides that consistency is the key to getting a good ATAR. I consistently got around 90% or more for all my subjects. The most important thing is to have a detailed plan of what you aim your ranks/marks to be at the end of the year and have a plan of attack on how you are going to get there, e.g. how many ranks would you need to improve per term to get there. Procrastination is always an enemy, but I think if you prioritise three biggest things you need to complete every day before you give yourself the liberality to procrastinate, you will work more effectively.

Everytime you procrastinate you will suffer from something known as task switching cost, if you frequently switch between the task you are doing, the efficiency by which you do these tasks will be decreased by 40%, this is backed up by scientific research. You need a degree of time to do any one new task before you can fully immerse yourself into it. Curing procrastination is often about finding a very strong goal you believe in and being very self-disciplined (and I guess having people around you to hold you accountable for it). Hope this helps :)
 

sida1049

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1. Approximately how many hours a day did you dedicate to study/homework each day (school days and weekends)? I have soccer/basketball training from Monday - Friday and I get home around 6pm.
I typically get home at around 4-5, and study to 8pm. I never study past beyond that so I get time off during the night to relax. Typically for me, I study up to 3-4 hours per weekday and up to 6-8 hours during the weekend, but it really depends on what you need to get done, how you study, and whether you have assessments coming up soon.

In your case, I would recommend avoid studying into the late night, and aim to do no more studying after 9pm.

2. Approximately how much sleep did you get a night? A lot of people have advised me to get around 8 hours a night but I think i can operate with 6-7.
Sleep is very important. Especially when you have exams coming up. Throughout my HSC, I always made sure I get at least 8 hours of sleep. But it really depends on your own needs.

3. Did you play video games or watch tv shows/movies during the HSC year? Or did you just stop that altogether? I have to admit I still get distracted with tv shows/movies.
I watched films and browsed the internet during my spare time. But I think even some video games and TV shows aren't bad for you; if they help you to relax in contrast to your work, then that's great. (Our dux was playing Runescape the night before a major economics exam, and still managed to come first with 95%!)

(The main reason I didn't play very many games during my HSC year is because I played so much during my junior years that it got boring, lol.)

4. What did you do during your study breaks? Did you leave the house or just surf on the internet?
I took long walks. This was very important to me during the HSC; it made all the stress go away, and it was genuinely enjoyable. Probably one of my favourite parts of my HSC year.

During weekends and trials/HSC preparation, I'd wake up, do a solid 2-3 hours of studying, then take a 2-hour walk while listening to music. Then once I got back home, I'd study for another 5-6 hours. I did this daily during weekends, holidays and those months where you stay at home studying for those exams. There were days I took two long walks, because they're that great.

Apart from that, yeah, I'd surf the internet a bit.

5. Did you struggle with procrastination? I feel that's the main thing holding me back from getting the best mark I can possibly get.
No.

I'm naturally compulsive, and tend to enjoy getting work done. But if procrastination is an issue, try writing up to-do lists every day, and have a physical calendar where all major assessments are marked on, and whatever other information you might need. Once you get into this routine, keeping procrastination at bay gets a lot easier.

6. Did you guys get great internal marks for all your assessments? I didn't do as well as I was hoping in term 1 of year 12.
Internal marks are important, and I did get pretty good internal marks. But regardless, they're useful because managing them is a form of practice for your external marks, which are extremely important (I'd say the external marks have a 60-70% influence on your final HSC results).

But don't get discouraged if you don't do as well as you hoped: keep trying. Don't ever get discouraged. As long as you keep applying effort, and consistently aim to get do better after every assessment, you'll be rewarded well in the end.

(I got 70% for my HSC chemistry half-yearly exam, and still managed to get 99.30 ATAR.)

Best of luck!
 

luo_ge

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wow thanks for the replies guys. just wondering when did u guys finish ur notes for each of ur subjects? and did u find reading your notes aloud to yourself effective?

cause i'm trying to decide if i should read my notes aloud or just doing past papers with my notes alongside me as another way to learn the content (i haven't finished making my notes though)
 

Esse

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1. Approximately how many hours a day did you dedicate to study/homework each day (school days and weekends)? I have soccer/basketball training from Monday - Friday and I get home around 6pm.

I got home around 4pm usually on school days, or if I was hanging out with people after school, around 6pm. If I did study, I studied about 2 hours, but half of this was procrastination. There was always maths homework to do, which I completed regardless of being busy or not. Weekends were pretty different, had math tutor on Saturday which was 2 hours and then I'd usually rush home and study for the whole Saturday (7-8 hours). Sundays were pretty lazy, I'd do a 3 hour block in the morning, and another 2-3 hour block in the evening/night.

2. Approximately how much sleep did you get a night? A lot of people have advised me to get around 8 hours a night but I think i can operate with 6-7.

Slept at 11-12 each night and woke up at 7. So I was getting around 7-8 hours of sleep, which was necessary for me cause I would feel sluggish and grumpy if I had gotten any less. If you feel 6-7 is enough so that you can study for longer, that's entirely up to you as it suits your body.

3. Did you play video games or watch tv shows/movies during the HSC year? Or did you just stop that altogether? I have to admit I still get distracted with tv shows/movies.

Played league almost every day l0l for about 2 hours, even on the weekdays and watched about 3-4 full season TV shows during the year. You need to have some fun while you're studying or you're just gonna burn out and be so stressed and unhappy (source: ppl from my school).

4. What did you do during your study breaks? Did you leave the house or just surf on the internet?

Games, TV shows, Facebook, YouTube, and went out with people a lot.

5. Did you struggle with procrastination? I feel that's the main thing holding me back from getting the best mark I can possibly get.

I procrastinated a lot, but it didn't really bother me I guess cause even though I wasn't on task most of the time, the times I were I was completely focused and 100% engaged and got tasks done to the best of my ability. And if procrastination is holding you back, you can train yourself to not procrastinate easily, whether it be switching off your phone and throwing it in a safe or disabling WiFi from your laptop when you are not using the internet (source: frends).

6. Did you guys get great internal marks for all your assessments? I didn't do as well as I was hoping in term 1 of year 12.

First term, 90% everything apart from a really shitty 2u mark, but I made up for it in other tasks. And throughout the rest of the year was getting 85-100% for everything and nothing less. Even if you weren't doing as well in term 1, you still have 3 more terms and externals on top of that to redeem yourself.

Hope this helps bro, it will all be over before you realise it. Just make the most of it and keep focused on your goals and you will do great :)
 

Esse

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wow thanks for the replies guys. just wondering when did u guys finish ur notes for each of ur subjects? and did u find reading your notes aloud to yourself effective?

cause i'm trying to decide if i should read my notes aloud or just doing past papers with my notes alongside me as another way to learn the content (i haven't finished making my notes though)
I didn't rush ahead with notes like some people and finish the whole syllabus in the Christmas holidays, but instead went along with the pace of school. I didn't read my notes aloud to myself so can't help you with that sorry :/
 

sida1049

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wow thanks for the replies guys. just wondering when did u guys finish ur notes for each of ur subjects? and did u find reading your notes aloud to yourself effective?

cause i'm trying to decide if i should read my notes aloud or just doing past papers with my notes alongside me as another way to learn the content (i haven't finished making my notes though)
I wrote my notes throughout the year, and finish them a bit before the school finished teaching. I didn't read them out loud, but I read them quite a few times. It also helped that I handwrote all of my notes; I don't think I have that great of a memory so I tend not to rely on it, but handwriting isn't everyone's tastes.
 

pikachu975

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My aim is a 95+ atar but my first term of year 12 was quite average (or slightly above) and I'm looking to do a lot better. I just have a few questions:

1. Approximately how many hours a day did you dedicate to study/homework each day (school days and weekends)? I have soccer/basketball training from Monday - Friday and I get home around 6pm.

Well I just dedicate all of weekdays to study because our school gives so much homework but there's still procrastination in there. On weekends it's a great time to catch up with all of the homework and then do some more study, or play games/watch shows. I think coming home at 6 pm is fine but some days with a lot of homework you probably just gotta stay up.

2. Approximately how much sleep did you get a night? A lot of people have advised me to get around 8 hours a night but I think i can operate with 6-7.

Well the first term of year 12 probably like 4-7 hours a night because we get so much homework (+procrastinating) but just sleep more in like the week coming up to exams or assessments. If you can survive on 6 hours, it could be useful to stay up late when you have no exams near to fit in some extra study instead of cramming content 2 weeks before an exam.

3. Did you play video games or watch tv shows/movies during the HSC year? Or did you just stop that altogether? I have to admit I still get distracted with tv shows/movies.

Well in that first term of year 12 and during those 6 week holidays I watched some anime and also played video games because you don't want to do only studying throughout the year and other activities could relieve stress. After exams it can be good to treat yourself by watching shows or doing other activities to relax after a stressful intensive exam period.

4. What did you do during your study breaks? Did you leave the house or just surf on the internet?

I don't really do like 1 hour study then 15 minute break but I just have my books in front of me and work on it while browsing the internet at the same time. I'd probably recommend 1 hour study and 10-20 minute break and in that do whatever, like go for a walk or play games or surf the internet.

5. Did you struggle with procrastination? I feel that's the main thing holding me back from getting the best mark I can possibly get.

Yes for the first term but it doesn't matter if you procrastinate, as long as you have consistent study throughout the term and make the study that you do, effective. Doing effective study for 2 hours a day is better than useless study for 5 hours a day. Effective study could be going through palm cards, memorising notes, or doing past papers. For my assessments in term 1 I didn't have much time to study since they gave homework still, but for the sciences I read marking notes and sample band 6 answers (this idea is from jazz519) and for maths I did questions sorted by topic and these were all useful. In the 2 week holidays I did notes for the first topic of each science which also helped as I had the content memorised by the first assessments.

6. Did you guys get great internal marks for all your assessments? I didn't do as well as I was hoping in term 1 of year 12.

From those first assessments I did good in all of the subjects except for english but basically just see it as motivation because there is heaps of assessments left. Reflect on where you went wrong with each task and improve on those areas and basically let it motivate you not to do bad again and to smash the next assessments. I know one person in the grade above (Super Altastic) got low in a short answer for english so after that he did one short answer section for discovery every single day and ended up getting very high in the rest of the trials. See bad results as motivation.

Thanks in advance guys.
I haven't finished the HSC but I'll try to answer anyway. Answers in the quote.
 
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marxman

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1. Approximately how many hours a day did you dedicate to study/homework each day

I got home around 7-8pm most weekdays as I played Soccer and Chess, and was a Cadet Officer at school - which basically only left my Monday/Wednesday nights free for me to get home at around 4:30. On Mondays I usually hung out with friends until around 5-6 as well. I started studying just after dinner and went until 11-12 at night, so I guess between 3 hours a night if you add on any breaks to check messages/eat snacks.

On weekends I'd often take Saturday off completely because I had school sport every morning ages away from where I live, and if I had an event on that night then it just wasn't worth bothering. On Sundays I either went to the library or stayed at home and just did probably around 8 hours with lots of breaks in between since it was my only day to get loads of work done.

2. Approximately how much sleep did you get a night?

Anywhere between 5-6 hours, I stayed up until 12 or 1 at night so I could at least get some time to myself to watch Youtube/message people. I always wake up like a zombie if I set up an alarm, so getting 7 hours sleep was no different to getting 5 hours. I had to wake up at 6:30 since I lived quite far away from school and had to get plenty of yucky public transport.

3. Did you play video games or watch tv shows/movies during the HSC year?

Not so much during the year - I kept up to date weekly with 2-3 shows but didn't really binge on anything. I sort of caved in post-trials to binge watching Suits and Pokemon for a while; but that stopped as soon as the break was over. I basically stopped playing video games, I played FO4 in the summer holidays, Pokemon in the April holidays then nothing after that other than chess. Never really had enough time in the end to properly enjoy the games, and I turned off a lot of multiplayer when I was 16 or so.

4. What did you do during your study breaks?

I never had too many study breaks per se since I did a lot of sport. If I did sport straight after school, had dinner and had a warm shower, my mind was ready to go for 3-4 hours. On weekends the same thing applied, on Sundays I was often at a library so the breaks were just a spontaneous sushi run. When the HSC exams came around and all my sport dwindled, I usually had to get out of the house to clear my head every 3 hours. Bike riding, dog walking, driving to get lunch - any of this helps. Having a mountain of Milo powder at the ready is always ALWAYS a great idea to get the ideas flowing.

5. Did you struggle with procrastination?

Not too much - I was lucky whenever I procrastinated I was just reading or looking up weird sciency/mathy things on youtube which inadvertently helped me stay analytical. I don't really like Facebook or social media too much at all (sort of hate it really, feels like more of an obligation than something relaxing); so that always helped. I'm incredibly compulsive to just randomly jamming on my guitar, but it more comes down to just taking it as a study break. Procrastination can be a good way to free your mind up if you know you aren't going to be working well. Recognising this helped me a lot too, there were times when I just knew I wasn't going to get anything productive done sitting at my computer, so I basically just waited it out until I felt ready - this could take 30 minutes up to a day, but I was always aware of my workload and assessment schedule.

6. Did you guys get great internal marks for all your assessments?

Yes and no, in the end your marks don't actually matter at all, it's all in the ranks. Always stay competitive in your classes, find some good friends who are always trying to beat you no matter what, and likewise you try and beat them. It's like classroom capitalism. I think i got like 79% in my Physics trial which was horrid, and did even worse in my prac tests. In the end all schools have different marking standards - what really matters is you being better than everyone at your school, then killing it in the HSC in October/November

Hope this helps!
 
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RivalryofTroll

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Achieved 99+ personally.

1. Approximately how many hours a day did you dedicate to study/homework each day (school days and weekends)? I have soccer/basketball training from Monday - Friday and I get home around 6pm.

I honestly didn't have a consistent schedule (some weekdays I'd get 1-2 hours of study, other weekdays I'd get 3-4 hours of study), especially given the fact that I had tuition on certain weekdays. For weekends, I'd aim for 3-4 hours minimum and again, had tuition too. Had about 7.5 hours of tutition per week.

2. Approximately how much sleep did you get a night? A lot of people have advised me to get around 8 hours a night but I think i can operate with 6-7.

I'd say 6 hours on average (there were days where I got 4-5 hours and other days where I got 7-9 hours). Probably didn't have the best sleeping habits because I usually went into study mode really late (i.e. couldn't study immediately after getting home).

For me, the importance of sleep increased during the exam period (especially for maths).

3. Did you play video games or watch tv shows/movies during the HSC year? Or did you just stop that altogether? I have to admit I still get distracted with tv shows/movies.

Quit gaming but I still watched shows/youtube/etc.

4. What did you do during your study breaks? Did you leave the house or just surf on the internet?


Never really left the house on weekdays.

5. Did you struggle with procrastination? I feel that's the main thing holding me back from getting the best mark I can possibly get.


Yes, I had a bad habit of procrastinating til about 9 pm on the average weekday before I could go into study mode. A major reason why my sleeping patterns weren't ideal.

6. Did you guys get great internal marks for all your assessments? I didn't do as well as I was hoping in term 1 of year 12.


I was consistent for most of my subjects but for some assessments in certain subs, I definitely didn't perform to the level that I hope I would.

I remember being ranked in the top 5 for MX1 in Year 11. In my first Year 12 MX1 assessment, I was ranked in the 50s (it was only 10% but it ruined my confidence in maths to some extent). By the end of Year 12, was ranked in the top 25 for MX1 and got an E4 (90+) for it so I was happy with the end result.

It's normal to have some bad assessments. The key is not to let it affect your future performance.
 

bec3

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Hi there. I'm contributing a slightly different answer. I got 95+ and would not recommend you follow my lead on how I managed the hsc. However, if you're anything like me then there is hope! :)

1. Approximately how many hours a day did you dedicate to study/homework each day (school days and weekends)? I have soccer/basketball training from Monday - Friday and I get home around 6pm.

I had no consistent schedule. I'd say maybe an hour or two, more time spent on weekends. However this was littered with breaks. My amount of study increased closer to exams, I was a crammer. In your situation, working out the best time of day to study is a good idea. If you're a night person then coming home at 6 will be fine for you. If you're better in the morning I'd suggest sleeping early and rising earlier.

2. Approximately how much sleep did you get a night? A lot of people have advised me to get around 8 hours a night but I think i can operate with 6-7.

I got 8, but I've always needed lots of sleep. Try to avoid just getting by. If you function better at 6-7 hrs then of course do that. If it's a stretch and you know you're better on 8, do 8.

3. Did you play video games or watch tv shows/movies during the HSC year? Or did you just stop that altogether? I have to admit I still get distracted with tv shows/movies.

Haha yes. I had weekly TV shows but I also managed to watch every single episode of M*A*S*H (there's like 11 seasons... yep). This was pre-netflix and I'm forever thankful I didn't have something like that during my HSC.

4. What did you do during your study breaks? Did you leave the house or just surf on the internet?

I usually surfed the net, but I always felt better if I made the effort to go for a walk.

5. Did you struggle with procrastination? I feel that's the main thing holding me back from getting the best mark I can possibly get.

This is why I wanted to answer you. YES. Procrastination is an issue, yes. But the key is finding out why you're procrastinating. Are you concerned it's not good enough work/you don't know enough/you simply don't like the subject? Finding out helps. Equally, if I had not procrastinated, studied like a machine and not lived during my HSC year, I would have had a complete meltdown. A little procrastination is ok. Do I recommend the entire M*A*S*H series... no.

6. Did you guys get great internal marks for all your assessments? I didn't do as well as I was hoping in term 1 of year 12.
I honestly can't remember my marks all that well. But I know they improved over the course of year 12 so a less than ideal mark here or there is ok if you're after a 95. I had one subject I was ace at, which helped me overall and with my confidence

I hope this is helpful!
 

BenHowe

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Hi,

I just finished my HSC and I got an ATAR > 95 so here's my two cents.

1. Varied very occasionally I'd done none but usually I'd do 3-4 hours a night. I'd do an hour and a half @ my school library then come home and have a break and then do some more

2. Again varied but usually 8-9 hours; sleep is important! Besides you know you're doing well when you dream about a certain topic or question or something. I had some weird ones...

3. You can't just stop living your life because ultimately it's not sustainable and it will affect your mental well being and thus your exam performace/ATAR. Personally I'd watch TV and browse social media everyday for 1-2 hours. However on weekends I'd typically spend about 3+ a day playing computer games (ik I couldn't controll myself lol fk english :) )

4. Sometimes I'd just browse on my computer but that was only really if I was procrastinating. If I had done a hard and/or long session I'd eat or do some exercise or watch TV or play computer games. Also changing your study environment helps. I personally found that I associated relaxation/sleep with my bedroom so I studied in my parents office, at school or at the local library.

5. I did struggle with procrastination, however you have to honestly ask yourself, if I don't do this work or w/e will I be unhappy with the outcome. Because the worst thing that can happen is that you procrastinate something and not only do you not do it but you become stressed and/or guilty and that affects other study/relaxation and is not beneficial for anything. Personally I couldn't stand writing essays in both english and econ after the 1st assessments. However I knew that I wouldn't do as well as I possibly could but I would still achieve my goal so it didn't concern me. You gotta be real mature about this one...

6. I did pretty well overall on my assessments except for two. The first was my MX1 assessment in term 1. I got 67% I think and my rank wasn't awesome after that. But in saying that after a while I just let it go and used it as motivation to do better next time (got 96% in my half yearly and continued to rank 1st for all exams/assessments and ended up coming 1st in MX1 overall). 2 I got 60% in my english adv half yearly and was below average in my cohort. To be fair I winged this one, which I don't recommend. Anyways I did use it for motivation but I avoided writing essays as much as possible but I ended up improving my rank and got a respectable HSC mark of 85.

Ultimately it just comes down to how you deal with your perspective of a bad mark/result. You have to make sure that you don't destroy your self worth because of it (personal experience). You just have to use it for motivation and continue to strive for your goals because shit happens and things don't go to plan. Just ultimately be tenacious, persevere and be resilient and you'll surprise yourself with the outcome.

Hope this helps
 
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andrew12678

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1. Approximately how many hours a day did you dedicate to study/homework each day (school days and weekends)? I have soccer/basketball training from Monday - Friday and I get home around 6pm.
1-2hrs squeezed during school/study periods, 3-4 at home (got home at 4:30pm, but lost hrs to dinner shower. I also lost 1/2 days In your case for some activities like you but I recommend using school time to make up should be sufficient

2. Approximately how much sleep did you get a night? A lot of people have advised me to get around 8 hours a night but I think i can operate with 6-7.
Sleep ranged from 4hrs to 8hrs, no obvious differences in output from a 4hr night to a 8hr, once you're used to pulling late nighters in yr10/11 it's not a problem calling upon it whenever you need it

3. Did you play video games or watch tv shows/movies during the HSC year? Or did you just stop that altogether? I have to admit I still get distracted with tv shows/movies.
No definitely not, you're low on time anyways, why lose more time. I recommend just turning your router off, should solve problems

4. What did you do during your study breaks? Did you leave the house or just surf on the internet?
Only went on social media during those breaks, but I restricted myself to the 15-20mins of the break and no more

5. Did you struggle with procrastination? I feel that's the main thing holding me back from getting the best mark I can possibly get.
Ofc, best way is to find motivation-my solution to this was hiring private tutors who provided marking services/feedback for Phys/Chem/English and if I didn't send them an essay that week it would be wasted so I that way I was extremely motivated not to waste my parent's money.

6. Did you guys get great internal marks for all your assessments? I didn't do as well as I was hoping in term 1 of year 12.

Not really haha, I did well in Term 4 assessments Yr11 and Trials, the rest were a bit average. My ranks were top 20 ish level, with English as low as being ranked 21st so I knew I smashed externals when I saw my 99.95 lol, so moral from this story is External HSC is the most important
 

hrithikroshan

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1. Approximately how many hours a day did you dedicate to study/homework each day (school days and weekends)? I have soccer/basketball training from Monday - Friday and I get home around 6pm.
1-2hrs squeezed during school/study periods, 3-4 at home (got home at 4:30pm, but lost hrs to dinner shower. I also lost 1/2 days In your case for some activities like you but I recommend using school time to make up should be sufficient

2. Approximately how much sleep did you get a night? A lot of people have advised me to get around 8 hours a night but I think i can operate with 6-7.
Sleep ranged from 4hrs to 8hrs, no obvious differences in output from a 4hr night to a 8hr, once you're used to pulling late nighters in yr10/11 it's not a problem calling upon it whenever you need it

3. Did you play video games or watch tv shows/movies during the HSC year? Or did you just stop that altogether? I have to admit I still get distracted with tv shows/movies.
No definitely not, you're low on time anyways, why lose more time. I recommend just turning your router off, should solve problems

4. What did you do during your study breaks? Did you leave the house or just surf on the internet?
Only went on social media during those breaks, but I restricted myself to the 15-20mins of the break and no more

5. Did you struggle with procrastination? I feel that's the main thing holding me back from getting the best mark I can possibly get.
Ofc, best way is to find motivation-my solution to this was hiring private tutors who provided marking services/feedback for Phys/Chem/English and if I didn't send them an essay that week it would be wasted so I that way I was extremely motivated not to waste my parent's money.

6. Did you guys get great internal marks for all your assessments? I didn't do as well as I was hoping in term 1 of year 12.

Not really haha, I did well in Term 4 assessments Yr11 and Trials, the rest were a bit average. My ranks were top 20 ish level, with English as low as being ranked 21st so I knew I smashed externals when I saw my 99.95 lol, so moral from this story is External HSC is the most important
Hey there,
Congrats on your amazing ATAR :) And thank you for all your advice on the forum! Its helpful!
I go to a top 5 school currently - was wondering if you could share your final ranks + hsc marks? Also you mustve eg only been like 5% away from 1st ranks? Then your moderated marks would be pretty good. Sharing your scores would clarify things a lot. Were you like average/above average for your other 2 assessments?
 

boredsatan

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Just to give context to this advice, I got 99.20 ATAR in 2013.

1. Approximately how many hours a day did you dedicate to study/homework each day (school days and weekends)? I have soccer/basketball training from Monday - Friday and I get home around 6pm.

I dedicated around a minimum of 4 hours of study in weekdays, and probably 8-10 hours on each day of the weekend. But in your situation, probably 2-3 solid hour of studies would be adequate if you come home that late.

2. Approximately how much sleep did you get a night? A lot of people have advised me to get around 8 hours a night but I think i can operate with 6-7.

I slept around 10-11pm each day, and woke up at 6:30/7:00am, so probably 9 hours of sleep. Sufficient sleep of high quality is important for the brain to function properly and process things quickly, but of course different people have different sleeping patterns, so do what's ideal for you.

3. Did you play video games or watch tv shows/movies during the HSC year? Or did you just stop that altogether? I have to admit I still get distracted with tv shows/movies.

One of the misconceptions of doing well in the HSC is you have to sacrifice everything you like, that's not the case. I did watched plenty of TV shows/movies during my HSC year, in fact spend the 1-2 hours after I get back from school to catch up with 3 TV shows (but bear in mind I fast forward my shows when it gets boring or too slow haha). However you should play video games/watch tv shows probably sparingly and only on the weekend considering that soccer training is taking up an enormous chunk of your time in the weekdays.

4. What did you do during your study breaks? Did you leave the house or just surf on the internet?

I did both, sometimes i surfed Facebook, other times I would go out and take a walk.


5. Did you struggle with procrastination? I feel that's the main thing holding me back from getting the best mark I can possibly get.


I didn't really struggle with a lot of procrastination because I had a very determined goal and I had fought for a good HSC results for an extremely long period of time, in fact ever since I came to Australia more than 10 years ago, given that I have fought for the chance of getting a better tertiary education ever since I was small, my determination only strengthened rather than faded during the last year of my high schooling.

6. Did you guys get great internal marks for all your assessments? I didn't do as well as I was hoping in term 1 of year 12.
I only passed for one of my practical chemistry assessment near the end of the year, but besides that consistency is the key to getting a good ATAR. I consistently got around 90% or more for all my subjects. The most important thing is to have a detailed plan of what you aim your ranks/marks to be at the end of the year and have a plan of attack on how you are going to get there, e.g. how many ranks would you need to improve per term to get there. Procrastination is always an enemy, but I think if you prioritise three biggest things you need to complete every day before you give yourself the liberality to procrastinate, you will work more effectively.

Everytime you procrastinate you will suffer from something known as task switching cost, if you frequently switch between the task you are doing, the efficiency by which you do these tasks will be decreased by 40%, this is backed up by scientific research. You need a degree of time to do any one new task before you can fully immerse yourself into it. Curing procrastination is often about finding a very strong goal you believe in and being very self-disciplined (and I guess having people around you to hold you accountable for it). Hope this helps :)
Do you need to be talented to get 99+ atar?
 

pikachu975

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Do you need to be talented to get 99+ atar?
Talent definitely plays a factor in getting 99 atar but also with hard work. I think some people are limited by their natural smartness but by putting in effort you can exceed your expectations, e.g. we had a guy who worked VERY VERY hard and no one expected him to get above 95 atar, and he ended with 98 atar, so hard work helps too.
 

boredsatan

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Talent definitely plays a factor in getting 99 atar but also with hard work. I think some people are limited by their natural smartness but by putting in effort you can exceed your expectations, e.g. we had a guy who worked VERY VERY hard and no one expected him to get above 95 atar, and he ended with 98 atar, so hard work helps too.
Do you think you would need talent for 99.95?
 

donkily

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Talent definitely plays a factor in getting 99 atar but also with hard work. I think some people are limited by their natural smartness but by putting in effort you can exceed your expectations, e.g. we had a guy who worked VERY VERY hard and no one expected him to get above 95 atar, and he ended with 98 atar, so hard work helps too.
i personally disagree with this

although 'talent' may play a factor in getting a high atar, i personally believe that a high ATAR comes from how you study, how hard you study, whether or not you have learnt your basics properly, learning from mistakes and learning study techniques from previous top students

i dont know how you interpret 'talent' but to me the way i interpret 'talent' is that people can pick up on things easily, especially the difficult concepts

a 'not so talented person' should be able to compensate for that via various ways (such as relearning the content, learning ahead of peers by a bit, using diagrams, watching youtube channels such as KhanAcademy) hence they can get a 99+ atar (imo) as long as they do that, put in the effort and study smart
Do you think you would need talent for 99.95?
personally no

you can get 99.95 with any subject (probably not english standard or any super low scaling subject like senior science) as long as you show interest in learning the subject, study smart, hard and get all the advice from past hsc students
 

strawberrye

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Do you need to be talented to get 99+ atar?
I will be honest I wasn't talented, but I was hardworking during my HSC.
However, if you are approaching the very high end of the 99+ range, I would say you need hard work, but there is also no denying sometimes luck in the exam question given will be the pivotal point to increasing ATAR by a few decimal points, definitely when you get to 99.95 level-just pure hard work is not enough-you have to learn how to work really smart and I personally think those people have some talent/aptitude in the subject they are studying (although I am hesitant to say that's the major component of their success).
 

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