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"Studying Smarter"? (1 Viewer)

Kolmias

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Hey guys!! All the suggestions in the above thread are awesome, and they'll definitely help you to achieve your dream ATAR!!

We started TofuGenius with the aim to explain exactly this: how to study smarter!! Check out our blog http://www.tofugenius.com/ which is filled with awesome study/exam prep tips to help you smash the hsc without burning out before term 1 even ends!!

Best of luck with the HSC guys! :)
No-one cares for your adspamming.

I have no authority here, but I would recommend that you cease immediately as it really annoys people.

You are perfectly free to ignore my 'recommendation' as I do have no authority on this site.
 

bangali

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I agree with most of the above tips offered, except the fact that most of those outlined are much easier said than done. To be able to achieve all these, you would need to build a foundation -> forming a concrete habit over, say, 3 months. So, don't just take these tips as they are - adjust it, tone it down a little, and work from there.
Good point, actually - appreciate it.

So to take the top of the list, 'working with full concentration'. It takes a lot of thought and practise, I know I still struggle with it a lot.
But if you:
- set a timer at the start of a study session and pledge that you'll focus on X activity during that time
- block distracting websites or disconnect from the internet altogether
- get rid of other external distractions like your phone
- write down every distracting thought on a 'rubbish dump' page and gently bring your focus back rather than following the thought
then it's not so hard as it sounds. And you get better quite fast as long as you keep studying this way.

And this is why you're in prelim so you've got the time to build these habits :D (probably one at a time) It's always going to be a work in progress, and you'll make mistakes and fall backwards, so don't beat yourself up about it. You definitely can't expect 2-minute-character-transformation-miracles.
 

s-f

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Many people have already told you many things about 'studying smarter' but what I'd like to add, which some people might hate me for saying, is that you should never blindly do 'homework' set out by teachers.

One reason for this is that homeworks are generally directed at whole classes, not really individualised for your needs.
Another reason is that I notice some students get a sense of satisfaction from doing homework, in that it's out of their way now AND they've studied something!
The reality might be that you've wasted a couple of hours of your precious time doing too many useless 'mechanical' work that you would have been able to master in substantially shirter amount of time if you correctly self-directed your studies, or if not faster at least reach a deeper understanding of the content because this work is truly yours, designed by yourself to train your own brain.

I'm mostly thinking about maths when I'm writing this but applies to nearly everything imo.
Essentially, what I'm saying is that the biggest component of 'studying smart' is to know yourself and where you are at, thereby being able to do things that will benefit you the most.

Might have sounded vague but hope it helps!
 

axwe7

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Learn how to retain information, have a revision schedule... you'll thank me laterBest of luck
Heyy,

Thx for replying man, that info seriously kicked some sense into what I should be doing. However, I have a question in regards to the quote I've put above.

What do you mean by having a revision schedule?

Thx
 

axwe7

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English: English is one of the subjects thats hard to study for IMO. You need to know the rubric and structure of texts and get ready for the nasty surprises that pop out in exams (and also asking "why")

Maths: Practice a million past papers and keep redoing those past papers until you get it right. Do HSC exams a couple of times before the actual exam as this will make you more confident of what's coming in the exam. Know how to approach and tackle the last question in the maths exam (especially if you've never seen this question before). Also ask "why" and practice your exam technique

Sciences: Similar principle to Maths, practice a million past papers and keep redoing those past papers until you get it right. Do HSC exams a couple of times before the actual exam as this will make you more confident of what's coming in the exam. The thing that's different to a maths and a science exam is that a science exam will have a 4-8 marker question (a curveball) where this question will make you use various links in the syllabus. This question is not an easy question because it requires you to understand and apply links in the syllabus. Similarly. you'll need to know how to approach this question especially if it seems foreign to you. Keep on asking "why" and practice your exam technique

What I suggest you do:

Getting ahead of yourself and peers as this will provide a major advantage between other students (if you already go tutor, self learn it before it is covered in tutor). The nature of the high school’s syllabus is that it cannot go into too much detail to explain the theory behind certain concepts, so many students just blindly accept what they are taught. Going beyond the syllabus and asking "why" will help you understand concepts rather than spending hours memorizing concepts and it will help you prepare better for those exam questions the board of studies throws at you. NEVER EVER STOP ASKING WHY just keep on going to the very end of your death and learn exam technique

Remember to know your verbs, learn the equations/diagrams, and after each past paper, PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE MARKING CRITERIA.

This is not based on experience but what I have gathered from various resources
Hey there,

Thanks for replying,

In my opinion I think I've established a pretty good base for my essay writing. However in order to good in Eng Adv, I need to come at least top 10 in my school (currently ~40). I've learnt how to do quote, technique and effect however my teacher says that my essays are too verbotious. Do you have any methods to improve this? I can actually study when doing maths/science and other calculation subjects, but somehow, I just can't when it comes to english.

Q's: How do I improve my precis' writing and how do I study properly for English.

Thx.

P.S If need a good C.M (75+) to stay in Adv. Eng.
 

leehuan

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Many people have already told you many things about 'studying smarter' but what I'd like to add, which some people might hate me for saying, is that you should never blindly do 'homework' set out by teachers.

One reason for this is that homeworks are generally directed at whole classes, not really individualised for your needs.
Another reason is that I notice some students get a sense of satisfaction from doing homework, in that it's out of their way now AND they've studied something!
The reality might be that you've wasted a couple of hours of your precious time doing too many useless 'mechanical' work that you would have been able to master in substantially shirter amount of time if you correctly self-directed your studies, or if not faster at least reach a deeper understanding of the content because this work is truly yours, designed by yourself to train your own brain.

I'm mostly thinking about maths when I'm writing this but applies to nearly everything imo.
Essentially, what I'm saying is that the biggest component of 'studying smart' is to know yourself and where you are at, thereby being able to do things that will benefit you the most.

Might have sounded vague but hope it helps!
I agree, but keep in mind that some people make homework actually beneficial. But of course they deviate later off when it comes to exam time.

Hey there,

Thanks for replying,

In my opinion I think I've established a pretty good base for my essay writing. However in order to good in Eng Adv, I need to come at least top 10 in my school (currently ~40). I've learnt how to do quote, technique and effect however my teacher says that my essays are too verbotious. Do you have any methods to improve this? I can actually study when doing maths/science and other calculation subjects, but somehow, I just can't when it comes to english.

Q's: How do I improve my precis' writing and how do I study properly for English.

Thx.

P.S If need a good C.M (75+) to stay in Adv. Eng.
Note that your question is now beginning to get personalised. Which is good actually
 

Kaido

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Simply put, you most likely won't remember something that you've freshly learned. Hence, you must create a revision schedule ona day after, a week after, and a month after you've learnt the new content (or anything new for that matter). Adjust the spacing of revision depending on the difficulty... more revisions for more difficult content learnt
 

swagmeister

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Hey!

First of all, I'd like to really commend you for the attitude you're taking into Year 11 - it will really serve you well, and you should be really proud of it. My attitude in Year 11 wasn't even close to that...

Lot's of great thoughts here - also check out my post A Collection of HSC Advice and follow @gamingthehsc on Instagram (if you have it) for a tip a day :)

All the best, I'm sure you've got this,
swagmeister
 

bangali

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Simply put, you most likely won't remember something that you've freshly learned. Hence, you must create a revision schedule ona day after, a week after, and a month after you've learnt the new content (or anything new for that matter). Adjust the spacing of revision depending on the difficulty... more revisions for more difficult content learnt
Agreed, which is why I like the spaced repetition flashcard program Anki, because it basically takes out all the think-work required - you don't have to do the planning which can become too complex. Just build the habit of a 15-minute time-slot for Anki each day and it does it for you.
(you can even tailor it to maths with some thought, like 'do a question from exercise 3B')
 

authenticity

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Hey there,

I've learnt how to do quote, technique and effect however my teacher says that my essays are too verbotious. Do you have any methods to improve this? I can actually study when doing maths/science and other calculation subjects, but somehow, I just can't when it comes to english.

Q's: How do I improve my precis' writing and how do I study properly for English.

Thx.
That's a similar issue that I used to have! My tutor said i had really flowery language, meaning the essay looked and sounded good, but when you really read into it, I didn't exactly provide in depth analysis lmao. But it seemed to work for a while as my marks were surprisingly good HAHAHA Anyway, I found that the easiest way to overcome that is to just make sure that your sentences are no longer than approx 30-35 words. Also ideally, you don't take more than 2 sentences to convey a technique, example, meaning and linking back to Q. Based on which module it is, you might also have to address context lol Evidently, everyone has a set amount of words they can write in exams. if you're verbose vs a non-verbose (?) person, they would be able to convey deeper analysis than you.

Basically, everything you write, there will probably be a simpler way to phrase it. From my experience, people who used simpler language was able to simultaneously provide a more coherent and profound response to questions, which resulted in consistently strong marks. When you've got that down, then maybe attempt to mix in some harder language. If you haven't, you'' most likely end up with a convoluted essay.

I guess doing multiple drafts and getting it marked would help greatly. If you need to, find a private tutor and send them many many drafts.
 

axwe7

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That's a similar issue that I used to have! My tutor said i had really flowery language, meaning the essay looked and sounded good, but when you really read into it, I didn't exactly provide in depth analysis lmao. But it seemed to work for a while as my marks were surprisingly good HAHAHA Anyway, I found that the easiest way to overcome that is to just make sure that your sentences are no longer than approx 30-35 words. Also ideally, you don't take more than 2 sentences to convey a technique, example, meaning and linking back to Q. Based on which module it is, you might also have to address context lol Evidently, everyone has a set amount of words they can write in exams. if you're verbose vs a non-verbose (?) person, they would be able to convey deeper analysis than you.

Basically, everything you write, there will probably be a simpler way to phrase it. From my experience, people who used simpler language was able to simultaneously provide a more coherent and profound response to questions, which resulted in consistently strong marks. When you've got that down, then maybe attempt to mix in some harder language. If you haven't, you'' most likely end up with a convoluted essay.

I guess doing multiple drafts and getting it marked would help greatly. If you need to, find a private tutor and send them many many drafts.
OMG, thanks so much for that HAHAHA.

I feel as if I can ace my English now :D

So gotta do a bit more practice I guess :D :D

Thanks anyhow :D
Regards,
Axwe7
 

Zohal99

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Studying smarter.

An example:

Stella wants to improve her math marks. Her plan is to go home and study for 3 hours straight from the textbook ... answering ALL the questions ... even the easy ones. When she gets to a question she can't do she keeps on attacking it even though it takes up much of her time. Eventually she grows so tired that when she goes to bed and wakes up the next morning not much has been retained. During the math test she really studied for, she doesn't do too well when she sees her marks. She made silly mistakes AND couldn't answer the difficult questions.

Whereas, Emma who also wants to improve her math marks sets up a study schedule for the week with clear goals for her study. She studies in blocks and attempts specific questions. She only completes a few of the easy questions and once she is satisfied with her ability to answer those moves on to the harder questions. If a question is taking too long, she highlights it and makes a physical note to ask the teacher about it. When she makes a mistake and realises what it is, Emma adds it to her book of mistakes to be wary of during an exam. She also makes a list of what to remember for the test and once she feels herself tiring out either takes a break for the moment or for the day depending on the time.

Emma performs much better than Stella on the test, although essentially they both put in (hour wise) a similar amount of effort.

Do you see the difference?
It's not effort that distinguishes students more so its where that effort is placed.
 

eyeseeyou

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Hey there,

Thanks for replying,

In my opinion I think I've established a pretty good base for my essay writing. However in order to good in Eng Adv, I need to come at least top 10 in my school (currently ~40). I've learnt how to do quote, technique and effect however my teacher says that my essays are too verbotious. Do you have any methods to improve this? I can actually study when doing maths/science and other calculation subjects, but somehow, I just can't when it comes to english.

Q's: How do I improve my precis' writing and how do I study properly for English.

Thx.

P.S If need a good C.M (75+) to stay in Adv. Eng.
Yeah true. English is really hard to study for. What the hell's C.M?
 

eyeseeyou

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Anyone know how to study properly for english. They say do past papers, essay questions and creatives but english is a really broad subject and it's hard to prepare for the nasty surprises that pop out in exams
 

Nailgun

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Anyone know how to study properly for english. They say do past papers, essay questions and creatives but english is a really broad subject and it's hard to prepare for the nasty surprises that pop out in exams
people say that because its generally the best way. the idea behind doing lots of practice essays is that you learn to be more flexible with your ideas and are able to account for 'nasty surprises'. similarly with creatives doing many allows you to be more comfortable with changing it on the fly. really if you don't feel that what you're doing is adequate, volume is probably the answer (assuming you maintain quality). If you're a rote learner, learn more paragraphs then you need, or maybe write two different essays, else learn more quotes, find new techniques. do more practice essays, creatives, whatever

obviously the key to doing practice essays and creatives is getting them marked/evaluated by someone who knows what they're doing i.e. a teacher, a competent peer, an older student (also competent lol), a tutor, or perhaps one of the essay marking services on this site

that being said, there are other things you can do which cna assist you. reading academic writing on your texts can give you a deeper insight than you might have gotten in class or by yourself, and can familiarise you with the style. reading widely in terms of short stories, novels can help refine your understanding of the creative form + technqiue
reread your texts lol

take a look at the rubrics for each module you are doing, and make sure you can answer a question related to each point in it. hsc is not that broad honestly, they ask you questions for each module based on like a half-page paragraph
 

milkytea99

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I totally agree with studying smarter. It's the technique + working hard at the right areas. There's no point studying 24/7 and being counter productive such as only reading your textbook. There was a guy in my grade who studied A LOT. Like really a lot. He always slept for 3 hours everyday during HSC, and most of the time he was studying. Even during recess and lunch time you see him walking around with the textbook. But in the end, his atar was only around 86. So it's how smart you work, not how hard you work.
 

eyeseeyou

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I totally agree with studying smarter. It's the technique + working hard at the right areas. There's no point studying 24/7 and being counter productive such as only reading your textbook. There was a guy in my grade who studied A LOT. Like really a lot. He always slept for 3 hours everyday during HSC, and most of the time he was studying. Even during recess and lunch time you see him walking around with the textbook. But in the end, his atar was only around 86. So it's how smart you work, not how hard you work.
I think he didn't do good coz he over studied and didn't get much sleep. Did he do practice exams at all?
 

milkytea99

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I think he didn't do good coz he over studied and didn't get much sleep. Did he do practice exams at all?
I have no idea haha. I'm not that close to him. But all I know is that he always sleeps for 2-3 hours every single day, whether it's exam time or not.
In the end he didn't get any band 6. Only 3 band 5, 2 band 4 and 1 band 3.
 

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