The final years of high school can be stressful at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic. But with education authorities across Australia reassuring Year 12 students that they will receive an ATAR this year, we’re still going full steam ahead with the HSC and IB courses. Of course, that’s easier said than done – so what are the best ways to keep on top of things?
Organise your time
You’ve no doubt heard about the importance of a daily routine and a study schedule – those are important whether you’re homeschooling or learning in the classroom. But what does that look like in the time of coronavirus? Firstly, look at the big picture – how long you have until trial HSC and IB exams, for example – and set up study goals around things like dot points on the syllabus, or how many practice papers you want to do by a certain date. Those study goals will help you create your daily and weekly to-do lists in the time you have left.
It’s also important to look at the smaller picture: what will your day-to-day life look like? A really useful tool can be to think of your day in terms of hour-long blocks, similar in length to periods at school. If you break your day up into smaller tasks that you can complete in these manageable timeframes, you’ll feel so much more satisfaction when you tick off an item in your to-do list.
Manage your mental health
Right now you’re probably feeling a whole lot of pressure. That’s normal in the senior years of high school, and it can be useful when it comes to exams and assignments! But studying for the HSC and IB is a marathon, not a sprint, so you need to take each day as it comes. Rather than thinking of the months you have left in social isolation, or the months until your end-of-year exams, focus on right now: what can you do this afternoon, or in the next few days, to help you achieve your study goals?
Don’t forget: factor regular breaks into your study schedule, remember to make time for daily exercise and hobbies like music practice now that you don’t have extracurriculars at school, and get enough sleep! And if you need any help with staying motivated, you can always ask a teacher or parent, or your tutor or peers for advice.
There are so many online resources available for HSC and IB students; now more than ever it’s key to see what's out there and use it wisely. And who says study has to be boring? Online video resources like Schooling Online are a great way to start studying for a new English text or course component, or even to brush up before exams. Visual aids like our videos have been shown to help with building long-term memory, and watching and listening to videos will help you feel engaged with HSC and IB study while in coronavirus isolation. We take a whole Shakespeare play, for example, and walk you through it scene by scene, then put it all into the context of the syllabus and rubric. And our science videos break down those big concepts like accuracy, reliability and validity.
You know what we said before about breaking your course content up into smaller parts? Remember: take your study day by day – or one dot point, one video at a time – and that’s a recipe for success.