This week is a good time to stop to think, about thinking. The HSC can be a frantic and stressful time.

The students who perform best are not necessarily the brightest or those that dedicate countless hours to studying, but rather those who have been the smartest in their approach to the tasks that they do and how these are done. These are the students who are organised and manage their time to ensure that the work that they are doing, is structured in a way that will best set them up for assessments and to sit those exams at the end of the year.

We like the idea of the Pareto Principle. This is based on the idea that 80% of effects come from 20% of the causes. This was originally discovered by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto when he noted that 20% of all pea pods in his garden contained 80% of peas. This is now applied across a broad spectrum of fields including maths, science, business and most relevant to you, the HSC. The 20-80 principle is the perfect way to think about your HSC. 20% of the work you do is going to account for about 80% of your marks. Whilst others around you may seem to be putting in many more hours than you, this is often misguided and ineffective, such as the highlighting of notes or just writing out quotes.

You can be much more effective when you are doing practise exam styled questions or putting yourself under time conditions to simulate what sitting the HSC is going to be like. This reduces the stress that is so commonly felt whilst still making sure that you reach your HSC goals.

Remember the HSC is not a test of pure intelligence, rather a test of competitiveness,that is a combination of preparation, perfect exam technique and the ability to perform well under pressure. When studying, always ask yourself, “Is this a 20% task?”


HSC CoWorks offers HSC Tuition and HSC Coaching in Sydney across a number of subjects. Our team is made up of a team of HSC experts. Experienced HSC teachers, HSC markers, high achieving ex-students and certified life coaches. We have been a part of successful HSC campaigns since 1996 and in this time we have worked with 1000s of students as they have made the climb up Mount HSC® to get into their dream University course.