The summer holidays are a critical time during which we encourage all students to actively reflect, plan and implement good study habits to place them in good stead ahead of the rest of year 12. While it’s certainly not a do or die kind of mentality and you all deserve a definite break after completing the first term of year 12, students who get ahead of the game over these summer holidays often go on to perform better as they are more self-reflective and have improved study habits. It’s also a good idea to spend a moment or two to just reflect over your journey through year 12 so far over this past term to help evaluate what things went well, what didn’t, and what you can do in the future coming out of it. With that in mind, here are some helpful tips to use your holidays to their fullest.

#1 Consolidate your knowledge.

Whether this be content you’ve forgotten from the year 11 syllabus that might be an important foundation for current year 12 topics such as basic calculus or knowledge that you’ve had difficulty grasping this previous term, the holidays are a critical period to fill in these gaps. Not only will this boost your confidence heading into term 2 but it will help eliminate any unnecessary stress arising throughout the rest of year 12 from any unresolved content issues. This would also be a good time to use the HSC CoWorks Coaches in the learning space during Bootcamp to help out with any of these issues, so use your resources available to the fullest.

#2 Planning to plan isn’t planning.

2 months is a long time and in between holidays, social gatherings and other commitments, it can be easy to lose track of how much time you actually have to accomplish your tasks. Therefore, we highly recommend that you plan both with good intentions and effectively. Look over at what needs to be done by the end of the holidays for each of your subjects, then make goals out of these tasks measured quantitatively (i.e. SMART goals) and always apply a deadline to them. Even better, use the Portal so coaches can check in to see how you’re going to add an additional layer of accountability. That way, it will become a lot more rewarding when you head back to school knowing you’ve completed what you set out to do.

3# Getting ahead of the curve.

The holidays are a supremely useful time for you to start thinking and enacting ways for you to pre-learn and enter into term 2 ahead of the class. Whether by getting more done on your major works (remember to book in for the free Major Work Workshop in January) or by pre-reading the textbook and attempting practice questions provided to you, pre-learning can be a very efficient use of your time. By doing so, classes in school will shift from just learning new content to pointing out gaps and flaws in your knowledge. You can also use the time there and in the space more effectively by asking and attempting more challenging questions. One thing I found very useful in the grand scheme of things was to keep that momentum going beyond the summer holidays. If you’re able to cover even just the first part of a new topic every single holiday before class, you’ll find it a lot easier come Trials and HSC time to focus more on applying rather than learning new knowledge.

4# Don’t skimp on the reading and research

It’s such a simple thing but given that you have so much time, why not use it to catch-up on your prescribed texts that you’ve been neglecting to read, or perhaps even doing that extra bit of reading on a school of history for your history extension major work. Regardless of what subject, the holidays represent a time where you can tick off the less invigorating HSC tasks and yet also allow you to gain a greater understanding of the content that you need to know before you apply. Bottom line is, most students perform better in their essays and works if they have done the reading that is required of them, so why not use these holidays to do exactly that?

5# Thinking about your vision and post-HSC ideas

These holidays represent perhaps the last time where you have a lot of freedom outside of term to explore some of the big picture stuff like what you want to achieve in the HSC, what you want to be doing after the HSC and how this ties into your overall vision for the HSC. For example, use this time to evaluate what marks you might want going into the remainder of year 12 to get into a particular course or adjusting your vision after realising if you put in the effort you could get a higher end result. Furthermore, the vision you create here will be of great use heading towards the business end of year 12 and really giving it some thought can definitely be a useful thing to do over the holidays.

So there you go! These are just some tips and I’m positive you definitely have some ideas of your own so please feel free to use them and share with us any which you found particularly useful. On that note don’t forget that through the Study Bootcamp sessions & Workshops we run the holidays, coaches and the markers here at HSC CoWorks are ready to help you with any issues that you may be facing and help guide you through your HSC journey. Enjoy your summer holidays and we’ll see you back for the New Year!

HSC CoWorks Coach