The HSC Year is one of highs and lows. The year will have its inevitable roadblocks and disappointments, personal insights, thoughts about the future and transition to adulthood with 18ths, drivers licenses and applications for University.

Whilst this journey belongs to the Student, like any goal being strived for, having the support, guidance and understanding of a parent goes a long way.

Below we explore several ways you as a parent can support your child through the HSC year. 

Vision & Planning

 “Vision without Action is merely a dream;

Action without a Vision just passes the time”

A Vision is the student’s end goal. Whether it is a specific ATAR, University degree, a goal to create opportunities for themselves or even just beat their older sister’s ATAR! Having a strong vision will provide the motivation to keep working hard and climbing Mount HSC.

Encourage your child to define their Vision, say it out loud together, research post HSC options with them, Create a Vision Board, Write out goals daily… Anything which will keep the Vision front of mind.

Every goal requires strong planning. How are you going to achieve your goal? What actions do you need to put in place? How could you do things differently to ensure you are getting closer to your Vision? 

Stay Solutions Focused & Encourage a Growth Mindset

The Brain is 5x more likely to be in a problem/negative state.

By understanding this, you are able to work with your child to identify that what they are feeling is just a natural state however it can be changed. As long as a person stays in a Problem State, they will not be able to move forward and achieve their goals.

Example of Problem State: ‘its not fair’, ‘I can’t do it’, ‘its too hard’.

Instead of a parent confirming this problem state (‘oh dear’, ‘that sounds awful’, ‘I wish I could help’), work with them to bring them back to a solutions focus (‘I know you can work through this’, ‘what steps can you take’, ‘what actions do you think you need to take to get a solution’, ‘was there a time in the past where you felt good about this subject’)

Stretch and Challenge 

Outside your Comfort Zone is where the Magic Happens

Students are less likely to stretch and challenge themselves without the support of a Coach or someone who can keep them accountable.

Without stretch & challenge, students remain within their comfort zone and there is no real progress.

If you were an athlete and wanted to improve how far or how fast you could run, you would continually stretch and challenge yourself by running an extra 100m each time or increasing your pace slightly. By making these small adjustments and gradually stretching your comfort zone, you WILL see progress.

How is your child stretching themselves with their study? How many practice essays are they completing or past papers are they completing? How often are they working on their memorisation of quotes?

The more exposure a student has to exams the more they will develop their technique. The Board of Studies website has past exam papers available for every subject so please encourage your child to make a start on this critical study behaviour.

Get Interested

When you’ve had a goal in the past, how much more exciting has the journey to success been when you can share it with your family or friends.

If you can show some interest in topics being learnt or texts being read, this will make all the difference to your student’s journey. You might read one of their English texts, watch the evening Alan Kohler report with them and discuss the relevance to an Economics topic, Visit an Art Exhibition with them etc..

Celebrate the Successes!

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out”, Robert Collier

It doesn’t need to be an exam grade or ranking, instead it could be the completion of a core text study, an essay or positive comments towards their work attitude or improvement. The HSC year is a journey and every success, big or small, should be celebrated.


“As much as talent counts, effort counts twice”, Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth’s book GRIT explores the importance of resilience and perseverance in achieving goals. The HSC year will have it’s inevitable disappointments but it is a student’s ability to persevere and believe that they can change their output which will lead to ultimate success.

We STRONGLY recommend that parents and students read this book as it will support both of you in developing your Growth Mindset and understanding of how you can overcome obstacles to reach your dream!

It’s all about Balance

Ensure your child is making the time to relax, rejuvenate and refresh each week. As a guide year 11 students should be completing at least 2 hours study in the evenings and 4 – 5 over the weekend.

Year 12 students should be completing at least 3 hours in the evenings and 6 – 8 over the weekends. That leaves plenty of time for other activities to refresh the Mind, Body & Soul!







Have you ever wondered why you avoid the tasks you need to do?  

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