6 Steps to Conquering Mount HSC, Mount Uni & Mount Life

May 5, 2020

There are now less than 170 days until the 2020 final HSC exams begin and the HSC class of 2021 have begun their journey to the top of their Mount HSC. Without question the classes of HSC 2020 and HSC 2021 have some unique challenges to deal with… BUT this is not the time to throw in the towel and lean on excuses for not persevering up Mount HSC. 

Achieving success in the HSC requires students to be independent and resilient. At CoWorks we would be doing our students a disservice if we didn’t support them in becoming resilient and independent in the face of the current challenges and disruptions. Whether we are dealing with the disruptions of a global pandemic or any other disruption, it is key that students maintain a growth mindset, stay focused on what they want to achieve and apply the key behaviours to not only conquer the challenge of their HSC but be ready for the challenges that lie ahead.



Futurists and thought leaders across the globe have been saying for many years that in order to be successful in the 21st century, young people leaving school will need to be agile, dynamic and nimble and with this current health crisis the need to demonstrate these qualities in the face of change and adversity has most definitely arrived.

The quote below from Kevin Johnson (a writer for Forbes Magazine) in 2018 says it all: –

“There’s so much uncertainty and ambiguity around the future of work, it doesn’t matter your industry or job function. That’s why, when anyone asks what the next “hot” skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn. Even if you don’t know exactly what you’ll need to learn, you can’t go wrong cultivating a growth mindset and embracing the idea that you’ll have to learn something. It doesn’t matter if you graduated from college last year or 10 years ago. Your ability and willingness to continually build new knowledge and skills could spell the difference between a continuous upward trajectory and a career plateau.”…. continue reading the article here.

Learning how to learn (and enjoying it!) is an opportunity available to every HSC student and through the application of the HSC CoWorks student key behaviours a student will have the tool kit ready to apply themselves to whatever challenge stands in front of them. 

6 very manageable steps to conquer Mount HSC, then Mount Uni and Mount Life:

1. You must have a Vision Board or some other way of staying connected to your energy sourceIt is a given that every HSC student will have tasks they don’t want to do in order to achieve fantastic HSC results. If procrastination and distraction are the problem then the answer is a Vision Board. Click here to view a sample vision board which will take a whole 20 minutes to create.

  • Energy Source Question 1 – What happens to a car when it runs out of its energy source? It stops. 

  • Energy Source Question 2 – What happens to an HSC student when they run out of their energy source? They stop working, get distracted, procrastinate, give up.

    Tip – Need help crafting an inspiring vision? Book a 1-on-1 motivation call with Jesse.

2. Stay organised and effective with time at the desk While students might have more time available to them than in previous years with less sport and other commitments, it is critical that students remain effective with the time they put in so as to avoid burnout and feelings of being ‘over it’. 3 hours of effective work is much better than 6 hours of ineffective work. We recommend using the HSC CoWorks planning pads daily

Tip – Upload a completed planning pad in the student portal for coach feedback and suggestions for extra accountability.

3. Train.Daily –  By doing all of the little things habitually, a great HSC result will take care of itself. Every student is capable of doing the ‘little things’ for each subject (ie quotes, syllabus, definitions, formulas). Without high levels of certainty with these, trying to write practice essays and do exam training will be much more difficult and therefore avoided. 

Our favourite quote of all time from the great Muhammad Ali covers this nicely – “I run long on the road before I dance under the lights.”

Tip – If you are avoiding the more challenging tasks and producing tangible output, it might suggest that you don’t have enough confidence with the foundational content and therefore will seek to avoid those tasks that make you uncomfortable (ie – outside their comfort zone). Maintain a streak on the CoWorks website to ensure you’re putting in the work daily!


4. Pushing your comfort zone is the only way to improve your capabilities. Will you need to leave your comfort zone consistently in order to achieve your HSC goals? The answer of course is yes. A human will only have the resolve to leave their comfort zone if they have their goals in front of them, they have broken tasks down into smaller more manageable chunks and finally, they have trained their brain with the foundational content required to complete those tasks outside their comfort zone.



A boat is always safe in the harbour but that’s not what boats are built for.

Tip – Most tasks in the student portal are designed to stretch and challenge a student. The more tasks completed (including essays, essay building templates, challenge questions, short answer questions and source tasks) the more the student is expanding their level of capabilities.

5. Grit: Resilience training – When we leave our comfort zone it is inevitable that we will encounter setbacks, obstacles, mistakes and failure but this is the universe’s way of telling us that we are outside of our comfort zone and that we should embrace these setbacks, obstacles, mistakes and failure and continue to show up for more exposure to the tasks that will expose the gaps in our performance.

Tip – No one was born a great mathematician, no one was born a great essay writer but with the mindset of continuing to pick ourselves up off the ground after setbacks and continuing our climb to the top of the mountain will produce the desired result no matter the challenge. 

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

6. Own it! – Another favourite quote of ours is ‘You can have excuses and you can have results but you can’t have both’. Excuses and blame are the enemy of improved results and given there is only one person who can make an HSC vision an HSC reality it is critical that a student takes responsibility for the results they produce. Another reason that the Vision Board must be in place to generate commitment to creating the future with their present actions.

“If you want something bad enough you will find a way. If you don’t you will find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn


Our HSC Specialists are ready to take any questions you have about the HSC process or about how your child can take control of their HSC year and achieve the results which they deserve.

Get into contact with us via messaging our live chat or calling us on 1300 967 890


Check out our previous blog post on how to defeat motivation issues by clicking here.


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