Time management in the HSC

15 September 2019
15 September 2019 The Alchemy Team

It’s not rare during your HSC year that you assure yourself at the start of the term, “Ah, I’ve got plenty of time,” and next thing you know – it’s week 9: you’ve got assignments after assignments, more tests than you can count piling on and you barely know the content. On top of that – your teachers are still assigning homework!

How are you possibly going to manage all of this? There’s simply not enough time! Sure, you might still manage to finish – with the help of caffeine and all-nighters – but is your work going to be of the highest standard you know you’re capable of?

Probably not.

This, exactly, is why time is of the essence. Here are some tips to help you manage your time and achieve the results that you know you can: 

  • Know your deadlines – keep track of when your assignments are due, when your exams are and by when you need to finish any homework you’ve been assigned. Write it in a diary, log it in your phone calendar or just scrawl a reminder onto the back of your hand. Stick post-it notes with important deadlines all over your study space – the possibilities are endless! This way, you’re able to track which tasks – whether it’s finishing a Maths exercise or writing a paragraph for English – are urgent and you must finish as soon as possible and which tasks you can assign for another time.
  • Start assignments super early – you’ve got an assignment? Start it. Now! You’re preventing stress so that you’re not forced to stay up until 6am finishing off the assignment you have due at 8am. It’s just not worth it. This allows you to have multiple drafts of an English essay or different ideas on what to include in a Biology depth study. You can also submit your drafts to your teachers and have plenty of time to review and edit to ensure absolute perfection. This way, you know you’ve done the most you can. Your work is of the highest quality it possibly can be and you’re not sacrificing your sleep. It’s a win-win situation.
  • Don’t leave your notes to the last minute – don’t leave it for ‘later’. I spent the week before my Year 11 yearly examinations compiling my notes for Biology. Suffice to say, this was not effective at all. I barely had time to finish my notes, let alone actually understand the content. It’s imperative that you’re not unnecessarily wasting your time on notes when it would be much better spent on study. Start your notes as early as you can – during the holidays (when you’ve got most time) is the best option. This allows you to consistently review and learn your content throughout the term and by the time exam time comes around, you can spend more time applying your knowledge than you do learning it.

Managing your time effectively during the HSC seems difficult at first. But it’s not impossible. It simply just requires discipline, setting up good study habits and the ability to avoid falling down the rabbit hole of saying, “Ah, I’ll do this some other day.” Start now. Start today.

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