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Year 12 and the HSC

As I'm sure many people are aware, trials and the HSC are about to start. I thought it might be a good idea for all us who are struggling to share ideas on how to cope with stress, study strategies, how to manage time, anxiety etc.


Good luck with your exams 

Re: Year 12 and the HSC

Hi @itsally,

Welcome to ReachOut! I'm so glad you have started this thread with the HSC trials coming up, it would be great to hear how members are managing and coping with stress/study.


I'd be interested to hear from some of our mods @N1ghtW1ng@ErinsAntics@letitgo@lokifish@Bee to get their ideas of how they managed studying. Have you guys got any ideas we can add to this thread?


Check out our community activities calendar for October 2019 here

Re: Year 12 and the HSC

Hi @itsally

Funny story this time last year I was preparing to give a talk on exam stress on behalf of ReachOut at a mental health expo so I have lots of ways on how to handle stress. 

Full disclosure I only had one exam which was English as I chose to go the non exam route, having anxiety me and exams were not friends. I had also been accepted into TAFE early due to my grades so I didn't really have a lot of pressure.

The big thing to remember is that you will survive this (you're not the first to go through this nor will you be the last!) and at the end of the day there are so many other ways to get into uni and the course you want.

ReachOut has so many articles on exam stress and studying (here is the think to everything on exam stress)! So I thought I would provide you with the links to my favourite articles.

  • Friendship and exam stress - it can be hard to juggle friendships and exam stress especially when emotions are running high, this article helps give you ways to manage friendships with also studying.
  • 5 apps for beating exam stress - gotta love technology and these apps really help you manage exam stress. I LOVE the breathe app and it really does make a difference in keeping you calm. 
  • 5 steps to study success - this infographic is so fun and helpful, its definitely worth printing out and sticking in your study space.
  • ReachOut's exam-slaying checklist - another infographic that will help you slay exams and help you put your best foot forward. 

I remember many years ago getting told that if you weren't nervous/stressed before a big event then it was a bad sign and you weren't taking things seriously. I really agree with that advice as nerves help you stay focussed and remind us of what big steps we are taking or about to take. If you weren't nervous then you would be more likely to let things slip and not do your best. 


Whatever it takes I know I can make it through!

Re: Year 12 and the HSC

Heya @itsally,


Definitely a relevant issue for a lot of our forum members, so thanks for starting this thread Smiley Happy


I'm in Victoria so I did VCE, but I shall impart my wisdom to all who may be reading this.


For me, high school honestly sucked. I missed half of it because of mental health issues, and the times that I did go the pressure from the teachers and everyone else around me was a bit ridiculous. I also didn't do quite as well as I'd hoped, but I'm now in my 4th year of uni and am averaging HDs. Meanwhile, friends who got ATARs of 90+ have failed units at uni. Performance in year 12 does not equal performance at uni. The two are actually really different and it takes a lot of school leavers by surprise.


You may hear this advice ad nauseum but there's a reason why that's the case. There really is life after year 12! I can promise 100000% that NOBODY will care about your ATAR in 5 years time. There's a joke that older uni students often make: you can tell who the first years are because they talk about ATARs and study scores, but really nobody gives a shit once you've been accepted into uni.


In addition to the five billion amazing resources @ErinsAntics pointed out, there's also the High School Student Support Squad thread which could use some love Smiley Happy and if anyone's looking for reassurance that they will someday eventually make it to the coveted #unilyf, feel free to lurk us over on the Uni Student Support Squad thread (I promise uni is not as awful as we make it sound Smiley Tongue)

No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish

Re: Year 12 and the HSC

Hey there @itsally and welcome to ReachOut!

Ah the HSC, or QCS for those QLDers like myself. To be completely honest with you, I don't remember much about them. (I wasn't much of a studier anyway). There have been some awesome tips (and articles Smiley Tongue) shared on this thread already, but I have a couple I'd like to add for anyone going through exams, or struggling with stress or anxiety about things here two pieces of advice I always share.

The first one: there is ALWAYS another way. It's important to study and great to have a goal and work to achieve that. I feel like schools and teachers never tell you this, if you don't get the score you want, it is okay. There are so many pathways and different places you can go to get where you want and do what you want to do. It might take a bit longer, but it's always possible. There is always another way.

The second: Trust yourself. This one is fairly new to me, but I use it a lot with my younger (and much older) students. Most of the time, you'll feel nervous and that's okay! These are big things that are happening and they ARE nerve-wracking but you have to believe in yourself and trust yourself. To those who have done hours and hours worth of studying to those who have done none, trust yourself. It's okay to not know an answer, it's okay to be unsure, but go through with confidence because YOU CAN DO THIS! Trust yourself Smiley Happy

Year 12 and the HSC

Wow!!! I am so surprised by all the attention this forum has already got. It's very comforting to see that so many people have gone through what I am going through and have survived. The advice I've read so far is also fab, the trusting myself and also the forums really help. I'd also like to share some of my own advice, although it is not from hindsight, but from current experience:

  1. I've found that meditating everyday (even for a small amount of time) really helps. It allows me to take a break, breathe and just think. A great app I've found is 'Smiling Mind' (It's completely free).
  2. Playing a team sport. It keeps me social and active, whilst also having a focus outside of school.
  3. Socialsing is great. Unfortunately due to mental health problems, that has been limited, but when I do get a chance to do it, it's so great.
  4. Don't isolate.
  5. Read. Not textbooks, but for fun. Especially before bed. It helps me clear my mind, get tired, have some time out and get a good sleep.

Not sure if these help to much, I hope they do.

Good luck, whatever happens, it'll be okay!! Smiley Wink

Re: Year 12 and the HSC

Awesome suggestions @itsally!! Smiley Very Happy

I'd also like to add one more studying tip my sensei (from martial arts) shared with me. Reading your notes at night before you go to bed can help you remember them more. I don't know how true this is, and I never had much of a chance to try it but you never know Smiley Tongue

Good luck to everyone! Smiley Very Happy