HSC+ Blog



You only get to complete your HSC journey once. There is no practice run. No room for mistakes. You have to get it right the first time as there are no second chances. But how do you know how to tackle the HSC – what works and what doesn’t work?


Alpha Omega’s third Big Day In allowed students to get top advice from 3 ex-students who all achieved an ATAR above 99 however each of their approaches to achieve success in the HSC were different.


The first panelist Maaz Rahman, had a hardcore approach to study. He aimed for 14 hours of study a day, and achieved 11-12 hours. His top two tips for all students was to exploit the 6 week summer break and to get to a point with your knowledge where you are able to teach the content to someone else. His hard work paid off as he achieved an ATAR of 99.9 and is now studying a double degree of Commerce and Science, majoring in Actuarial Studies and Statistics at the University of New South Wales.


Dr Bawar Saeed took a different approach to Maaz. He studied fewer hours a day, only picked up his game when the HSC drew closer and all the time maintained a study-life balance. His main piece of advice was to keep the meaning of your ATAR in mind rather than just the number. Dr Saeed didn’t just want to achieve a result of above 99 because of the prestige, but because he needed this mark to have a chance of getting into Medicine first time round. Despite a more laid back approach, Dr Saeed achieved a 99.5 UAI and has completed a Bachelor of Medicine, a Bachelor of Surgery and a Master of Surgical Anatomy at Bond University.


Katherine Tsatsaklas took an approach that sat between Maaz on one side of the spectrum and Dr Saeed on the other. She studied between 7 and 8 hours a day and made sure 3 of those hours were before midday. Katherine emphasized that students need to work out what works best for them individually. Her tips were to set a main goal from the outset whether it be an ATAR, or a university course and then put together small practical to-do lists that can be achieved- a sense of accomplishment is rewarding and motivating. Katherine also made clear that not only do individuals study differently, but subjects all need different methods of study to be successful- for example, the key to success in maths is just endless past questions. Katherine’s approach to the HSC, whist different to both Maaz and Dr Saeed saw her achieve an ATAR of 99.4, allowing her to study a Bachelor of Law and International Studies at the University of New South Wales.


After the ex-students answered any questions put to them by the crowd, the night became extremely lively when 3 current students were chosen to go head-to-head with the ex-students in a 10 question “Are you smarter than the ex-student” battle. The ex-students led majority of the game until the current students got a 5 point bonus in the final question which had them sing a popular Miley Cyrus song.


The underlying message of the night was that everyone will have an individualized approach to study and there is no wrong or right way to achieve success. The most important thing however, is working out what works best for you from a very early stage and sticking to this through your entire HSC journey.


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