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How this holiday can make, not break, your HSC

HSC Prep

The summer holidays provide a welcome break and the chance to enjoy a little downtime after the long grind of a hard year learning. But research indicates if handled incorrectly, this lengthy hiatus could actually be denying the wealth of knowledge picked up during the previous year at school and set you back for the HSC.

Instead, experts argue senior students should be using the opportunity to hone their study habits, brush up in challenging areas and set the tone for the final years ahead.

It’s all about consistency and combatting regression with revision. So here is our guide to ensuring your holiday will make, not break your HSC mark…


For over a century researchers have noted a loss of learning over extended holiday periods, with intensive subjects like mathematics most prone to taking a hit.

Known as “summer learning loss”, this “school “of thought encompasses 39 studies since 1978, all of which note that in the absence of school, students score lower standardised test scores at the end of summer as compared to their performance on the same tests the previous academic year.

In the most extreme cases this loss accounts for up to 2.3 months of learning.

Combatting the holiday brain drain

Make no mistake, you deserve a little R&R after a year’s learning at school, and brushing up over the holidays doesn’t mean hours of intensive study with your nose in a book 24/7.

Instead our 25 years experience of helping students through the HSC tells us it’s about maintaining the momentum. A little bit goes a long way to reducing the holiday brain drain and here are our tips to do it…

  • Make a study plan

    The HSC is a marathon, not a sprint, and the best way to handle these two years of knowledge acquisition is to have a study plan. This plan should incorporate consistent revision and learn, with the holidays a vital component.

    By incorporating just a few hours each week of study into your study plan and continuing this throughout holidays, you maintain your knowledge base and can even position yourself ahead of the game.

  • Visit the library

    When the tone at home is all about Christmas and the focus is relaxation, a regular retreat to a quiet environment can help you focus on the task at hand, and your local library could be the perfect place to find this refuge.

    Something as simple as scheduling two visits to the library each week where you knuckle down in the air-conditioned quiet will help you concentrate and keep up with your study plan. It also gives you immediate access to further resources like the internet and reference books.

  • Seek assistance

    For most students there will be at least one element of their studies that throws up a few challenges. Whether it’s maths, essay writing, physics or history, the holidays are a perfect time to seek remedial assistance with a tutor for any concepts that find you out of your comfort zone.

    This regular interaction with a learning professional also helps you keep the momentum of study going, and could see you make new ground, better manage your study time and gain confidence over the holiday period.

  • Keep reading

    The HSC requires an extensive knowledge base across a number of topics and a great way to instill and further this learning is to keep reading either required texts or related resources.

    Reading should be part of your daily schedule in the knowledge the more exposed you are to a subject the more instilled it becomes in your ongoing knowledge quest.

How we can help

For over 25 years Chalkwall has been assisting students as they prepare for their HSC. We understand these two final years of school are not just about the topic-specific study but also encompass confidence building, preparation, and support. To learn more about our HSC package and the innovative resources and assistance we provide, see here.

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