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Know your SWOT – Getting down to business in the HSC

In the corporate and business realm success often hinges on recognising your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT), and when it comes to the HSC, the reality’s no different.

Academic achievement is all about playing to your strengths, understanding your weaknesses, seizing on opportunity and combatting any threats.

So, let’s get down to the business of the HSC and how knowing your SWOT can help…


Every student has an area of strength where they find the subject easier, and embrace the content more enthusiastically. Draw confidence from this strength. Whether it’s science, drama, English or IT, you are clearly using strategies within this area that work for you.

If possible, work out what it is that you find easier than other areas and apply similar study strategies elsewhere.

While this area is your strength, it’s important you don’t rest on your previous results, but keep up the good work and attention to detail that enables you to do well and helps bolster your overall result.


Just as every student has a strength, most have an area of weakness that they find more challenging and less enjoyable. This subject will require extra concentration over the course of the HSC. You might also require assistance studying for it, getting across concepts and finding confidence within this area.

The sooner you understand your potential areas of weakness, the sooner you can do something about them – whether that’s embracing additional study in this area, or seeking help from a professional tutor like Chalkwall.


In many ways opportunity is about strategy when it comes to the HSC. Seizing opportunity involves allocating sufficient study time, practicing to gain confidence and arming yourself with an array of tools to handle even challenging exams or essays.

Opportunity is about giving yourself the best chance to do well by being prepared, knowing your content and being ready for assessments and exams.

It’s also about playing to your strengths, using the skills that see you do well in some areas, and utilising them to give your confidence or an edge in other areas.


Understanding areas that may be a threat to your result and performance is an important part of the HSC, and again in many ways threats can be combatted through strategy and resilience.

For example, by your senior years you may have a fair idea that your weakness lies in essay writing, and the English exam could pose a threat to your mark. You can combat this threat by seeking assistance for your essay writing, asking for feedback from your teachers, and practicing to improve this skill.

Similarly, the high-stress environment of exams may pose a threat to how and when you are able to recall vital information under pressure. Combatting this comes down to good study and exam practice.

Meanwhile stress, fatigue and a poor diet can also be a threat. Be mindful that all these factors may affect your performance and be organised in your study routine.

Ensure you get enough sleep, commit to a little exercise and eat well to stay at the top of your game throughout the HSC.

About Chalkwall

For over 25 years Chalkwall has assisted and supported students through the senior years of the HSC. We work to understand a student’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and arm them with the resilience, strategy, knowledge and practice to see them attain the result they deserve.

You can learn more about our successful HSC program results here, or contact us directly for further information.

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