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Year 10 students prepare for the marathon that is…The HSC

As the graduates of 2017 celebrate their success and the completion of 13 years of schooling, a whole new group of students are bracing to enter the HSC game.

Ahead of them are two years of consistent study, where the habits instilled over a lifetime of learning really come into play.

Here are the key tips for Year 10 students readying to embark on the race that is…The HSC.

It’s a marathon. Not a sprint.

While the media and others place importance on the final exams, the truth is the HSC is a two-year marathon not a two-week sprint. Every task and assessment you undertake from the beginning of Year 11 onwards counts towards this goal.

Importantly, the study habits you set up at the end of Year 10 will stand you in good or poor stead in your senior years, so now is the time to evaluate your priorities for the HSC.

Just like an athlete in training, if you embrace the marathon mindset from the start line of Year 11 you stand a much better chance of getting the goal you deserve.

On your marks

The end of Year 10 signals a shift in student thinking, where education is not a pastime but a way to reach a goal. Whether that’s medicine, IT, hospitality or business, the steps you take over the next two years are all about achieving an aim.

That means it’s time to get serious, understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and playing to the former to get the outcome you desire.

While the break between Year 10 and Year 11 is indeed a time to take a breather, it’s also the opportunity to get your goals in perspective, and really get ready to take in the HSC.

Get set

Right about now you will have locked in your subject choices, have a fairly good idea about uni, and understand the basics of what you need to achieve. Good stuff. Now let’s embrace the marathon mindset because this is a long journey, where small decisions can reap major wins.

The eight-week break between Year 10 and Year 11 allows you to get your head in the game, shift up a gear and prime yourself for the journey ahead.

Use these holidays to get your house in order, removing any obstacles that stand in your study way.

For some that means brushing up on areas of weakness, for others that entails balancing a timetable between study and employment, and for others still it involves having the right tools at hand.

By the end of these holidays you should have a good idea of your study load, a timetable to complete tasks, and the items you need (like stationery and a quiet space) to get the job done.


The next couple of years are a careful balance of social activity, study, employment (for some) and overcoming the occasional hurdle. Now you know that, what do you need to succeed?

From the outset of Year 11, understand the requirements of each assessment, know when items are due and the weighting each incurs.

If you’re lagging, seek help early through your school or outside help and be mindful not everything will always go to plan.

Like a marathon, a part of the HSC is resilience. That means seeing past the occasional obstacle, and finding ways to overcome it to reach the final goal.

About Chalkwall

Chalkwall Tutoring specialises in preparing students for the HSC. With a reputation for excellence that spans over 25 years, we work with students to build resilience, workable strategies and real knowledge that guides them through the final two years of school.

You can learn more about our HSC programs here, or contact us for further advice.

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