3 study skills for high school students

20 Sep 2022

By Georgina Hannekum 3 min read

Fail to prepare and you’re preparing to fail. Learn how to best study for the HSC.

Accel iQ tutors are current or past university students who have excelled at the HSC. We uncover some of their study tips for success.

What are the best study skills to have?

1. Time prep

According to Ikjun Im, Maths Tutor at Accel iQ, it’s really important to plan your time effectively so cover what you need to in the time that you have.

“The most important part of effective time or diary planning is to be realistic. Make time for yourself and set rewards as you complete chunks of study,” he explains.

“This will keep you refreshed and motivated, especially as you head towards the HSC.”

If your study plan isn’t working and you’re finding it tough to stick to it, then it’s time to make a change. Consider how you are balancing your study with social and physical activities. If you’re drifting off, take some time to recharge with a walk, a chat or a snack. A change is as good as a rest.

2. Stay focused on the syllabus

It’s easy to stray off-topic. When it comes to how to prepare for the HSC, you need to stay focused on the syllabus and dot points.

Romee Hajela, Maths Tutor at Accel iQ, thinks everyone is different when it comes to remembering syllabus content:

“If you’re a more visual learner, try old-fashioned flash cards. Other students prefer to re-write content using their own notes,” she says.

“And don’t be afraid to switch between a few methods. Some students read their notes, write them out, speak them out loud, then listen to them back on a recoding – multiple methods is the way to go.”

3. Study what you don’t know

It’s often the fear of the unknown which makes students procrastinate. Start by prioritising the content you don’t know, allowing you to conquer that fear and realise that you know a lot more than you thought.

This will give you a huge confidence boost – you’ve already tackled the hardest bits, so everything will be easier from here.


The most important part of effective time or diary planning is to be realistic.
Ikjun Im, Maths Tutor – Accel iQ

How can you improve your study skills?

 “One of the lessons we teach our students is that the important thing is how you use your study time, not how long you study,” says Hajela.

One of the most impactful learning strategies is to space out your study over short periods across several days and weeks, and, ideally, for a short time on each subject every day.

“Take a couple of hours every day to study, spending half an hour on a particular section of each subject.”

The total amount of time spent studying will be the same (or less) than one or two marathon study sessions, but you will learn the information more deeply and retain much more for the long term – which will help you when it comes to exams.

What is the best way to prepare for the HSC?

Two things are critical for success in the HSC: staying motivated and prepping properly.

Take some time every day to sit back and remember why you’re studying so hard, and how achieving in the HSC will help you reach your goals. Whether your pathway leads to tertiary education, the workforce, a specialist programme, or something else entirely, remembering that all your hard work now will pay off in the long term is critical to staying positive and determined.

But all the self-motivation in the world won’t do much without proper preparation, and studying is easier when you have the right help. Tutors can help you understand tricky subject matter, while HSC preparation courses can teach you lifelong study skills that are applicable well beyond the end of your schooling. Consider engaging with one of Accel iQ’s maths, chemistry or physics tutors to get more out of your HSC marks.

To achieve an ATAR like Ikjun and Romee, contact one of our learning specialists to book a free trial lesson today.