The HSC is fast approaching once again. If they haven’t already, your students will be starting to think about revising for their exams. We teachers can help them during this process. So, here are 6 teacher tips for HSC revision that can help you prepare your students for their upcoming exams.
Study using the syllabus
Students can become overwhelmed when studying for their HSC. Much of that stress could be related to the sheer volume of content they have learned over the past year. As a result of this, some students rifle through their huge textbooks and notes aimlessly, trying to cram as much information as they can into their minds. But this may not be the most efficient way to revise for some of your students!
Remind your cherubs the syllabus is key to their revision. By focusing on each dot point and outcome from your subject’s syllabus, students can ensure they are revising all the necessary content and not simply trying to remember anything and everything. Teacher PD’s HSC Study Templates are a great way to remind your cherubs to focus their revision on syllabus dot points and outcomes. You can find your subject’s study templates here.
Remember the key words
Part of studying by the syllabus also involves knowing the key words used throughout. Many of the outcomes and dot points include these key words. They indicate to us teachers the level at which students need to understand the content but they can also provide a hint to students about the questions which may be asked in the HSC. For example, if a dot point uses an evaluate, students can conclude that they may need to recall the specific content of that dot at a high level.
The key words also tell our students how they are expected to answer short and extended responses in the exam. For example, if the question asks students to identify, they will need to recognise and name in their response. By answering the questions according to the key word, students may score more marks for their responses and potentially reach the higher bands.
It’s simple to help your cherubs revise key words ahead of their HSC exams. Teacher PD’s Key Word Flashcards or Key Words Glossary are great revision tools for your students to have on hand. They will remind your students about the meanings of the key words. The flashcards also feature visual cues to enable them to recall key word meanings in the exam room. By studying the key words, students may better remember them, answer questions to the best of their abilities and possibly reach a band 5 or 6.
Remind students to study early
Some students leave their HSC revision to the last minute. However, we know studying early is a better way to revise. It’s important to discuss this with students and remind them cramming the day before may mean they won’t be as prepared as possible. A study schedule is a great way to get your students on track with their revision early. Print your students a copy of the HSC Study Schedule by Teacher PD. This will help them set effective study schedules in the weeks leading up to the exams, giving them plenty of time to revise all their content. The study schedules are also available for other states’ and territories’ senior exams here.
Set past papers
Past HSC papers are a great resource for preparing your students for exam conditions. Completing past papers will familiarise your cherubs with the format of the exam paper and some of the questions they may be asked. It may benefit your students to set one past paper each week in the lead up to exams. You can either allow your students to complete the papers in class if you have time or set them as homework. Just make sure you take time to provide your students with feedback after completing a paper to help them improve on their performance each time. Past papers are available for all subjects on the NESA website.
Another one of our teacher tips for HSC revision is to play games! Gamification is a great way to change up the study schedules of your students. It allows your students to continue revising content they’ve learnt without keeping their heads buried in the books. Gamification can help your cherubs revise without even knowing it, while the competitive nature of games can strengthen their skills in recalling information under pressure.
It’s also great for their wellbeing, which we know can suffer in the lead up to exams. Playing games can help to distract your cherubs from the stress of studying and exams. However, using games that are based on the syllabus will help to keep them on track with their HSC goals. Teacher PD has a bunch of fun syllabus related games and activities that will engage your students in their revision.
Be accessible to your students
Your cherubs are about to undertake one of the biggest challenges in their young lives and they are likely to turn to you to ask questions, seek feedback or simply come to you for advice. Therefore, it’s critical your students have access to you at this time. Make yourself available to mark their past papers, practise responses or answer any questions they have about content or the exams. You can use Teacher PD’s HSC Revision Feedback sheet to provide valuable and useful feedback to your students that will hopefully place them in good stead for their upcoming exams.
It may even be beneficial to schedule in some study sessions over the next few weeks outside normal class time. Consider organising these sessions before or after school or even in the school holidays. You could designate a certain topic to cover during each of these sessions or ask students to come prepared with questions that you can answer during your study session.
Good luck to all teachers with students sitting the HSC this year! We know they will be well prepared if you’ve followed these teacher tips for HSC revision.