Term 3, Year 11. Year 12 is around the corner and you’re lying on the floor thinking, ‘This is my life now. I’m going to die.’

To put it bluntly, the HSC was stressful but with the help of Captain Hindsight, I now realise exactly what made it all the stressful. What did?

  • Older brother who did amazingly well in his HSC? 
  • Bombed out of Year 10 and halfway up Year 11 Struggle Street? 
  • Course I needed wanted to get into needed a 96.7 ATAR?
  • Time to curl up into a ball and cry my way through to December?

No, I’m not going to convince you that the HSC is awesome because it’s really not however Kanye was onto something when he said ‘that don’t kill me can only make me stronger’.

No, Yeesus (nor Nietzsche for that matter) did not help me prepare for Year 12 but I did just finish Year 11, so how hard could Year 12 be? Not so hard, especially after making these HSC Apps a part of my daily life.

Put it in perspective:

Keep it real and hit up the homepage of the news a few times a week. The world is a much bigger place than just the HSC and by keeping that bigger picture in mind, the HSC is less catastrophic than you might think.

Flipboard is *flipping* awesome for getting categorised news headlines. I spend at least twenty minutes everyday catching up on what’s going on in the world in international affairs, technology, business and fashion. 


Image sourced from <http://cdn1.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/10/flipboard1.jpg>


Remember, once you focus on the fact that the HSC is a very small component of the world, you can focus on life goals. Completing the HSC should be just one of them!

Make to-do lists:

Breaking everything – and I mean everything – up into smaller and more manageable goals allows me to put my life into perspective. I like to see everything I’ve completed, so I use Wunderlist to sort my whole life out into to-do lists.




Wunderlist allows you to create folders for all of your to-do’s. Make a new folder for every subject you have at school, and for all of your co-curricular activities. 

Start the day with a power playlist:

If you’ve got something that gets you pumped and positive, you’ll get into a mood to do stuff. Sick of Discovery? Shake it off! I use Spotify religiously to create playlists for free. Here’s mine to get me charged for the day.


Image sourced from Elizabeth Goh.

Image sourced from Elizabeth Goh.


Good news is that I didn’t die. Instead, I pretty much kicked ass: I got the ATAR I wanted which was far better than the 96.7 I needed.

If you’re still lying on the floor, I can guarantee you that there are others who are doing exactly the same. The development of these three good habits is half of your work for the HSC done.

By keeping it real, keeping it organised and keeping it energised, you’ll come out of Year 12 a lot less dead. I guarantee it!

Elizabeth Goh isn’t a fan of writing about herself in third person, even if she loves writing. Elizabeth decided she didn’t get enough English, History or Legal Studies at Abbotsleigh School for her own HSC in 2010 so she came back to help others survive it with Art of Smart Education. She’s since done a mish-mash of things with her life which includes studying a Bachelor of Arts (Politics and International Relations) with a Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University, working for NSW Parliament, and admitting that she actually has four Taylor Swift songs on her main playlist.