The Dilemma


The above image demonstrates a dilemma that is faced by countless HSC students studying 2 Unit Maths. And that dilemma is: How many hours should I be studying for Maths?

The Solution

‘How much’ is not a measure that should be quantified when it comes to Math. While it is easy for me to sit here and dictate you to study up to 4 hours every day for Maths, it is neither reasonable nor suitable to everyone’s needs. Everyone has a certain level of capability and if I were to tell a slow reader to finish reading a 500 page book in 1 hour, it’ll surely gain me the same horrified reaction that I would garner if I were to tell a fast reader to finish a 500 page book in a week.

But reading the above analogy, you might be thinking that there is somewhere between that 1 hour and 3 days, that we can estimate a time that both the fast reader and the slow reader could finish their book. And you are right. There is a time that I can estimate. But I’d rather you make that estimate by following the Action Plans below.

So instead of giving you a number, here’s what I think you should spend your time doing over the weekdays and weekends and then its up to find your magic number by doing all this.

Study Action Plan: For the Weekdays

#1 Complete your assigned homework

Any homework that is assigned to you by your teacher should be a priority for you as the homework exercises will help you cement the concepts in your mind.

#2 Work on making individual study notes

You should be making study notes as you finish each topic. The benefits of this are numerous, including better retention and lesser procrastination.

As for numbers…

However long it takes for you to get the above tasks done is the amount of time that I expect you to spend every day on Maths and that is the amount of study that is ideal for you to put in.

Whether that takes you 1 hour or 3 hours, that is the amount of time that will be considered ideal for you to put in everyday. So if you spare Maths an hour but you cannot get the work done within that time, then your options are either to spare it more time or become more efficient.

Study Action Plan: For the Weekends

Past Papers

Complete 1 past paper per weekend, or if you are not through with the entire syllabus content yet, then pick 3 past papers and from them, complete the questions specific to your topic. Once, you are done with the syllabus, complete 1 past paper over the weekend, in a times setting

As you approach your trials, I urge you to do as many trial papers as possible. And do them in a timed setting. This will help you gain better understanding of your speed and will then incentivise you to become more efficient if you are slow, or in case of fast workers, it’ll help you understand your weaknesses and the ares in which you make careless mistakes.

All in All

Studying is not about numbers. It is about consistency. Remember the tale of The Tortoise and The Hare. The Hare ran fast and thought he’d definitely get there and he might’ve if he hadn’t fallen asleep but so would have the tortoise despite him being so much slower than the hare. Only because the tortoise is one very consistent creature. Become him.


Good Luck!

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Mansahaj Kaur completed her HSC in 2015 and now studies Bachelor of Commerce and Laws at USyd. She thinks that English is the most versatile and loveable language on planet Earth and she loves dabbling in anything English related, writing included. But then again, this might be because she hasn’t learnt French or German or Japanese yet. But it’s on her bucket list, mind you! Her desire to learn another language or two is only matched by her passion for eclectic tones and mystery dramas- yes yes, Sherlock, too. She is an avid reader and writer, her favourite series still being Harry Potter, despite her having read numerous renowned classics. Mansahaj likes to think that by becoming a lawyer, she might be able to make a slight, small-as-your-pinkie, teensy difference in the world; but that might be wishful thinking!