You’ve probably heard about the home vs library study debate.

Should you study at home, or study at the local library?

If you’re not sure which location, check out this article here which is aimed to help you decide what space may suit you more.

Assuming you’ve decided that studying at home is for you, we’ve developed a comprehensive checklist of recommendations for creating your epic home HSC study space to help you study as effectively as possible!

Let’s dive straight in!


The first step with any study space is to actually decide on the location.

Study space should be:

  • Quiet
  • Away from foot traffic (e.g. not kitchen table when possible – breaks concentration, easy distraction)
  • Have airflow (either window or aircon nearby)
  • Access to some sunlight
Action Point:
  • Write a list of all the possible study places in your house that fit the above criteria
  • Test them out over a week – which spot do you like the best? Make this your study place!


Your desk should be suited to your height so that when you are sitting down your feet are placed comfortably.

If you’re looking at buying a new desk a cool style to check out is the ‘standing desk‘ (I hear Elizabeth and Rowan are both into these!)

Action Point:
  • Try standing for 30 minutes while you study.
  • How does it feel? Do you stay focused for longer?

Bookshelf/Storage Space

Allows all school material to be accessible and nearby — stops you from getting up every 5 minutes/

Action Point:
  • Keep all your subjects and notes organised by putting them in labelled and/or colour coded binders.

School Timetable

This helps with remembering when classes start if you have early lessons and/or shows you what subjects you need to pack for that day.

Study Timetable

Having your study timetable in a visible location helps you follow it. My suggestion would be sticking it up on your wall above your desk either slightly to the left or slightly to the right of the centre.

Comfy Chair

The chair you pick is very important as it sets the mood for your study.
You don’t want something overly hard which makes all your joins sore but by the same standard you don’t want something too soft that puts you to sleep – the chairs below provide comfort while still keeping you alert and ready to study.

2008-04-21-aeron chair


Pens, ruler, calculator and extra paper all easily accessible

Goal Setting Environment

I would regularly remind myself of what my goals were and the reasons I choose these goals.” Claudia 95.6

“I would set a goal for myself, then I would write it out and stick it in front of my desk so I could see them whenever I studied. This can remind you of your goals, helping you stay on track and motivated as it is important to know ‘why’ you are studying instead of doing something else.” – Sinclare 97.9

Write your dream ATAR and dream uni course, print them out in large fount (50+) and stick it in front where you sit at your desk.

Your Computer/Laptop

Often we spend so much time trying to set up out physical environment that we forget about organising where all the information will be going.

Take some time out of your day to organise you computer and create folder/sub-folders for all your subjects and their topics.


Pin Board

This is a great way to physically stick all your notifications up so you can see them and also remove them easily without damaging your walls.


This is a must have for anyone who uses To Do Lists as you can easily wipe the task away when it’s done.


This will help you keep track of time without looking at your phone and breaking concentration.

We’ve also got an article on why you should have a social media detox during year 12 so having a clock in your study room would be very beneficial.


Having adequate lighting is extremely important when studying and a lamp will help illuminate the specific area where you are working.

Temperature Control

Studying when you can’t feel your fingers is not good. Having air conditioning in summer/heater in winter will help you concentrate as you are not constantly worry about your body temperature.


Pictures, books, stuff toys. In this step put a few things into your study space that will help motivate you to study hard.

Candles and Essential Oils

Choose options that are designed to increase concentration.

Inspirational Quotes

Stick these up around your desk to encourage you to study hard.

Monthly Wall Planner

“I have always kept a wall planner and I utilise ‘to-do’ lists, that way I don’t have too much on my plate and it keeps me focused.” – Khaulah 97.65

Bluetooth Speakers/Earphones

You can use this to play some music that aids in concentration with your smartphone (on airplane mode, of course!) or laptop. We do not recommend studying while Metallica is streaming out of the speakers.


With this checklist complete your study space should be filled to the bring with helpful, organised and practical objects. Remember that it is your study space so if something doesn’t feel right you don’t have to include it – it’s up to you to trial and error what works for you!

Here is Elizabeth’s study space (with her makeshift standing table!) for her law studies.


What makes your study space epic?

Tell us in the comments what you’ve found has worked well for you in your study space!


Milana Gusavac thought she had seen the end of HSC until she realised that others out there needed help surviving year 12 just like she had. Now she’s a member of the Art of Smart team while perusing her studies at the University of Sydney, studying a Bachelor of Psychology. When not learning or helping other’s Milana can be found with her nose in a book or marathoning TV shows.