The highs and lows of the HSC have now been exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic, placing this years Year 12 cohort in a very unique situation, one that not many can relate to or understand, but is an experience shared with the Year 12 graduates of 2020.
Former Murrumbidgee Regional High School Students Sophie Mitchell and Isabel Salvestro know the feelings and understand the experience of preparing for HSC exams during COVID-19 all too well.
Both however have their own set of advice for the unique circumstances 2021's Year 12's now find themselves in.
"Organisation is key" said Miss Mitchell.
"Staying in contact with teachers is also key to unlocking success in the HSC, they are there to support you and help you do your best come exam time."
Her former classmate agreed, "Use your teachers and send them drafts of your work, they are there to help you and provide any sort of support with your studies that you may need!" said Miss Salvestro.
"It's important not to focus on what you can't do but rather what you can do with the time you have" she continued.
Both girls agreed that a good nights sleep was vital to staying sane during the weeks of studying and preparation they underwent in the lead up to trial exams, and then the final HSC exams.
"It is so important to get a good nights sleep, don't stay up late studying because your brain will be to tired to absorb any information the next day" Miss Mitchell said.
"You also need to make sure you are taking enough breaks from study so you don't burn out, sleep as much as you need and spend time doing other things to give yourself a rest from it all."
And whilst Year 12's may be missing out on all the fun activities that come hand in hand with their final year of schooling, Miss Salvestro said that it wasn't all bad news.
"Not being able to participate in fun final year of school activities is hard but on a positive note, you can now redirect that time and energy into your study routine as your prepare for your HSC exams" Miss Salvestro said.
According to both girls, whilst their Year 12 experience was uniquely challenging, preparing for the HSC during a pandemic had made them more resilient, and confident in their own ability to study, work and thrive under extreme circumstances.
"Studying during COVID was difficult, but I was more motivated in my studies than ever before" said Miss Salvestro.
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