HSC survival tips – for parents
After years of hard work – and likely lots of blood, sweat and tears – more than 70,000 NSW students are on the final stretch to completing their Higher School Certificate (HSC) with written exams now in full swing.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Education Rob Stokes congratulated all HSC students on reaching this point and wished them well in the coming weeks.
“I want to congratulate every student on their diligence in getting to this final stage of their HSC,” Ms Berejiklian said. “What you have learned will prepare you well for the next phase of your lives. Whatever path you choose the NSW HSC is highly respected across Australia and overseas.”
If your child is studying for the HSC, you’re probably feeling anxious and stressful too. And, while it’s not easy watching them struggle with the pressure or workload, simple things like providing a good place for them to study, ensuring they fuel up on nutritious meals throughout the day, and encouraging them to get plenty of sleep and exercise will help when emotions run high.
10 HSC study tips for parents
If your child is having difficulty studying, or you’re feeling particularly anxious, these 10 tips from the NSW Department of Education should make it a little easier:
- Be supportive and encouraging
- Highlight strengths and successes. Encourage your child not to dwell on failures, but to see them as “mistakes”, which can actually be something they can learn and benefit from
- Appreciate your child maybe feeling very stressed, even if it’s not obvious to you. Many kids fear letting their family down so beware of setting unrealistic expectations. Some worry they can’t do as well as a sibling, or friend. Many Year 12 kids are feeling overwhelmed about what lies ahead: leaving home, leaving lifelong friends, the prospect of having to live in a new city
- Understand people under pressure become supersensitive and explosive from time to time. Family members are usually the first targets. Try not to overreact
- Be realistic in your expectations as to where the HSC leads. Not all HSC students will go on to university – but they can still have a wealth of excellent and satisfying career options. If they don’t get the HSC marks they needed and still really want to go on to tertiary education later, there are many other pathways. Interestingly, the success rate of mature age students is much higher than for those who go straight from school
- Encourage your child to seek help from teachers or the school counsellor if they are having any difficulty with subjects, study organisation, stress or anxiety about examinations
- Encourage a healthy balance between work and leisure. Some times kids need a total break from everything for a weekend or so, to recharge their batteries
- Take an interest in what your child is doing, if they’ll allow you to (some won’t). This can include the subjects or topics being studied, how their study timetables and programs have been organised and their leisure pursuits. (Note: “Taking an interest in” does not mean interfering.)
- Remember the occasional hug and “I love you” don’t go astray, even when they are 18 years old
- Encourage and allow your child to be as independent as you can possibly stand. The more independent your child is in meeting the demands of Year 12, the better prepared they will be to succeed at a tertiary level or in the workforce