4 Tips for Acing Your Year 11 and 12 HSC Math Exams – Our Guide

October 1, 2020

Math is a polarising subject—people either like learning it in school or would rather be studying something else. It covers a variety of fundamental skills like problem-solving, arithmetic, spatial intelligence, and, yes, computing for taxes. However, getting proficient in math needs hours of commitment. You will need to do repeated drills on computations, sometimes staying on a concept until you master it so that you can move to the next level.

Because it is skills-based, you cannot memorise theories and expect to be good at it, so use your study time by working through problems. You may even be thinking of getting HSC tutoring. Whether you’re having a go at the tests on your own or are seeking someone else’s help, here are a few tips to get you started on your exam preparations.

1. Assess your foundational knowledge

Since mathematics is a large field of study, it can be overwhelming trying to review. It will help if you start with the basics, that is, with the lessons in the 2 Unit syllabus. When preparing for your HSC, or when getting 2U math tutoring, take note of what you don’t understand.

Get multiple choice questions from your old tests or from online resources like HSC reviews, and work on them for a set amount of time. It is recommended that you give yourself about 20 to 30 minutes doing problem sets, as that will give the most accurate reading of your skills.

When you are done, mark your answers. Grade them on a scale of one to four, with one meaning you do not understand the question at all and four meaning you understand it perfectly well. That will guide you or your tutor in finding resources to focus your efforts.

2. Know your long-term goals in taking the exam

People have different goals when it comes to taking the Years 11 and 12 exams. If your career plans would need you to master higher levels of math proficiency, you should start reviewing topics that those test levels will cover. 3U math tutoring, for example, would be a perfect headstart for people who are aiming to get into a university.

You might be good enough at math and feel like you don’t need input from a coach. That might be true in as far as the HSC exams are concerned. However, to continue on a good academic path, you should be preparing as early as possible, especially if you plan on working in careers in STEM. A 4U math tutor can help you with subjects you will take up in electrical engineering, actuaries, and other programmes that need mastery in higher-order applications.

3. Create a separate binder for your HSC exam review

Once you have your pointers for review, you should compile notes and reviewers for your HSC exams. That should be different from your lecture notebook in class. Study notes help you put into words what you understand from a text, which is a good way to learn any topic quickly.

Even if you’re studying on your own, occasionally working with a partner is a good way to have someone else assess your skills. Do practice rounds with your study buddy, with full-form sample tests done simultaneously. Afterwards, you can trade your responses and explain them to each other. Teaching a topic is also a great way to retain information.

4. Use errors as a guide for further work

Common errors fall under four general areas. These are inattentiveness, lack of knowledge, misunderstanding the question, or incorrect knowledge. Ask yourself if your mistakes are from rushing through the test, from not knowing what to do, from assuming and being wrong about what the problem is asking, or from some other thing.

Know what your pitfalls are, and break down the steps of the problem to see where you start getting confused on what to do. If you have made a habit of auditing your tests, as was suggested in tip number one, you will find it easier to identify the exact point at which you fail to understand how to work on a problem.


Preparing for your HSC exams will take a bit of strategising on your part. You need to know your skill level and your goals after school, so you do not waste your time studying inefficiently.

For standard math tutoring in Penrith, contact us at Young Growth Academy today. We’ll help you ace your HSC math exams like a pro!