With the upcoming written HSC and IB exams 2018 quickly approaching, you are probably trying to find some extra study hacks to help you get the best marks possible. Any other blog on the internet will tell you the usual study hacks that are repeated across the board.

Examples of the tips which other blogs would share include: finding a quiet spot to study, eliminating distractions such as your phone, reviewing your notes and many other techniques for helping you study. These are great tips that work, but maybe you are looking for some extra techniques to add to your study routine.

Here are 10 study hacks to try out when studying for the upcoming written HSC and IB exams 2018.

1. Change your location

If you are studying at the same desk that you usually play video games on, chances are you will end up getting distracted from your studies and play video games instead. Gaming may be great for the creative side of your brain but it won’t help you when you are sitting down for your HSC and IB exams 2018.

Changing your location to a spot that you only associate with studying, will help you focus faster. The public library is a great place away from home to use as a study station as it is quiet and free from distractions. If you get bored of the library, consider changing your location regularly. Other locations can be multiple cafes or a friend’s house.

2. Videos and podcasts

Try absorbing educational materials through alternative mediums outside of reading. 65% of the worldwide population are visual learners, so watching educational videos may help you in absorbing your study topics better. Podcasts are also an effective way to learn. You can listen to them almost anywhere and have them playing in the background when you are doing other activities such as running or being creative.

3. Exercise before studying

Exercise can help wake you up and gets your brain working. You don’t have to do a full cardio workout. Instead, a quick walk around the block will be enough to get the cogs in your brain operating. We recommend going for a walk before your exam, as well as this, will help keep your brain active during your test.

4. Study just before sleep

Notre Dame and Harvard joined forces to do research on the effects of studying before sleep. They found that studying just before you go to sleep helps in maintaining knowledge you have learned throughout the day. However, not getting enough sleep can have the opposite effect. Make sure you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night so you can have energy and brain power to get through the day.

If you are using a laptop or any device to study at night, try to switch this off at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep. This is because the bright lights emitted from your screens can create signals in your brain, telling it to stay awake.

effects of studying before sleep

5. Teach someone else what you have learned

A great way to test your knowledge is to tutor a friend or family member on your course material. This will show where you are lacking in knowledge and memorise the material from verbalising the information out loud.

6. Have some chewing gum

While chewing gum is banned at high school, at home you might be able to find some use for it. According to the British Psychological Society, chewing some gum can help in helping you stay focused and retain information. Just try not to have too much as this can affect your stomach.

7. Give yourself a reward

Find something you really like to do or eat, then make it into a reward for making progress in your studies. This will give you an extra dose of motivation to get your studies out of the way. If you have a favourite TV series you are eager to watch, try studying for 1 hour and then rewarding yourself with one episode per hour of study.

8. Take a break

According to a study made by the University of Illinois, even a short break from studying can greatly help in focusing during prolonged periods of concentrating on a certain task. Studying too much in one go can make it difficult for your brain to absorb all the information at once. Try taking regular study breaks by going for a walk or having a stretch after every 30 – 50 minutes of study. This will also help in preventing injuries such as RSI and back pain, which can develop if you spend too much time doing the same thing in a static position.

9. Use flashcard apps

Flash cards are a fun and interactive way to memorise important points of knowledge. Instead of handwriting your flashcards, why not use an app. This means that you will be able to study anywhere at any time, just by using the flash card app on your phone.

Recommended apps to try:

StudyBlue is one app that allows users to crowdsource and share their flashcards for different subjects. In the app, you have the flexibility to add images and audio as well. You can also set reminders to study within the app, so you can stay organised.

Quizlet is an app that integrates its huge database of flashcards on its website into its app. It gives you many options to use the app for learning and memorising topics, including its quiz and game functions. So you can test yourself in a fun and interactive way.

There are so many other apps to try and experiment with, it’s best to try a variety so you can find which one works best for you.


If you are in need of some tutoring or more study hacks before your upcoming written HSC and IB exams 2018, then the staff at C3 Education Group at more than happy to help. Learn more about our HSC tutoring and IB tutoring and be sure to get in contact with us today, so we can help you create a learning plan and gain the best marks possible.