Centre for Continuing Education

Years 10-12 Course: Study Methods

Years 10-12 study and essay skills. The smart way to prepare for your HSC.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

This two-day study methods course for Years 10 – 12 students focuses on time management, learning and memory, critical thinking and the examination period.

Students develop strategies for independent study and time management for all subjects. We begin with how to confront and overcome distraction and procrastination – the most common difficulty for students in Years 11 and 12. The course then defines the higher order thinking that underpins HSC syllabuses and marking guidelines. Time management is explored – a major need for success in study, with specific reference to time management techniques such as Pomodoro and certain note taking systems, eg Cornell. Recent theories of learning and memory are explained and applied.

Throughout the course, you will put your learning into practice in self-chosen areas of study. Other topics include revision throughout the year, final revision and the exam period; examination papers and practice for exam conditions. The range is wide and the course is varied, including a focus on using online resources and databases such as those available through the State Library of NSW.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • confront and overcome procrastination
  • plan and maintain time management, including timetables for the session, the week, the school term and the year
  • apply key theories of learning and cognition, including how these apply to NESA syllabuses and examinations
  • plan for study and revision throughout the year
  • prepare for the examination period
  • improve use of research resources including online resources and library resources such as those available through the State Library of NSW
  • read and analyse sample HSC examination material provided by NESA.


  • Recognising and overcoming procrastination.
  • Discussion and application of theories of cognition and critical thinking, including the range from knowledge to analysis and synthesis.
  • Discussion and application of recent theories of memory and learning, including learning over time, depth learning, and analytic elaboration of knowledge and ideas.
  • Student application of memory and learning methods to self-chosen material.
  • Discussion and analysis of research resources including the State Library of NSW' HSC resources and other online resources.
  • Discussion and planning for revision throughout the year and in the period before examinations.
  • Discussion about the examination room experience and how to deal with examination papers.
  • Study of examination papers, exam essays and other examination material provided by NESA.

Intended audience

Students in Years 10-12.

Delivery style

Delivery includes presentation by the teacher and interactive group discussion. Sharing issues and solutions is a major part of this course. You will apply the study methods to self-chosen topics and texts. You will need access to texts and other school material during the course.


You will be provided with a course booklet (electronic copy) which includes previous examination papers and essays.

Bring your own device

You are required to bring your own device (Windows or Mac) and a power chord. Please ensure your device is fully charged as access to power is limited.

Please note that University does not carry any responsibility for your lost, stolen, or damaged devices whilst on the University premises.


NESA Syllabus agreement: (1) The 2017 Introduction provided at the beginning of to the Stage 6 Curriculum for Higher School Certificate courses in English, Mathematics and Science; (2) Learning Across the Curriculum in the 2017 NESA Stage 6 Curriculum.

Getting Through Your HSC: A Practical Guide

While you progress through this journey and also the conclusion of your schooling life, we know you’ll have a lot on your mind – exams, future study, careers – but remember, while keeping focused on these bigger goals and aspirations, it’s also important not to forget your own health and well-being.

For tips on staying motivated and keeping focused, dealing with anxiety, keeping healthy, relaxation, pre-study exercise and more, read our article Getting Through Your HSC: A Practical Guide.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

What others say.

  • I enjoyed the course and found the tutor to be very helpful. The use of memory and mind manipulation techniques helped me to study formulas and link them to images and colours. Also the weekly agenda has kept me on track.

What others say.

  • I enjoyed the course and found the tutor to be very helpful. The use of memory and mind manipulation techniques helped me to study formulas and link them to images and colours. Also the weekly agenda has kept me on track.
We acknowledge the tradition of custodianship and law of the Country on which the University of Sydney campuses stand. We pay our respects to those who have cared and continue to care for the Country.