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High achievers share their strategies for success

Lael and Alexandra

Three of Meriden’s high achievers from the Class of 2023 recently returned to a school assembly to share the strategies they used that set them up for HSC success. They urged students to find the best way to study that suits their individual learning styles, reminded them to seek support from peers and teachers, and spoke about the importance of maintaining balance and exercise during Year 12.

Mahek Jain, Alexandra Richards and Lael Sakalauskas tailored their studying methods and routines that worked for them.

Lael identified herself as a visual learner and found using magnetic notes to map out content had helped her understand and visualise information. She encouraged the girls to look beyond reading and re-reading notes because “you may find yourself not absorbing the content as effectively as you could be”.

“If you are in your junior years, this is the perfect time to start experimenting with different study techniques,” she said. “I really encourage you to dedicate some time to create a really solid study routine that will support the way you learn.”

Mahek also went through a trial and error phase before finding a study timetable that worked for her, and employed novel methods, such as listening to subject-related podcasts. She said being consistent in her studies and creating a study timetable that worked for her meant that she felt comfortable when exam time came around.

The girls reminded the students that their peers and their teachers were their biggest support system in Year 12.

Lael said her teachers provided feedback to the many practice papers and essays she wrote. She practised Spanish with her peers once a week, and she suggested that if you are doing a major work, a different point of view can be helpful and refreshing.

Mahek said her teachers patiently answered all her questions, and their explanations gave her a different perspective on how to look at questions. With her peers, they created a community and worked as a team, asking each other questions and sharing study tips and resources through group chats and collaboration tools, such as Google Drive.

Alexandra said it was important to reach out for help when you need it. For her study routine, she found it was essential to establish a foundation of balance in Year 12 and encouraged the students to identify a method or outlet to help balance out their study.

As an elite athlete, Alexandra had maintained her training schedule during HSC year and was glad she made that decision.

“Keeping up my sport gave me an outlet to separate myself from study, give my brain a break, socialise, relax, have a bit of fun and most importantly, move around,” she said.

“Making sure I completed by regular exercise did wonders for my mental health. Having that balance improved my energy levels and overall mood.”

Alexandra acknowledged that most students will not have a training schedule that will looks like hers, but “simple activities, such as going for a walk during your study breaks can really make a difference in making sure you make the most out of your study time”.

“You can also find and implement balance through methods other than exercising,” she said. “For instance, I know we have many talented musicians at Meriden – keeping up with your practice sessions at home are more important than you think. It can stimulate your brain in another way.”

Our returning high achievers were methodical and innovative in their approach to studying for the HSC. We thank them for imparting their wisdom and knowledge they gained during their final year at Meriden. Congratulations on your achievements and best wishes for your future endeavours.

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