Listen in class:
wow, congrats on your amazing HSC mark! sounds like a state-rank kind of mark
do you have any advice to give for managing the heavy theory content?
If you have even just a basic knowledge of what your teacher is talking about, it makes it a lot easier to go home and study later. I was so exhausted during year 12 because of the workload + early bus, so sometimes I would drift off and not really take much in.
Work out how you learn:
I learn best by reading and writing (writing out notes, and then summarising them, etc), so I would go through my textbook and highlight important sections and out them into my own words. I also wrote up my own comprehension type questions that I would complete the following day, week, or month (e.g. a red pigment in tomatoes, (lycopene) is a phytochemical that may assist in preventing (hormonal cancers) such as those of the (prostate) and (breast).)
Two days before my HSC I made up colour coded flashcards that I just went over and over and over again until my exam. My main reason for doing so was the fact that I sucked
at legislation, and no matter how hard I read over my work, I could never get them into my head. So, I categorised them into federal, state and local levels, as well as what they reflected (environment, worker safety, consumer safety, etc) - please keep in mind that they can ask you specifically about something, such as 3 examples of environmental legislation at a state level and their influence. I had these colour coded, and different patterns on the card (e.g. hard lines, dots, zig zags) reflected a different level of government. Then I had a separate set that just had these distinctions on the answer side, so I had to know them, and list all of the points on the back without a prompt.
Trust me when I say that the only way to get through legislation is to memorise them all and know their categories. Knowing the Food Act and Trade Practices Acts isn't enough to get you through. Trust me.
Go above and beyond:
You've probably worked out already that it is relatively easy to pass food tech, but almost impossible to make it into the top bands. EXTRA RESEARCH WILL BE YOUR BEST FRIEND. Nutrition was my best topic, and I ended up reading so much extra material on it just for reference notes. The HSC is about backing up everything that you say. A number of my teachers would ask me a question and ask "why?" after each justification I made. It was really annoying, but if you get into the habit of backing and linking up your points with justification and the question, that is exactly what they are looking for. ATSI are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes? Why? - because of the thrifty gene - because of their nomadic and unpredictable primal lifestyle - for survival - sugar (esp. fructose) > insulin spike > weight gain > over consumption of sugar > overproduction of insulin > abdominal weight gain > type 2 diabetes ~ limited access to education/fresh wholesome foods/limited economic resources/etc - then back it up with statistics and/or a quote from an esteemed med journal or book.
If you have linking subjects (e.g. PDHPE, CAFS, Bio) you'll be studying for a number at a time, which helps. Same reason why I made sure that my Belonging and Conflicting Perspectives English Advanced (of you do standard your teacher may choose one for you) related text could relate to both - only had to learn one really well! (my back up could also have been used for both).
Figure out how your teacher marks:
My teacher was a really tough marker, and I topped my class' trial HSC mark with a 76. Just before the HSC she told us all not to worry because a 70 by her standard of marking was more like a 90. So please consider this. I know at my previous school a number of my friends kept going on about how they were getting 95s in their exams, and NO ONE from that school achieved a band 6, two only just scraping in with a band 5. Another way to work this out is to look at your school rank. HSC school was ranked in the top 90, old school was ranked in the 300s.
I know that is all a bit over the place - if you have any specific questions please feel free to ask. I've created a specific FT help thread that you can find here
that I will be patrolling reguarly as well.