(edit) 'run down' ..... oops
sure - my biggest recommendation is writing your own detailed NOTES based on a diverse amount of resources. use all the textbooks/youtube videos/free tutoring websites/stack exchange answers you can find to write very extensively, but in a structured manner (usually a bit into out of syllabus content, but having a satisfactory answer to all the things that seem confusing makes the subject much more fun, and also gives answers a much more sophisticated sense of understanding). specifically, i wrote very detailed notes (often in the form of paragraphs, which helps with writing exam responses - when you're writing these, do it as if you're answering the syllabus dot point as an extended response exam question/short answer if there just isn't enough content
. after this, write a summary of the notes in a numbered structured layout, for me that was very helpful as it prevents you forgetting big points and serves as a guide for writing exam responses - the actual detailed writing should flow from the memory of writing the paragraphs in the first place, but the structures give an excellent starting place (if not practice makes perfect of course). for content-based subjects, this strategy worked very well for me (for me that was chem/phys, i did hopelessly little work for modern during the year) with regards to mx1 and mx2 (or adv/std if you're doing that), honestly just doing all the enrichment/consolidation textbook question types (skip development, these questions are a complete joke unless you legitimately don't understand the basics of a new concept, in which case they are helpful)
as to after school, as I said earlier I was a massive procrastinator, but when I actually did get down to studying, in the pre-trials and pre-hsc weeks, it generally went like the below. note
: I only really started doing this regularly before trials and before the hsc, but if I had started earlier I am sure I would definitely have gotten much higher marks, because it really did feel effective - before that, I just studied at school in lunchtimes and got some sporadic unproductive-feeling study sessions done at home and occasionally the local library, just getting the least amount of work done possible to do well in exams - I still used the above detailed note-taking method to study, it was just a lot less efficient and often was just cramming for individual subjects a week or two before exams for the required content in each one, not during this time I kinda just floated around and did the homework my teachers set, which was quite a significant amount, so that was helpful.
1. night before, procrastination-filled-guilty-motivation:
write a checklist for things to accomplish the next day - usually way too optimistic, and filled way over what you can do [this is important]
2. after school next day
: go to a LIBRARY - for me, this was the biggest thing to help me get more done. you might have a different style to my study habits, but generally go alone and not in a group - group might be more fun, but 99% of the time you're getting basically nothing effective done. for me, I went to the state library, it made every study session feel like an outing to the city which was definitely something that made it easier to get motivation to go actually study. once you get to the library, i found that the quiet environment and people working around you is usually enough to get you actually working once you get there. I recommend handwriting notes, it's just better for memory retention, personally I took my notes on ipad while doing research on laptop (drawing tablet should work well too, I think there is still a kids creative initiative or something like that where you can get a free $100 wacom drawing tablet or something, don't quote me on that though)
3. at library
, generally public libraries are open until around 8, so I would get there at 4ish and study a straight block until 7-8, getting about 1/2 the guilt-ridden checklist I had done the night before. also, be very specific with these checklists, e.g. for chemistry 'write notes on module 6 inquiry question 1 acid-base models historical, and then draft a practice response' or something of that nature. [quick chem tip, the exams are becoming more and more quantitative so make sure your knowledge of all the calculations are solid]. the trip home was a serene sort of break, as it was often around sunset and made for quite a scenic journey through the city - a lot of the old buildings look very nice at that time of night.
- I must admit, I was very very unproductive at home, usually the only actual (I say actual because there were many many half-attempts at typing notes late at night in stress that I hadn't gotten anything done that day haha) work I would get done there was past papers with exam conditions and a timer sitting next to me, otherwise I would just get distracted. however, after getting home from studying at the library usually I had some half-finished things that I wanted to get done anyway, so it was much easier to get into it and start - I always went to bed around 12.00am when doing this, and started on the study at home around 10pm. (8-10 was a long break I always took when I did this library schedule, usually played video games or just ate dinner and stared mindlessly at one of the scroll apps, youtube/insta etc)
obligatory note on english
the only exception to the above in regards to studying was english, for some reason writing english essays was just much much quicker for me to do at home, perhaps it is the more familiar and less busy environment - although i'm sure if i applied the same ritual for english I could have studied that at the library too, it just so happened I did basically nothing for english during the year, wrote a few generic essays near trials and edited them slightly for the hsc and that was enough for a mid band 6 - but I definitely recommend reading the texts thoroughly (armed with a highlighter and google in case you need to search up literary techniques and research history/critical analysis of lines) and actually trying to see what the writers and critics have to say before dismissing english as a joke of a subject, which I did for most of the year... but once you actually get into the literary theory and sociological information that texts can glean, english legitimately became interesting for me... many will probably disagree though.
as I said at the beginning, I was very bad in terms of procrastination, so a lot of the times and hours you see above are very vague, and I definitely fell victim to the 'oh, it's 5.01pm, I guess i'm starting at 5.15pm instead of 5.00pm how unfortunate' trap very often, starting studying was definitely the hardest part for me. I think that was why going to the state library made such a big difference (that or the impending-doom-inflicted urgency of trials and hsc after taking 1 month break from trials), was that it ROMANTICISED studying, and just made it much more fun in general... being very interested in the subjects content also helped, and, to be blunt, been naturally quite good at it so I never really studied for 3u beyond the textbook homework (apart from past papers before exams, but doing these throughout the year would definitely have been helpful, and there are certainly enough new syllabus exams out there by now to do this) and for 4u the same thing pretty much, but had to reach back to the 'develop' section a few times when the textbook wasn't very good at explaining and had to do examples a few times... in terms of maths, cambridge is by far the best textbook, enrichment is usually harder than they would ask in hsc/trial exams but I found them very useful to make sure of understanding. and, for content subjects, instead of reading over notes to revise them (which is alright to do while on the train or bus or just in a break at school, but as far as i'm concerned is pretty useless as an actual studying meausre unless you're actively editing, adding and correcting things), write out practice responses and scaffolds and mark them to see what you missed!
definitely spent too long writing this unorganised thing, very sorry for anyone who read the whole thing
tldr; romanticise studying, write detailed notes, spam past papers, go to the library alone, set overestimated goals and carry them into the next day, rinse and repeat... although can't give you much experience on the repeat part, I definitely didn't do this enough...