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HSCpainkiller

How to become naturally smart? A kick ass way to succeed as a student. A HSCpainkiller Manifesto Agatha Yu

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HSCpainkiller

A long, long time ago, when you were around four years old, you were immersed into this system - convincing youself of something that is not true. Oh,  I  guess  ‘convincing’  can’t  exactly  emphasise  how  they  drill  and  brainwash  you. Their  mission  is  to  make  sure  you  se@le  for  being  average  so  that  you  can  end  up  doing  the   repeAAve  works  that  no  one  would  be  interested  to  do  it.  To  ensure  that  you  will  contribute  to  large   corporaAon  like  a  cog,  they  teach  you  to  be  reliable  and  ignore  risk-­‐taking  behaviour.   If  you  try  stepping  outside  of  your  designated  desk/cubicle,  they  will  give  you  a  nudge  to  put  you   back  in  your  place.  We  need  submissive  and  reliable  worker  who  will  complete  tasks  without   quesAoning  the  authority.  In  school,  we  are  trained  to  be  factory  workers  -­‐  to  follow  orders,  meet   deadlines  and  do  the  same  thing  over  and  over  again.   So  for  generaAons  aGer  the  industrial  revoluAon,  students  are  trained  to  be  a  small  part  of  the   grand  mechanics  of  our  capitalisAc  world  view.  We  are  brainwashed  to  fit  in,  but  what  the  society   values  are  the  people  who  stand  out.   Do  you  want  to  be  stuck  with  only  limited  opAons? Do  you  want  to  be  invisible  in  our  society? Can  you  stand  being  normal  and  idenAcal  to  everyone? I  don’t  believe  that’s  our  only  path.   Because  there  are  far  more  opportuniAes  and  leverages  for  you  to  stand  out  ever  than  before.  

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HSCpainkiller

Some  of  you  can  probably  understand  where  I  am  heading  towards,  whilst  some  of  you  are   probably  asking  “So  you  reckon  we  shouldn’t  be  receiving  educaAon?”.  I  would  disagree  with  that   comment,  because  all  of  society  has  been  so  focused  on  schooling  that  we  can’t  radically  dismantle   the  process.  But  what  you  do  is  to  make  sure  you  beat  the  system.   Higher  School  CerAficate  (HSC)  is  one  of  the  most  feared  obstacles  of  high  school.  Pages  upon  pages   of  results  are  released  in  the  Sydney  Morning  Herald  and  the  insane  amount  of  the  phone  calls   from  family  to  hear  your  final  scores  make  the  HSC  a  daunAng  task  to  meet  expectaAons.  When  we   read  about  all  these  superstar  students,  we  instantly  noAce  their  natural  intelligence  and  how   dedicated  they  are  with  their  studies.   What  if  I  spill  all  the  secrets  of  being  naturally  smart  to  you?  What  will  you  do  to  stop  being  so   average? The  general  understanding  of  naturally  smart  is  someone  who  is  good  at  something  because  of  the   crazy  things  that  happen  with  their  parents’  geneAcs.  But  this  is  not  true,  they  earn  it.  They  are   smart  because  they  discovered  the  loopholes  in  our  system.  

How can you become naturally smart? Here  are  the  five  steps  for  anyone  (like  you)  in  search  to  become  naturally  smart: ! ! ! ! !

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#1  Believe  -­‐  the  earth  shaking  mindshiG   #2  Focus  -­‐  one  tracked  mind #3  Connect  -­‐  join  the  dots #4  Select  -­‐  do  the  work  that  ma@ers #5  Devote  -­‐  pracAce,  pracAce  and  pracAce

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HSCpainkiller

#1 BELIEVE The  most  important  aspect  of  kicking  ass  in  the  HSC  is  to  actually  believe  you  ARE  (not  can)  going  to   do  that.  I  don’t  mean  the  abstract  concept  of  success  that  comes  and  goes  out  of  your  mind   immediately.  I  am  talking  about  the  concrete  believe  in  yourself  that  you  are  going  to  kick  ass  in   every  single  internal  exams  and  the  horrifying  HSC. English  is  my  second  language  and  I  never  would  have  imagined  that  I  can  get  a  band  6  for  english.   How  did  I  change  from  ge_ng  70s  in  year  10-­‐11  to  receiving  a  93  for  HSC?  Through  out  my  high   school,  I  never  believed  that  I  can  do  that  well  in  English  -­‐  because  my  limited  talent  to  conquer  it.   AGer  compleAng  four  unit  HSC  maths  exam  in  Year  11,  something  just  clicked  in  my  brain.  I  realised   that  the  lack  of  belief  in  my  own  ability  not  only  contributed  to  the  endless  procrasAnaAon.  I   sabotaged  myself.   I  could  have  began  draGing  my  Othello  essays  -­‐  but  I  don’t.  I  could  have  taken  the  iniAaAve  to  look   for  my  English  teacher  for  advice  -­‐  but  I  don’t.  Was  it  because  I  had  be@er  things  to  do?  Or  is  it   because  I  am  just  lazy?  It’s  neither.   This  goes  deep  into  your  brain,  because  you  have  already  planned  to  do  ‘alright’  in  school.  I  can   understand  that  though,  if  you  keep  your  hopes  down  you  can  never  get  disappointed.  I  guess  it’s   Ame  to  get  used  to  disappointment  and  train  yourself  not  to  be  disappointed  again. Have  you  ever  seen  how  smart  people  act?  Or  have  you  considered  what  makes  them  appear   successful?  The  moment  you  shiG  your  mind-­‐set,  everything  changes. QuesAons  for  you:  Do  you  se@le  with  a  nice  regular  75?

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HSCpainkiller

#2 FOCUS Most  dedicated  students  spread  themselves  too  thin,  whilst  some  people  don’t  even  bother  at  all.   To  become  naturally  smart,  you  don’t  need  to  be  good  at  everything.  More  than  oGen,  smart   students  dig  really  deep  into  one  area  that  interest  them. You  don’t  need  to  do  something  that  you  are  absolutely  passionate  about.  Passion  is  overrated.   When  you  do  well  in  something  passion  naturally  comes  and  it  all  just  becomes  a  cycle.  Take  a  step   back  and  think  which  subject  you  can  absolutely  nail.   This  also  applies  to  students  who  are  applying  for  scholarships.  Students  have  grown  accustomed  to   the  list  quality  potenAals.  Yet  another  natural  reflex  that  is  programmed  during  school,  students   place  too  much  emphasis  in  the  qualiAes  they  bring  from  their  extra  curricular  acAviAes.  So  why  is   it  that  smart  people  can  out-­‐perform  and  sAll  relax  at  the  same  Ame?  It  is  because  they  make   themselves  interesAng  by  focusing  on  a  specific  interest  instead  of  trying  to  become  widely   accomplished.  

Passion is overrated. Same  principles  apply  to  the  HSC.  When  you  can  demonstrate  extended  knowledge  of  the  topic  and   show  that  you  have  interesAng  insights  of  a  parAcular  issue  it  will  brighten  up  the  day  of  a  marker   when  are  locked  into  this  shed  to  mark  the  same  quesAon  over  and  over  again.   Take  your  Ame  to  dig  deep  into  a  parAcular  subject  and  make  sure  you  do  extremely  well  in  it.  AGer   that?  Confidence  will  naturally  trickle  down. QuesAons  for  you:  What  subject  are  you  really  good  at?

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HSCpainkiller

#3 CONNECT A  key  quality  that  most  superstar  students  share  is  they  are  very  good  at  building  connecAons   between  concepts.  They  do  this  by  studying  the  big  picture  instead  of  minding  the  li@le  details.  Are   your  economics  notes  over  50  pages?  How  do  you  plan  to  study  all  that?  Well  I  guess  the  answer  is   you  can’t,  because  it’s  too  daunAng  already  just  by  looking  them. Our  brain  is  a  strange  thing.  It  is  a  giant  web  of  neurons.  That  is  why  I  don’t  advocate  dot  point   notes  because,  as  a  student,  you  won’t  be  able  to  see  how  different  factors  influence  each  other.   Your  brain  will  have  a  hard  Ame  to  try  to  store  all  these  informaAons  into  separate  blobs.  

Our brain is a strange thing. It is a giant web of neurons. So,  what  do  I  do?  I  did  really  brief  notes  and  linked  all  the  factors  together  with  arrows  and   symbols.  I  also  grouped  them  into  quesAons  with  a  giant  table.  Yes.  I  think  of  what  kind  of   quesAons  the  teacher  will  ask  before  I  get  into  the  exam.  In  this  way,  you  will  have  the  structure  of   your  answer  all  ready  to  go. When  you  know  how  to  argue  that  an  increase  in  educaAon  fundings  will  affect  the  parAcipaAon   rate  of  labour,  the  markers  will  be  refreshed  by  your  different  approach.  So  many  students  just   chuck  in  the  facts  and  hope  that  the  markers  will  somehow  work  out  the  logic  behind  fragmented   concepts.  Markers  don’t  care.  They  are  Ared  and  they  just  want  to  get  out  of  the  shed.  So  just  by   sprinkling  some  magic  in  your  answer  you  have  already  seduced  the  marker  into  giving  you  a  5/5 QuesAons  for  you:  How  thick  are  your  notes?

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HSCpainkiller

#4 SELECT You  may  think  it’s  good  to  know  and  understand  everything.  Why,  I  can’t  disagree.  However,  I  can   tell  you  that  it  would  be  impossible  to  know  and  understand  everything.  That  is  why  I  have  asked   you  to  be  focused  in  #2.  Once  you  have  discover  what  you  can  really  do  well  in,  you  will  need  to   selecAvely  work  hard  on  other  areas.

Select the key qualities that is demanded by your markers and ignore all the rest. Of  course  when  I  promote  to  work  hard  in  one  parAcular  field,  does  not  mean  you  can  let   everything  else  go.  I  would  advise  you  to  let  everything  else  go,  but  because  it’s  your  HSC,  where  10   units  must  count,  you  will  sAll  need  to  out-­‐perform  everyone’s  expectaAon.  You  will  need  to  work   hard  smart  to  kick  ass  at  it.   Put  yourself  in  the  shoes  of  your  marker.  What  do  they  want  to  read  that  won’t  bored  them  to   death?  You  will  need  to  focus  on  the  big  picture  and  learn  how  to  tailor  your  notes  according  to  the   markers.  If  you  know  economics  markers  love  jargon  and  diagram,  shove  them  in.  Why  make  it   wordy  and  tough  for  both  yourself  and  the  marker? Select  the  key  qualiAes  that  is  demanded  by  your  markers  and  ignore  all  the  rest.  Know  just  a  li@le   bit  more  than  the  common  student  populaAon  and  you  would  have  completely  impressed  your   marker.   QuesAons  for  you:  What  are  the  unnecessary  stuff  that  we  can  savagely  cut  down?

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HSCpainkiller

#5 DEVOTE I  can’t  stress  enough  that  people  who  did  extremely  well  in  HSC  have  immense  devoAon  in  their   studies.  I  am  not  going  to  overwhelm  you  with  how  many  hours  of  work  they  must  immense   themselves  in.  But  they  know  it’s  worth  it,  because  the  amount  of  effort  they  pour  in  is  always   mulAplied  when  it  comes  to  their  results. DevoAon  isn’t  measured  by  the  hours  they  spent  physically  to  do  their  notes  and  homework.   DevoAon  can  be  seen  in  those  who  think  of  it  when  they  are  having  their  shower,  eaAng  dinner  and   catching  a  bus.  They  don’t  see  it  as  a  chore,  instead  they  believe  this  sort  of  devoAon  will  get  them   very  far. Are  you  someone  who  just  gets  above  average  in  every  subject?  Would  you  prefer  to  come  first  in  a   subject?  In  reality,  you  can  have  both.  Once  you  devote  yourself  in  a  parAcular  area,  you  will  learn   the  skills  that  are  transferrable  between  different  subjects.  For  example,  the  set-­‐your-­‐quesAon  note   taking  strategy  originated  from  my  chemistry  study,  but  I  felt  that  it’s  applicable  in  most  of  the   content  based  exams.  So  I  changed  the  method  for  economics  a  bit  because  the  chemistry  syllabus   already  provided  key  learning  points  as  answers  already  whilst  economics  is  in  just  brief  dot  points.   You  don’t  need  to  work  for  10  hrs  a  day  and  all  day  during  the  weekend  to  become  naturally  smart   and  kick  ass  in  the  HSC.  But  you  do  need  to  devote  yourself  into  a  short  period  of  high   concentraAon  studies.  Combined  with  studying  selected  with  a  selected  focus,  you  will  be   invincible.

Once you devote yourself in a particular area, you will learn skills that are transferrable between different subjects QuesAons  for  you:  Can  you  devote  yourself  to  kick  some  serious  ass  in  the  HSC?

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HSCpainkiller

What now? You  will  need  some  Ame  to  digest  all  these  ideas  because  it’s  tough  to  instantaneously  change  your   habits.  I  can  only  be  the  fireworks  in  front  of  a  petrol  staAon.  I  can  ignite  your  momentum  to  take   charge  of  your  studies.  Most  of  you  probably  already  know  how  to  become  ‘naturally’  smart,  you   just  needed  someone  to  inspire  you  and  push  you  beyond  the  edge.   Henceforth,  I  proclaim  the  acAon  plan  to  transform  you  into  a  naturally  smart  kick  ass  student.   ! ! ! ! !

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1.  Believe  you  are  smart  -­‐  fake  it  Al  you  make  it. 2.  Do  fewer  structured  acAviAes  (become  more  spontaneous)  -­‐  so  don’t  bother  with  Ametables 3.  Try  out  the  set-­‐your-­‐quesAon  notes  -­‐  think  of  what  the  markers  want 4.  Stop  using  dotpoints  and  draw  pictures  with  how  the  concepts  connect 5.  Study  less  and  focus  on  one  specific  subject

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ABOUT  THE  AUTHOR Agatha  is  one  of  the  cofounders  of  HSCpainkiller—an  ass  kicking  online  prescripAon  service  that   helps  HSC  year  12  students  to  become  a  kick  ass  student.  With  English  as  her  second  language,  she   graduated  from  Kambala  in  2009  with  an  ATAR  of  99.85  (99.90  UAI  equivalent).  She  completed  15   units  for  her  HSC  including  maths  ext.  2  in  year  11  and  the  Cosmology  DisAncAon  course.  To  learn   more  about  HSCpainkiller,  go  to  HSCpainkiller. SEND  THIS Pass  along  a  copy  of  this  manifesto  to  other  aspiring  young  people.  

GET  THE  PRESCRIPTION FInd  out  more  or  purchase  your   very  own  dosage  of  economics   help  with  HSCpainkiller

BORN  ON  THE  DATE This  document  was  created  on  19  August,  2010  and  is  based  on  the  best  informaAon  available  at   that  Ame.   ABOUT  HSCPAINKILLER HSCpainkiller  is  a  new  way  of   thinking,  not  just  a  soluAon.  We   make  it  easy  for  young  people  to   achieve  their  full  potenAals.  Ran   by  two  out-­‐performed  HSC   students,  we  aren’t  the  old   mediocre  HSC  help.

WHAT  CAN  YOU  DO You  are  given  the  unlimited  right   to  print  this  manifesto  and  to   distribute  it  electronically  (via   email,  your  website,  or  any  other   means).  You  can  print  out  pages   and  put  them  in  your  favorite   coffee  shop’s  windows  or  your   doctor’s  waiAng  room.  You  can   HSCpainkiller  is  supported  by  the   hand  out  copies  to  everyone  you   love  and  tender  care  of  Agatha  Yu   meet.  You  may  not  alter  this   and  Roseline  Tayeh. manifesto  in  any  way,  though,  and   you  may  not  charge  for  it.

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How to become naturally smart?