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How To Smash Society and Culture

By Brianna Johnson in HSC
19th of April 2019

Whoever said Society and Culture (SAC) was a bludge class was lying! Not only is the content heavy in terms of core concepts and case studies, but the major work aspect (PIP) is also a huge task. However, if you chose SAC because someone told you it would be easy and now you’re struggling under the weight of your PIP and amount of content – I am here to give you some tips! My preliminary average was 98% and my current HSC average is 100%. Here are my tips to help you smash Society and Culture!

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1. Organise A PIP Schedule

To ensure you don’t accidentally fall behind the independent portion of this course, your major work, you should set out a personal schedule with goals to not only help you keep on track but motivate you to get it done. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, here’s an example:

society culture example

2. Commit 2-3 Hours/ Week

Whilst the major work is a huge component of the SAC course, so long as you commit to putting in 2-3 hours each and every week without fail, I promise that come August you won’t be scrambling in a desperate attempt to get it done. For me, I personally like to commit 2 hours minimum on a Saturday where I can focus solely on working on my PIP. Some weeks I do research, others I focus on writing, it varies week-by-week based on my monthly goals. If you’re stuck with your PIP, I would highly suggest checking out this awesome guide!

3. Read, Read, Read the Textbook!

The Society and Culture Prelim/HSC textbook, in my opinion, contains 95% of what you NEED to know to succeed in the course. It is there for a reason, use it! Make detailed yet succinct notes on each core topic, study and concept based on the information in the textbook. I personally aim to work ahead of my class and make my notes at home. Then when I am in class I revise the textbook and my own notes, adding any little tidbits of information that my teacher gives that isn’t mentioned within the textbook.

4. Don’t be afraid to diverge from the Syllabus!

A way to ensure that you set yourself apart from not only your peers, but other students state-wide, is by researching the topics, studies and concepts within the textbook further. For example, the concept of the continuity and change within China can be explored beyond how many females participate in the workforce. Look at the social expectations placed upon both males and females, including social movements, professional quotes and statistics. This will allow you to elaborate further on what is happening, what the many factors are that are allowing it to happen, and how this pattern may continue or change in the future.

5. Digital Notes Are The Way To Go!

Whilst in many classes one might feel physical notes are more effective for learning and revision purposes, myself included. Because we are learning from multiple different sources besides the textbook in SAC, digital notes just make writing your summaries and revising so much easier. I like to start a new document on Google Docs for each core study or topic, adding them to a Google Drive folder titled ‘SAC’ when I am done. I did this throughout prelim as well and it made studying for prelims really, really easy.

To conclude, stay calm, be consistent and try your best. We still have a while before our PIP is due for submission and even longer till the final HSC exam. No stressing, you’ve got this!


If you’d like to ask more questions, you can ask them in the Society and Culture Question Thread! You can also get in touch with me on the ATAR Notes forums, or over on my study Instagram under the handle @mugistudies – My DM’s are always open!