The best, and perhaps only way to study for HSC English exams is to practice answering as many questions on your relevant module as possible. More exam papers are attached for you to attempt, or at least look at so you can get an idea of the kinds of questions you may be asked.
A good way to approach your study is to look through the past papers and attempt questions without actually writing up a full essay. Most people find it overwhelming and difficult to write essays when they are not under the pressure of the exam. An alternative is to set out a structure for your essay without actually writing it. For example, you could follow this structure guide:
Write the full introduction, as per the guide to writing band six introductions. This will require you to really think about the question and the points you will be making. If you can write the introduction and your main points, you should be able to write the rest of the essay.
For each body paragraph, just write the thesis statement and the main pieces of evidence you would use to support this statement. For example, you may have
A sense of belonging can emerge from the connections made with people, places and the larger world.
(give an example from your prescribed text and identify how it links to the thesis)
(give an example from your related text and identify how it links to the thesis)
This is one way of ensuring you would be able to answer the question, and really tests your knowledge and encourages you to apply it.
Write one-two sentences on what you would include in your conclusion.
Writing out an essay structure like the one above is less time consuming than writing out a whole essay, but still ensures that you think about the ways you can apply and manipulate your knowledge to suit specific questions.
Practice Exam Papers