Year 12, a.k.a – the best, yet worst year during one’s schooling adventure. As a graduate of 2017, I am freshly out of hell so I can relate to those going into their final year of school in 2018. Thus, I am here to provide you with some ways on how you can battle Year 12 – this includes how to stay organised and managing time, whilst adding in my personal experiences!
Before I get started, I just want to be clear that your final marks/ATAR will NOT define you. I’m sure you have read this statement several times, and I hope you believe it.
Time for some short tips, that will help you greatly in the long run!
- Work smarter, not harder! This may be the biggest thing to take into your final year of school. Working harder does not necessarily mean you are going to exceed. From personal experience, in the beginning on year 12 I was pushing myself to study, study, STUDY for the first ever year 12 assessment because I wanted to start on a good rank. I realised that this did not help much, instead I worked myself too hard to concentrate on other tasks/subjects. Thus, to work smarter, I believe, means to find study methods that work for YOU, not for your mate, your cousin, or your family friend. For you. Try flash cards for notes, try diagrams, record yourself and listen to it while you’re travelling to school, or even try re-writing content (repetition worked best for me, however, it is time-consuming – repeat the key information and the rest comes with ease). It all just depends on figuring out what type of learner you are.
If you are unsure of which type of learner you are, I hope this helps. https://blog.prezi.com/the-four-different-types-of-learners-and-what-they-mean-to-your-presentations-infographic/
- You need a break. It has been proven that breaks help a student concentrate much better. I am not talking about the “i’ll take a 5 minute break” *watches 18 youtube videos, walks the dog, cleans the house, takes a nap, takes another nap after a nap* kinda break. For me, a 15-minute break was quite beneficial. During this time I would leave my study room and go into another area – eg the kitchen/my bedroom/outdoors.This allowed my brain to freshen up before I started again. But trust me, I didn’t adjust to this straight away. It took time. Thus, I recommend trying to get into this habit before the major assessments/exams come through. You just have to be strict with yourself. Also – it is recommended to give yourself a break every hour, so even if you have one paragraph of your essay left, just stop and take a breather.
- Split the content. Along with taking breaks, it is essential to separate what you’re studying. Eg, when I was studying for the HSC I obviously had to know the content for all 5 of my subjects, however I broke my study down and it helped. For example, one day I would do 4hrs in total for English, and 3 hrs of Math. However, I would split it up like this = 1 hr English, 15 min break, 1 hr Math, 15 min break, 1 hr English, etc etc. Mixing a science/math/not a heavy content subject with a content heavy subject allows your brain to focus more as you’re giving yourself a break from constant content, and allowing numbers and formulas to take the lead for a bit. For me, in year 11 I used to dedicate an entire day to one subject, and it got so boring to the point where I just did not want to do anything, which meant = procrastinating. However, at the beginning of year 12, I implemented this method, and I can assure you that is had a positive impact on my grades!
- Work in groups. I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but working with pals is also an effective way of studying. However, again you must be strict. Set your goals out and smash them together. During the HSC year, I loved all my subjects except MATH, so obviously I would dedicate more time to my other 4 subjects, excel in those and slowly neglect math. With that being said, I told myself that I had to pull my socks up – so I had study sleepovers with one of my best friends. We would start early during the day, and go to the late hours of the night, with healthy breaks in between. With this, we pushed one another if the other wanted to slack off. At the same time, we were able to combine our thinking and learn from each other.
- Use all the support you can get – I strongly suggest getting in touch with any past student as they know the feels, and I’m sure they’d be more than happy to help you out! Also, bring out your FBI skills and try and hunt down the students who got state ranks for the subject – I did this for one of my subjects just to get advice and it helped a heap! Utilise your teachers/coordinators! At first I was too scared because I didn’t want to bug them, but then I just gave it a shot and I ended up sending so many emails where I know for a fact I would’ve bugged them BUT it helped because they provide you with so much feedback, and it will only turn you into a better student. If you feel as though you don’t have a strong network around you, do some online research. I used to spend hours looking for extra resources (I will add the links to the websites that helped me, down below) and I used to print everything (I was a visual learner) and have them stored, even if I didn’t need it, at least I’d have it handy if need be.
- PRACTICE PAST PAPERS AND QUESTIONS. BY THE WAY, THE SYLLABUS IS YOUR DAMN BEST FRIEND DURING YEAR 12. – this is self-explanatory. The questions in your exams will be based around the syllabus points, so if you practice using the points, you practically know that to expect in the exam. Also, print every and any past paper, you don’t necessarily have to complete every single question but it’s a good idea to scan through every exam to see what you can and can’t answer.
- Try not to let events overrule study –Study hard now, party ur ass off post exams. – its worth the wait! I’m not telling you to turn into a complete book worm, I believe compromise is the best in this situation. Eg, If you neeeeeed to go to an event this Saturday night, but you have an exam next monday, study a bit each day, and on Saturday do some light revision. HOWEVER, I am guilty of not sticking to this method/advice. Eg, in several occassions, I had a family event during the day, and I had a bit of study scheduled on my timetable for when I got home. Obvs, I got tired and couldn’t be bothered – which pushed everything else on my timetable back. So, if you know you wont be studying, don’t give yourself false hope – be reasonable.
- CREATE TIMETABLES !!!! – Time management is KEY so timetables and to do lists are really helpful to ensure you’re getting all your study done, in a reasonable amount of time without completely frying your brain. Below I have attached a snippet of my timetable from when I was prepping for the HSC exams – as you may be able to see, I used to seperate each individual dot point from the syllabus across several days. In regards to lists, I used to make an individual list for the next day of what I have to do, then colour coordinate it (unfortunately I can’t find a pic of that masterpiece)
SITES THAT HELPED AND GUIDED ME
- https://atarnotes.com/ (OG this site did me well)
- https://www.artofsmart.com.au (another OG)
If you need any more advice/help or just moral support, feel free to hit up my Insta (neehaaa_)!!
P.S – I did Legal studies, Business studies, Standard English, S.O.R 2 unit and Math. I’m more than happy to send through some form of help for all those subjects expect math, because I never want to do that again soz bros.
Anyways, good luck kiddos, it’s not as bad as you may think it is (trust me this is coming from a massive stress-head – ask anyone that knows me on a personal level lol) just manage your time well, and more importantly, believe in yourself ❤