At the very beginning of Year 11, in the first lesson of busman 3/4, my teacher gave us a small pink slip which I held onto for the next two years. The final point on that slip said:
Walk out of the final exam thinking, ‘I gave it my all.’
Knowing you’ve tried your best is truly the most rewarding thing after getting results for that effort.
There are 3 main things that I attribute my success in school to. Both academically and personally.
Immersing yourself in co-curricular activities
You cannot underestimate the value in immersing yourself in school life in the final year. For some reason, a lot of people believe that once you enter year 12, or even year 11, that somehow you should drop many activities that you love in the belief that you’ll then spend that freed up time studying. I can assure you that very few people will find this the case and you may just find yourself losing more time to study than you had before. These activities provide you with an outlet to forget your studies for a while and to really enjoy your last year in a place where you have spent the majority of your years. Personally, I did as many co-curricular activities as I could and given i was most definitely not one to spend all day studying, it gave me a good and productive reason to have a break.
Believe it or not, this involvement feeds into your academic life as it creates a positive learning relationship between you and the teachers and when you’re waiting around at school for a leaders dinner, there is plenty of time to do some study in between which is way more productive that what I would otherwise be doing at home. I can’t be the only one who has refrained from stalking Instagram at school because i don’t want to look like a lazy Year 12.
While you may think it is more beneficial to stay up 2 hours later to revise the night before a SAC, you are actually doing yourself more harm than good. The importance of sleep cannot be underestimated. Not only does it make you sharper and more aware, allowing you to complete work quicker and more efficiently and less susceptible to errors, but you will be able to retain a lot more information. Sleep also strengthens your immune system and in year 12, where common rooms and shared cooking appliances are involved, everybody is especially vulnerable to illness. It’s important that you make your health your number one priority to ensure that you are able to complete al aspects of year 12 required. If you miss a SAC, you’ll have to sit it at a later date, sometimes unsettling your studying plans for other subjects. year 12 is stressful enough without having to be overwhelmed by sickness and doctors appointments.
Being prepared in year 12 goes a long way. It’s vital to be one step ahead. if you know that one week is going to be particularly busy (pretty common given it seems that all teachers scheme to put sac’s all in the same week) set parameters in place so that week isn’t so stressful. If you’re having trouble with a particular area of the study design, address it immediately as opposed to waiting until the day before the SAC. It will give you more time to consolidate what you’ve learnt as well as making the pre-SAC study much much easier. While many people emphasise how little SAC’s contribute to your overall study score in comparison to the exam, the greater effort you put into your SAC study, the easier your exam study will be as you will find that most of the course you have retained and you will only have to revise the finer details.
It’s really easy to just continue revising the aspects of the curriculum which are comfortable for you and relatively easy to comprehend. However, it is vital that you extensively go through the study design and figure out exactly what you need to work on. Whether it be only 5 minutes or one hour, this extra time can contribute immensely to your final study score. In my experience, i found that with content heavy subjects such as Legal Studies and Business Management, it would be very helpful to go through marked practise sac’s and questions and highlight points that i would get wrong or things i would leave out. I made a colour coded list for each unit and this would be the sheet that i would study extensively the night before a SAC. Essentially, you just need to find what works for you. If you know going to the library or staying behind at school is more productive for you, then make sure you do that. Give yourself the best chance of walking out of that final exam and thinking ‘I gave it my all’.
Rosalie Colantuono completed VCE at Loreto Mandeville Hall in 2014. She received a 50 for a Legal Studies and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws at Monash University. You can find her notes at https://notexchange.com.au/vendor/rosaliecolantuono/