For all year twelve students entering the new school year, this post is dedicated to you. Having recently graduated, I know how daunting the idea of year twelve can be. To make it easier, I have compiled some of my tips and tricks that essentially helped me to achieve the score that I needed.
1. Dream: From day one, I had a dream of who and what I wanted to be in the future. This dream is what inspired me to work hard. I knew that in order to be accepted into my preferred university, I needed an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of at least 90. There is no doubt that this score scared me. It made me question my own abilities, and whether I was being realistic. Yet I decided that instead of overthinking, I would dedicate myself to my work in a bid to fulfil my dream.
2. Do your best: It sounds so cliché, but do the best that you can. Why? Well, if you put one hundred per cent into everything that you do, you can never regret the outcome. Even if you do not achieve the desired outcome, at least you will know in your heart that you did everything that you could have done.
3. Practice makes perfect: Practice exams are your best friend. Visit the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) website, and you will find a plethora of past examinations. Complete these, along with mock examinations created by companies like NEAP and TSSM, and you will already be ahead of so many Victorians.
4. To do lists: I will admit that I am a control freak. I like to plan everything down to a T. Every day upon returning home from school; I would sit down for five minutes and create a to-do list. Typically I would complete a practice English essay (1 hour) and then split my time into half an hour blocks. I would finish everything by 8pm (at the latest, including breaks) and then enjoy the rest of my night by watching television and spending time with my family. I felt that to-do lists (whether achieved or not) were helpful as they guided me with the way I should spend my time. Without them I would have resorted to procrastination, hence why in year twelve, organisation is key.
5. Study Design: The study design of your subject is available on the VCAA website. It outlines what your knowledge should be on completion of each unit, and most importantly, for the examination. Not many teachers stress the importance of the study design. It is essentially what differentiates a student from an A and an A+, therefore you should definitely familiarise yourself with it. I strongly recommend viewing your subjects’ Study Design if you are studying sciences or languages.
Year twelve was a tough year for me. I imagined it to be a year I focused solely on my education, but as usual, life happens. In May last year my grandmother had a heart attack in the back seat of a car, which I was driving. This experience took a toll on me. Luckily my grandmother was okay, but it was still a difficult time for my family and I. Over a two-month period I would visit my grandmother in hospital. Despite the importance of year twelve, I knew that my family was more valuable and that life is too short to spend studying all day, everyday.
Everyone will encounter different experiences during their final year of high school. Life will happen. There will be ups and there will be downs. It is vital that you create a balance within your life, and surround yourself with supportive individuals that will help you get through each day. Pictured above is a compilation of polaroid pictures from 2014. While the year was challenging, it will always be one of the best years of my life.
Chelsea Elizabeth xx