Year 12 students go through enormous pressures as they are faced with demanding workloads and highly competitive test conditions. Seeking support is something every student will need to do at some point. To get you started, here are five tips for surviving the VCE:
1. Tutoring will give you an advantage
A common misconception is that extra tutoring is only beneficial for students who are falling behind in class or who need help because of unique learning needs. The truth is, it’s great for everyone. There are plenty of Melbourne VCE tutoring options available to support students through their VCE experience. One-to-one support is not always available at school or in the classroom, so regular sessions with a VCE tutor can be a great help for consolidating information and staying on top of your studies.
2. Know your ATAR and VCE goals
Being as specific as possible in regards to your goals will help you in determining what exactly you need to do in order to obtain them. This is a great basis to use when you’re thinking about making a study schedule or planning your time, and it will prevent you from getting off-track throughout the year.
This advice can apply to all kinds of study goals, not just ATAR scores. For example, if only one of your VCE subjects is a prerequisite for your future pathways, then you can afford to spend less time studying other subjects to focus more on that one.
3. Use the VCAA website to get familiar with your course
Perhaps the most overlooked resource accessible to all VCE students is the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) website. All the information about your VCE subjects and grade structures is here, meaning you don’t need to guess or base your study around mismatched advice you hear from teachers and former students. Instead, you can plan it around what your assessors are going to be looking at. You can also see which parts of your course are covered in exams and familiarise yourself with examples of past exams.
4. Take practise exams under test conditions
It’s an unfortunate reality that many bright students taking VCE exams fail to perform at the standard they expected due to feeling overwhelmed or unfamiliar with the environment. Whether it’s a different room at your school or off-campus entirely, factors like the change of setting, limited time to write answers, or feelings of pressure can be unsettling for any student. The only way to reduce the impact is by working under the same conditions when you take practice SACs or exams.
5. Prioritise your health over VCE
No VCE or study goal is worth compromising your health. In fact, a lot of common study rituals can actually be detrimental to your performance and your wellbeing. Restful sleep will help you retain and recall information better than staying up late to cram in extra study time.
Maintaining social connections with your friends and family can reduce feelings of stress which would otherwise affect you during exam time. However, if you put yourself through long periods of isolation to focus on studying, you may achieve the opposite.
Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine and sugary snacks while studying can affect your mood and your ability to focus. Such habits can also lead to crashing. Aim to maintain a healthy balance between your diet, exercise, social, and study routines this year.
Though you do need to work hard, don’t forget to let yourself have some fun – it is your final year, after all!