This is it! The final stretch of high school and arguably the most daunting part yet: Year 11 and 12. It is important for you to be well prepared and organised to ensure that you continue this year with the same momentum. Here are some suggestions from us at RESN to help you start on the right foot:
1. Familiarise yourself with your subjects’ syllabus/study design.
Think of these as your survival guide for Year 11 and 12. They will tell you every skill and piece of knowledge that you need to triumph over your assessments and exams. If you ever feel lost throughout the year, return to your VCE study design, HSC or QCE syllabus and rest assured that all you need to know is in there.
2. Discover the best note-taking method for you.
Your time and energy are precious so try to make your notes presentable and practical, not just pretty. Write down in full thoughts but remember that you can simplify them, draw pictures and diagrams, or develop abbreviations and symbols if you think that’ll help you learn. Your note-taking strategy might change for each subject so try experimenting with different methods, like ones that are good for understanding the relationships between concepts or ones that create easy review questions for later.
3. Find how you best memorise and learn.
Repetition and rote learning may help some people but creating mnemonics and using visual aids might help that new information sink in better. Try experimenting with a few memorisation techniques and, if you can, study in a similar time, state and place as you would be when you take your exam since studies have shown it helps to retrieve information more efficiently.
4. Create a daily and weekly routine.
Block out the times in the week that cannot be avoided, including any work, training and, of course, any classes. Then try to divide each day into time blocks, like dedicating half an hour to doing a similar task, such as reviewing your revision flash cards or challenging yourself to write a practice essay, and when you complete that task, give yourself a small reward. Make sure you check out our RESN blog posts on maintaining self care, and always try to block out a time to relax and unwind too!
5. Make use of past examinations.
I hate to break it to you, but the best way to prepare for exams is to do practice exams. The VCAA, ESA and QCAA all have a large collection of past exams for every subject and can be used to test your knowledge on different areas of study especially under timed conditions but doing practice exams can’t solve everything though, make a note on areas of improvement and review any content that relates to the questions you got wrong, but regardless of how it might seem, exams are your friend.
6. Be proactive and ask questions.
There are no silly questions in the world of learning. Being proactive and asking questions show you want to engage with the content and address any areas of improvement. Your teachers are there to support you and so are our high-achieving RESN tutors who can answer your questions on RESN Help. Ask them any question ranging from English essays and math questions to study tips and tertiary study, and they will be sure to answer it within 24 hours.
7. Set long term goals.
A way to remind yourself about what all this preparation and study is for is to have your long term goals listed near where you study as a source of motivation when studying gets tough. If you don’t have a long term goal in mind, try and consider what your ‘ikigai’ or “life’s purpose” is. Your ‘ikigai’ is the crossroad of what you love to do, what you are good at, what you can be paid for and what the world needs. Once you have listed a few ideas - and it is allowed to change over time - write it down, keep it safe and use it as motivation to get you through the year.
It’s okay to feel like you’re not ready to tackle the year ahead, but with some preparation and dedication, you’ve got 2021 covered.
By Xenia Sanut