Hey kate, sorry for the question but you just seem like a person to go to for help in a good way! I'm coming into yr 12 and i'm so stressed out already that i wont get a good atar etc etc and just beating myself up about it do you have any good tips or advice you can give?
That’s ok honey! I didn’t really have that problem since I didn’t really care what ATAR I got but year 12 still was hella stressful anyway.
To be honest though it’s not THAT bad - just make sure you’re doing subjects that you actually enjoy.
A lot of my friends did subjects they hated because they thought doing specialist/methods/german/chemistry etc. would get them a higher markup and therefore a better ATAR but that actually backfired since they hated it so much they weren’t motivated to learn thus, didn’t do well in their assignments/exam and didn’t get a markup at all so it wasn’t worth it. So try and do subjects you’re interested in - failing that, just do ones you’re already good at.
Also know the ‘clearly in’ ATAR score for what uni course you’re thinking of doing. This should help a little in motivating you.
And have something at the end of year 12 to look forward to when it’s all over, maybe schoolies or something - have a countdown app on your phone - it will help you get through and remember than your life won’t always be as shitty as it seems at the moment!
Throughout the year make awesome notes and make cue cards for every SAC/test (sorry, not sure if you’re from Victoria or not) you have. That way, come end of year exam time, your revision will be A LOT less stressful!!
Try your hardest in SACs/tests but remember that most of your ATAR score comes from the exams so just think of these as practice and don’t stress yourself out too much about them.
Don’t measure yourself against others. Some people are so fucking annoying and petty with their test results they’ll make you feel shit if you did worse than them so just keep your results to yourself and bother about that stuff.
Not sure if HSC or any of the other national year 12 certificates are the same as this but in VCE you’re measured on a bell curve which means that for example only a certain amount of people can receive a certain score e.g. Even if 6000 kids actual receive an ATAR of 99.95 the bell curve dictates that only 4000 students across the state are allowed to receive that 99.95 therefore, 2000 out of that 6000 might receive 98 for example instead of the 99.95 they earned. It really can be a game of chance.**
Not only this but in VCE some subjects are deemed by VCAA to be harder or more worthwhile than others. For example doing an art subject which requires just as much intensive work and study might get marked down 2 study points so you actually receive a 30 for Media but they scale it down to 28. Whereas, other subjects such as languages get a huge markup.
Another inequity in the VCE system is that your SAC/test results can be influenced by your year level cohort. If your cohort does worse than a bunch of other schools in a particular SAC the whole cohorts marks will get decreased.
Also if you get a really shit teacher you’re obviously at a disadvantage. I had one year 12 teacher who didn’t teach us certain things that were on the year’s syllabus and my whole class got those answers wrong in the exam. So make sure you know what’s on the syllabus/unit guide.
The system is unfair. It’s important to know this as you’re going into it.
But the good thing is after you receive your ATAR in December after about a month NO ONE cares what your ATAR was. You’re free to go on to uni, TAFE, travel or just start working immediately.
Seriously, I’ve pretty much forgotten my ATAR a year later.
Other good tips:
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions in class - if you’re wondering about something chances are there’s other people in your class who want to know the same thing so don’t be embarrassed or feel as though you’re being dumb.
- Schedule extra time outside of class to go over anything you’re not understanding with your teacher.
- Have at least one person in each class you can revise and quiz each other with come SAC/test time.
- Keep your notebooks as neat as possible.
- If you don’t like your teacher’s teaching style and you’re not learning anything get a tutor to help you understand. Some people work better one-on-one with a teacher as opposed to in a classroom where you’re not receiving the help and attention you need.
- Once you’ve finished a SAC/test forget about it. There’s no point stressing about how you think you went - move on and start focusing on the next area of study for the unit!
- Read your required reading for English/Literature at least 3 times! Get it and read them before you start school next year.
The most important tip of all:
Make sure you don’t neglect your friendships and social life during year 12!! It’s so important to keep a balanced lifestyle throughout the year. Year 12’s awesome for this since many of your friends will probably be turning 18 so there will be heaps of parties and stuff. Heaps of people go out in year 12 so find a fake i.d and go clubbing with your friends - have fun! Don’t be that loser that sits at home studying all weekend and all through the holidays so much that your friends forget what you look like.
And don’t forget about your hobbies. Sport and exercise are great for relaxing you.
P.S. Sorry that was really long I just really wanted to help! I didn’t do all of these things and I really wish to God I did now!
** some of the figures/details may be pretty inaccurate.