Monday, 22 September 2008

More VCE study tips!

VCE is a stressful time. SACS, tests, essays, exams.....and of course more SACS - it can get pretty crazy! I've already gone through VCE so I know how stressful it can be, but the holidays are here so I hope you're having fun and relaxing!

I've added some hopefully helpful hints (some from my own experience) when you get back to studying.

1. Breathe. It may sound pretty obvious but sometimes you really need to take a deep breath. It's really easy to start having a panic attack when you have an assignment that's due next week that you haven't started yet. As well as a test at the end of the week. Oh, and also another SAC for English.

2. Get yourself a calendar! Hang it up on your wall, or in your cupboard, and write down when all your major assignments and exams are due! This way you can never be caught off guard about an assignment or exam. Also include the time of the exam.

3. Find a quiet place to study. Make sure it's also not cluttered. With siblings, this can be a bit hard. I often went to my local library to study.

4. Break things down. Just thinking about a major assignment is scary but if you break it down to little tasks, like "Step 1. highlight key words of essay, Step 2. Brainstorm main points for essay" and work from there then it's a little less scary.

5. Make a timetable. After school I'd always go home and make a timetable of what I needed to work on that night.
Eg. Monday 4.40 - 6.00pm Study the periodic table for chemistry: 6.10 - 7.30pm Practice maths questions. Use the ten minute break in between to destress.

6. Always remember to reward yourself! At the end of the day or week, reward yourself for studying or finishing a project. Like buying a new top, going to see a movie, or even reading a book!

7. Don't be afraid to ask teachers for help! Teachers are there to help you learn and understand, if you're having any troubles, ask a teacher or a friend.

8. Look for past exam papers - your school library should have some. These are extremely helpful!

9. What's your learning style? According to this "Learning Style" quiz created by the University of Melbourne I'm also a visual Learner. Click here to discover what kind of learner you are and how to best study!

10. Always try to keep notes and papers organised. I bought study cards (plain white cardboard cards about the size of a hand) and wrote down all the equations, examples and notes I needed to remember and took them with me everywhere. Whenever I got bored (like traveling on the bus to school) I'd just take them out and read them. I found if I kept doing this over time then I remembered and learned everything I needed to memorise.

11. Try doing some or ANY exercise - even if it means just doing a few sit ups during the ad breaks of The Simpsons.

12. Instead of staying up late to study, go to bed at a regular time and then wake up earlier.

13. Read the newspaper at school or the bulletin board - the newspaper, especially The Age's Education section (Thursdays) is always full of helpful information about study guides, study skill tips and exam tips.

14. I was very stressed with high school at times and I'm sure a lot of you doing VCE now (or going to) are stressed too. Talking to a friend always helps. I found it helped to talk about it with one of my friends, cause i discovered that she was also struggling and you feel better knowing you're not alone!

15. Once again Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg's book "Surviving Year 12" is really helpful - i still even have the notes! If you want more helpful hints on how to deal with surviving year 12 then I'd strongly recommend this book!

Don't worry if you don't do too well first semester, it just means you have to work a little harder next semester. I got 67% on a chemistry exam for my first semester. Even though I was upset by this, all it really meant was that I needed to focus more - and i got 87% at the end of the year!

Even if you don't know what you want to do, just try your best. And more important remember it's not the end of the world if you don't get the enter score you want or the course you want!

I'll be discussing the different ways of how to you what you want in my next post, so keep a lookout! Hope these tips helped, and be sure to add any of your own study tips in your comments!


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