Practice makes perfect, and past papers are the ideal way to practise. Year 12 is not a test of how good you are at your subjects; it’s a test of how well you can navigate the assessments and exams for that subject.
Competition can help you excel:
Again, I need to mention how helpful past exams are. I would strongly recommend completing as many as you can. I also found that thoroughly explaining ideas to someone else really helped solidify the concepts in my head. In these sessions with my friends, I realised the best way I learned was through teaching others.
As the year progressed, I started to see a lot of my friends begin to lose their heads about the impending hurdle that was the end-of-year exams. Some counted marks, totalling their scores, and would spend days on ATAR calculators to see just how much they needed to improve to achieve their goals.
Stress happens, but you shouldn’t change your life to handle Year 12. Change the way you handle Year 12 to fit a healthy lifestyle.
Learn from videos and podcasts
I found a YouTube channel called CrashCourse, run by Hank and John Green. Hank and John teach high school science, history and literature in an entertaining way by using videos with many graphics. For topics that CrashCourse didn’t cover, I turned to Khan Academy. This amazing resource has easy-to-understand explanations about most things that a lot of teachers have trouble explaining. I also found a great series of podcasts that cover all of the Year 12 Biology concepts. I listened to podcasts every night, making it easy to revise some key concepts just before bed.
Maybe instead, you’re really good at drawing and would benefit from making mind maps. If you’re somebody who learns by doing activities, you might be better off creating flashcards or building molecules from a chemistry modelling kit. Ultimately, it’s about knowing yourself and finding what works best for you.
Be wary of procrastination
I’d write myself lists of all the past exams I wanted to do that day and when I was going to do them. I scheduled in times for meals and ‘sanity breaks’. I would walk the dog, have a snack or exercise as a way to clear my mind and refocus. I also gave myself a goal of doing either two long exams or three short exams a day. This gave me enough of a workload to keep me busy while still allowing me to have a life.
One last thing:
Don’t forget to have some fun! While studying, I also kept up with my non-school-related hobbies. It’s important to maintain a work/life balance so that you don’t burn out before the end of the year. Of course, time management is difficult; it’s hard to fit in so much study and have a social life! But try to incorporate activities that help you to de-stress.