Here I’ll share the tips and tricks that helped me achieve my perfect score. Before you act on my advice, though, I want to begin with this little disclaimer: some of the things that worked for me may not work for you. And that’s fine. We’re all different, and you shouldn’t try to adapt to somebody else’s study technique just because it’s their preferred method of learning. Now, let’s get started!


Put in the hard work:

I still believe that good grades aren’t everything; they aren’t the be-all and end-all. However, the journey that you take to achieve those grades does matter. Whether or not you think you’re ‘naturally gifted’, you have to put a lot of time and effort into your studies to earn top marks. The discipline and work ethic you develop in secondary school can be carried into all other parts of your life when you leave.


Set an ambitious goal:

Ever since I was little, I have always set extremely high standards for myself. I would rather set my standards too high and fall just short of them than setting easily obtainable goals. While the latter may satisfy your ego and provide satisfaction in the short run, I find that it does little for you in the long run.


Use your support network:

One of the biggest factors that contributed to my perfect score in History was the tireless efforts of my teacher. Never underestimate what an amazing resource your teacher can be. Many teachers have been past examiners, so you might know what current examiners are looking for. They want to see you succeed, which is why they push you so hard. My classmates were also instrumental in helping me achieve my results.


Don’t treat your classmates like your competition:

The best advice that I could give any student is not to treat your classmates like your competition. If you know less about the subject than your peers do, it can only be a good thing. When you’re surrounded by people that know more than you about something, they challenge you to work harder. They give you the motivation to reach your potential and help you achieve greatness. So don’t be disheartened if somebody in your class does better than you – just look to them as role models and aim to reach their high scores.


Be organised and manage your time effectively:

At the start of the year, I made a document containing all of the important dates for the year, like internal assessments, practice exams and exams. I stuck a copy on my bedroom wall and

I kept one in my planner. I made sure that all of my folders were tabulated, and I kept my school locker tidy. Study time is of the essence, so knowing where everything makes things a lot easier.


Make use of your resources:

Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher for extra help outside of class. Seek feedback and constructive criticism from your teachers; this will help you achieve success with practice responses. You have an abundance of resources, including your teachers, friends, family, past students, tutors, the internet, the library and your relevant state assessment authority’s website – so make sure you use them. Another resource that I downloaded off the website, which many students underrate, is the subject study design. This is imperative because it collates extremely useful information regarding what examiners expect from students in exams and what skills they must prove they have.


Be prepared: 

Work hard and prepare yourself! It’s better to devote a large chunk of your time to constructing thorough, detailed, easy-to-read notes that you can refer to for the rest of the year than to have to write your notes out again later. Another method that worked particularly well for me for historical dates was using flashcards. 


Practice makes perfect:

Making practice responses helps you memorise content. Also, familiarise yourself with the layout of the exam. You can do this by ensuring that you know what questions you’ll be answering and where they appear on the exam paper. Small things will trigger your memory, and you’ll find that you just can’t stop writing.


One last thing:

Have confidence in your ability. This is the piece of advice that I wish I had followed in high school. You are doing an amazing job. You’re smarter than you think you are, and you’re capable of much more than you’re willing to believe.

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