How to Use a Study Timetable (And Stick to It!)

No comments

How to use a study timetable (and stick to it!)

This article was written by Yasmin McGarva, a current VCE English tutor. Yasmin currently is accepting students, so if you’re interested in her services, please go here


VCE can be exhausting and so it’s important to have a good study plan that allows you to keep on track and get what you want out of your studies.

So here is a step-by-step guide to making a study ‘timetable’ and making the most out of your time:

Organise:

Take time to sit down and organize your thoughts. This may sound unnecessary, because you are using time to do this, but trust me it is saving you plenty of time in the long run. I suggest taking some time once a week to brainstorm all the things you need/want to complete for the week, as well as any responsibilities. Now that you have done this, you can see all that you need to do laid out for you. For some reason this can make you feel a lot calmer and you are already beginning to think about how you are going to approach this, which leads us to the next step…

Plan it:

This may not sound very exciting, but it is extremely beneficial and may even eventually become enjoyable (the horror!). The important thing with making a study timetable is the order you put everything in.

  1. First: Add in all your classes, responsibilities, etc. –basically everything with a fixed time.
  2. Second: Make sure to include social activities, hobbies,  ‘me’ time etc. –studying is generally done at home, so it is the most flexible part of your timetable!
  3. Third: This is where the magic happens… Ideally allow yourself a 2-3 hour time period for your studies each day (that way if you fall short, you still have time for any last minute or urgent work) with a general idea of what subjects or work you would like to cover.

The key with this is to make sure that you are using your time effectively, so that instead of wasting time feeling bad that you haven’t done any work, you are instead maintaining a healthy lifestyle, enjoying year 12 and keeping up with your responsibilities. Therefore, when it is time to study, you will feel more satisfied and less stressed about your schoolwork (which you are hopefully keeping on top of!). It often becomes very easy to give up and do something requiring less energy, like watching TV or using your phone, when you have an overwhelming amount of work to do. However, by giving yourself ‘study’ periods where you chip away at assignments or homework, you are going to get more done and enjoy your social or ‘me’ time so much more.

Do it:

Much like the words of the wise philosopher Nike (just to clarify, I’m kidding) “Just Do It.” When it comes down to it, even the prettiest of all the study timetables cannot replace actually studying. Knowing that you have specific times just for studying can be helpful, but it really is up to you. I find that doing a mini plan (I know, more plans) before you start is the best way to get everything you need done. Priorities should always go first (e.g. that SAC you haven’t studied for!), followed by any homework or studying/note taking that you want to do. Try to stick to THREE goals or pieces of work per study session, as any more becomes overwhelming, and you can always add more if you finish the other three early! It is also good to give yourself five minute breaks every now and then (think going for a walk or eating a piece of fruit) during your study time.

So to sum up, planning is an extremely useful tool to help you achieve your goals (for today or the future!). Make sure to schedule ‘enjoyment’ time and give yourself study periods that you stick to, in order to prevent mindless Facebook scrolling! Try not to overload yourself with too much work (remember the ‘three goals’) and look after yourself (sleep, exercise and healthy eating are more important than you think!)

Good luck with your studies and know that you have the power to make the most of VCE – it just takes a bit of planning!


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR A TUTOR NOW!
How to Use a Study Timetable (And Stick to It!)
read more

Analytical Commentary Introductions in VCE English Language

No comments

I will be running the most comprehensive workshop for VCE English Language 3/4 these coming winter holidays, with a particular focus on Unit 4 AOS 1. To find out more, please go here https://www.facebook.com/events/1892527177656340/ or here http://www.learnmate.com.au/workshops/english-language/

Don’t miss out – my workshops always sell out every holidays – and I have got so much planned for you. Continue setting those foundations and maintain dominance throughout the year! You see past testimonials from past attendees by clicking the links above!


Analytical Commentary Introductions in VCE English Language

In this article, I’ll be looking at WHAT to include and HOW to write an introduction in analytical commentaries. Many students seem to struggle with the AC section due to how much students need to write and how little time they have. The key to succeed in this assessable area is to practice, practice and practice more!

So, what do we write in an analytical commentary introduction?

  1. Register – what is the register of the text/dialogue?
  2. Social purpose and function – try to differentiate between the two, although this can vary according to school.
  3. Audience – mention primary and secondary audiences (if applicable)
  4. Contextual Factors affecting the informality / formality of the text – what in the given circumstance is affecting the language choices being made
    1. Situational
    2. Cultural
    3. Audience
    4. Purpose
    5. Register
    6. Topic

You can see an example I wrote for the 2015 ANZAC Day Speech by then Prime Minister Tony Abbott:

The register of this ANZAC Day speech as presented by the then Prime Minister Tony Abbott is mostly formal, with elements of informality. The main function of the text is to inform the audience about the centenary of the ANZACs, however, the wider social purpose is to commemorate and remember those soldiers who died whilst fighting for their country, and to further promote Australian patriotism. The main audience are Australians and New Zealanders, however, the audience can also include those who were in attendance at the event in Gallipoli in 2015. The topic being a solemn and commemorative event has an affect on the PM in that he must make use of respectful linguistic choices such as euphemisms. Further, due to the need to inform, the use of certain stylistic features help to promote clearer imagery to the audience, thereby highlighting the adversity and atrocities of war. However, the informal language features such as personal pronouns and Australian colloquialisms help to bring a sense of social inclusivity to the speech.

As can be seen above, I am very clear with my language and I pinpoint the 4 MAIN FEATURES NEEDED IN AN INTRODUCTION: register, social purpose/function, audience, and contextual factors. Also notice my language is formal – I focus on creating coherent and cohesive expressions coupled with metalinguistic knowledge. Assessors want to see that you know your stuff (to say it in an informal sense). However, I do not give explicit examples – keep this for the body of your commentary 🙂

I hope this helped! Disclaimer: this may vary by school, but for the exam, try to replicate my method above as it is what worked for me 🙂


I will be running the most comprehensive workshop for VCE English Language 3/4 these coming winter holidays, with a particular focus on Unit 4 AOS 1. To find out more, please go here https://www.facebook.com/events/1892527177656340/ or here http://www.learnmate.com.au/workshops/english-language/

Don’t miss out – my workshops always sell out every holidays – and I have got so much planned for you. Continue setting those foundations and maintain dominance throughout the year! You see past testimonials from past attendees by clicking the links above

Analytical Commentary Introductions in VCE English Language
read more

15 ATAR Hacks – How To Make This Year YOUR Year!

No comments

15 ATAR Hacks – How To Make This Year YOUR Year!

This article was written by Dmitri Dalla-Riva, owner of LearnMate Tutoring and a VCE graduate from 2012. Dmitri attained an ATAR of 95.40 in 2012 and passes on his tips for success to fellow students! We hope you enjoy!


  1. Eat better and drinks lots of water. As cliche as this sounds, it’s so very true.
  2. Plan some time each week for YOURSELF – be it with friends, family or just by yourself.
  3. Be resourceful. Reach out to your tutors, your teachers and your mentors. They don’t hate you as much as you think they do.
  4. Stop looking back at the past. You’re not going that way, so don’t use your past supposed ‘failures’ as a way of bringing you down. Let it fuel you.
  5. Let nothing stop you. Forget all this external pressure. This is YOUR MOMENT to do something great, so compete against yourself.
  6. Be positive! It’s so easy to feel down particularly in the winter months. Days are shorter, weather is colder and the assessments seem to keep piling up. It’a a test! This is the test of the almighty ATAR – if you can get through this, you stand a great chance of getting an amazing ATAR. I like to call this the ‘dip’ – a time when everything just seems like s***.
  7. Start that side project! Do something during the year that isn’t just geared towards your studies. Your brain needs variety and creativity and not just constant study. Launch that website, begin to write that book, record that video, or build that bike.
  8. Study in groups with friends. Study groups are a great way of alleviating pressure and also help to build your confidence.
  9. Try to study in a new location every now and then. The new location will do wonders for your creativity and concentration.
  10. Create some great notes, but balance this with practical application. All those glossy notes won’t mean jack when you’re struggling to practically apply it.
  11. Dominate your time! And manage your time too. Both in exams and out of it. Learn how to complete that practice exam under timed conditions – don’t worry, you’ll thank me later 🙂
  12. Read the question – it’s amazing how many students DON’T do this. Read the question over and over again, and read the marks allocated to each question.
  13. Not sure how to craft an A+ essay? Don’t worry, many students are never really taught HOW to write an essay. To help solve this, of course be resourceful, but also EXPOSE yourself to A+ essays. Read study guides and past A+ essays, and begin to subconsciously use the language in these responses.
  14. Write up your goal on the wall! Yes, do it. It’s scary and it’s in your face, but there’s something about writing up a goal and putting it up on the wall that makes it so satisfying and rewarding. Put it in your study area and on a simple A4 piece of paper stating the ATAR goal you wish to achieve.
  15. And most importantly, WORK HARD. This is your year, but it won’t come easy. You will need to work for it. Sorry, there’s no secret formula. It’s all hard work coupled with smart work (see above hacks).

If you loved this article, don’t forget to share it with your friends 🙂


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR A TUTOR NOW!
15 ATAR Hacks – How To Make This Year YOUR Year!
read more