How NOT to Study in Year 12!

How NOT to Study in Year 12!


People tend to focus on effective study techniques and not so much on ineffective study techniques. In this section, we are going to look at some ineffective study techniques and some of the ways we can correct this.

  1. Studying with friends – studying with friends is not always a bad idea, however, it is a bad idea when all you end up doing is talking about Netflix and other things and are not staying focused on the task in front of you. There are a few ways to overcome this dilemma:
    1. Set ground rules before you begin studying
    2. Have regular breaks during your study session where you can talk about whatever you want

2. Studying for hours – sitting down for hours at your desk studying is not a good way to approach your work. Not only is it a health risk (sitting down too long), but it is also counterproductive because your mind is so overwhelmed with work. Take regular breaks where you go do something other than study e.g. check Facebook (don’t do it for too long!) or go for a brief walk.

3. Music – depending on the type of person you are, you may or may not work well listening to music or don’t. This is a personal preference. Some people find classical music soothing to help them learn.

4. Studying in front of a TV or with your phone nearby – these are distractions and will stop you from working productively. Study in a place where you are away from the TV, and keep your phone in another room. You can go check it when you are on your study break.

5. Multitasking – we think we can do more than one thing at the same time but in reality, this is counterproductive. The reason is that not only will you be learning things only on a superficial level, but you will overwhelm yourself because of all the work you have to do and this will make you not want to study. Do things one at a time and start with the stuff you hate doing first, that way you can get it over and done with and won’t have to worry about it again.

6. Sacrificing sleep to study – many students do this because they think it is good. Yes, your bodies may tell you that you can stay up until 3 am, but in fact, your body needs to recharge to be fully functional the next day. It is better to get up early the next morning to finish off any work, rather than do a ‘pull an all-nighter’.

A common reason why people pull an ‘all-nighter’ is that they have left their studying to the last minute. Don’t leave things to the last minute, make sure you are doing a little bit each day!

7. Energy drinks and junk food – VCE is a stressful time and there is a lot of work to do. Because of this people tend to turn to energy drinks to allow them to stay awake or eat junk food. These products are bad for your health and it’s not worth eating them. Choosing healthier alternatives such as fruit, muesli, nuts etc. are much better for you, and will help with your learning as these foods provide your body with the nutrients that it wants.

See the websites below for foods that are considered good for the brain:

8. Memorising essays – this applies mainly to the English subjects. Memorising an A+ essay and regurgitating that essay in a SAC or exam is not going to get you high marks because the topic of the essay in the SAC or exam will be different. By writing down someone else’s essay you won’t be answering the question asked of you and hence won’t get the high mark. If you have trouble writing essays seek help from your teacher.

9. Leaving things to the last minute – this will just cause you unnecessary panic and stress. You should know in advance when your SACs are going to be, so make sure that you plan out your time correctly, to ensure that you have enough time to prepare properly for them. Get in the habit of keeping a diary and USING it to write things down.

10. Not utilising your teacher – your teacher is there to help you. If you need help then you should ask them. They will be more than willing to help you all you need to do is ask!

11. Cramming – cramming the night before the SAC or exam will not do you any good. Not only will you stress yourself out, but you won’t get anything out of it. Start studying early on.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic 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!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

How NOT to Study in Year 12!
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Unit 3 Chemistry – Overview on what you need to know

Unit 3 Chemistry – Overview on what you need to know


In 2017, a new Chemistry study design was introduced into the VCE curriculum for Units 3 and 4. One cohort of students have completed this course, finished the exam and are awaiting their results.  You are now the new cohort of students who will be beginning that journey in 2018.

So, what exactly do you need to know for Unit 3 Chemistry?

This article will focus (in general terms) on what has been listed out in the study design for you to know. In a later article, we will explore the key concepts that you will need to know from Units 1 and 2 Chemistry in order to be prepared for Units 3 and 4 Chemistry.

There are two areas of studies in Unit 3. In the first area of study, you will be exploring the ways energy can be produced which includes:

  • Fossil Fuels
  • Biofuels
  • Galvanic Cells
  • Fuel Cells

In addition to that, you will also be looking at calculations associated with the combustion of fuels as in most cases to obtain energy from certain fuel sources, we need to perform a combustion reaction. This means stoichiometry will come into play here!!

In the second area of study, the focus shifts to how you can increase the yield of a chemical product. Therefore, you will be looking at the rate of a chemical reaction, and exploring the factors which affect the rate of a chemical reaction. You will also focus on the extent of a chemical reaction and how you can increase product yield. This part of the topic requires an understanding of ‘equilibrium’ and Le Chatelier’s Principle. Finally, you will also look at how chemicals can be produced via a process known as electrolysis.

This is just a brief overview of what you can expect in Unit 3 Chemistry. My advice for you if you want to prepare for Unit 3 Chemistry, is to sit down and have a read of the study design; there is a lot of detail contained in the study design telling you what you need to know in order to succeed in Unit 3 Chemistry.

TIP: If you want to begin making your notes, use the headings in the study design as a template for your notes. The study design contains what you need to know about the course.

Good luck and keep an eye out for the next article where we will be exploring the concepts from Units 1 and 2 Chemistry that are relevant in Units 3 and 4 Chemistry.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic 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!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

Unit 3 Chemistry – Overview on what you need to know
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What Is Uni Like? A Detailed Look At How Uni Works!

What Is Uni Like? A Detailed Look At How Uni Works!


Many of you may be considering going into university after you finish high school, however, a lot of you may be wondering what is university like, how will you know it is something for you because a university is not for everyone.

How is high school similar to university?

  • Assessments – in most units you will complete an in-semester assignment and at the end of the semester, you will sit an exam.
  • Lecturer and tutor – there are lecturers and tutors present who take you through the course content and can be a point of contact for you.
  • Structure—you still have a timetable to follow, specific subjects and classes to attend.
  • Social aspect—uni is great for meeting new people, making friends in and out of class, and hanging out! There are always heaps of clubs and societies you can join, including sports, visual and performing arts, and more.
  • Support services—just like high schools, universities tend to look after their students pretty well, providing academic, financial, career, mental health and other types of services. You’ll be treated as an adult, but that doesn’t mean adults don’t need help too!

How is high school different to university?

  • Class size – depending on the course you are taking lectures can have more than 100 students in them. Your average high school class size is around 25 students, whereas there are uni tutorials that have around 15-20 students in them.
  • Independence – you are in control in university. Nobody is going to tell you to complete your work. Academics will give you the dates of what assessments you need to do and when they are due at the beginning of the semester and it is up to you to do the work and hand it in on time.
  • HECS – going to university will cost you money and if you are an Australian citizen you can take out a HECS/HELP loan from the government to cover the cost of your degree. This loan will be paid when you do your taxes and reach a certain income threshold.
  • Timetable – you are in control of your timetable. You can schedule your classes early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  • Fewer contact hours – depending on the course that you do you will most likely have fewer contact hours at university than you do at the high school.
  • Attendance – Attendance is generally not monitored like it is in high school. You are expected to turn up to lectures and tutorials however you don’t have to. In some courses, attendance at tutorials is compulsory.
  • Recorded lectures – in most courses lectures are recorded and placed online for students to listen if they missed the class or to re-listen again for private revision.
  1. The best way to out more about university life or to learn more about a certain course that you want to do at university is to attend university open days.

LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic 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!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

What Is Uni Like? A Detailed Look At How Uni Works!
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How to Make Notes in Year 12 to Achieve a High ATAR!

How to Make Notes in Year 12 to Achieve a High ATAR!


Notes are an inherent part of the VCE culture and are something which all students should aim to make during their VCE. However, there are effective and ineffective ways of making notes, and in this section, we are going to cover some of the ways you can make your notes.

Again, these are just suggestions for you and there is no one way to make notes.

  • You want to summarise and not repeat – in your notes, you want to summarise the key points from a particular topic and not just copy out what is already in the textbook or what was said by your teacher/tutor.
  • Simplicity – you want your notes to be simple and to the point.
  • Make your notes throughout the year – don’t wait until the end of the year to make your notes. Get into the habit of summarising key content throughout the year as this will help you with your exam revision. Likewise, it will also help you with your SAC revision as making your notes will give you an opportunity to go over what you have learnt, and fill in any gaps in your knowledge of the particular topic.
  • Use colour – have colour in your notes. Use them to highlight key points.
  • Typed or handwritten notes? – this is the age-old debate: should you type up your notes or hand-write them? There is no one clear answer, and so the tip here is to do what is best and comfortable for you. If you prefer to type up your notes then go for it or if you want to hand write them then go for it.
  • Buying notes – there are companies such as LearnMate that sell notes written by tutors. The advice here is not to encourage you not to buy these notes, as they are another reference for you: however, you should not rely solely on these notes for your studies. Making your own notes will personalise them and this will help you in remembering the content, as the notes have been written by you. You can use other people’s notes to incorporate into your own notes, but don’t just rely on them on their own.
  • Use study design dot points as headings – if you are stuck on a way to structure your notes, use the dot points in the key knowledge section of the study design for your relevant subject as your headings. Your exam will be based on what is listed in the study design, and this is a good way to ensure that you learn everything that you need for the exam.

The following links give you some more tips on taking notes in class and making notes:

  • https://www.wits.ac.za/ccdu/academic-skills/note-taking-and-note-making/
  • http://learnline.cdu.edu.au/studyskills/studyskills/intronotemaking.html
  • https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/study/notes

LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic 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!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

How to Make Notes in Year 12 to Achieve a High ATAR!
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How NOT to Study in Year 12!

How NOT to Study in Year 12!


People tend to focus on effective study techniques and not so much on ineffective study techniques. In this section, we are going to look at some ineffective study techniques and some of the ways we can correct this.

  1. Studying with friends – studying with friends is not always a bad idea, however, it is a bad idea when all you end up doing is talking about Netflix and other things and are not staying focused on the task in front of you. There are a few ways to overcome this dilemma:
    1. Set ground rules before you begin studying
    2. Have regular breaks during your study session where you can talk about whatever you want

2. Studying for hours – sitting down for hours at your desk studying is not a good way to approach your work. Not only is it a health risk (sitting down too long), but it is also counterproductive because your mind is so overwhelmed with work. Take regular breaks where you go do something other than study e.g. check Facebook (don’t do it for too long!) or go for a brief walk.

3. Music – depending on the type of person you are, you may or may not work well listening to music or don’t. This is a personal preference. Some people find classical music soothing to help them learn.

4. Studying in front of a TV or with your phone nearby – these are distractions and will stop you from working productively. Study in a place where you are away from the TV, and keep your phone in another room. You can go check it when you are on your study break.

5. Multitasking – we think we can do more than one thing at the same time but in reality, this is counterproductive. The reason is that not only will you be learning things only on a superficial level, but you will overwhelm yourself because of all the work you have to do and this will make you not want to study. Do things one at a time and start with the stuff you hate doing first, that way you can get it over and done with and won’t have to worry about it again.

6. Sacrificing sleep to study – many students do this because they think it is good. Yes, your bodies may tell you that you can stay up until 3 am, but in fact, your body needs to recharge to be fully functional the next day. It is better to get up early the next morning to finish off any work, rather than do a ‘pull an all-nighter’.

A common reason why people pull an ‘all-nighter’ is that they have left their studying to the last minute. Don’t leave things to the last minute, make sure you are doing a little bit each day!

7. Energy drinks and junk food – VCE is a stressful time and there is a lot of work to do. Because of this people tend to turn to energy drinks to allow them to stay awake or eat junk food. These products are bad for your health and it’s not worth eating them. Choosing healthier alternatives such as fruit, muesli, nuts etc. are much better for you, and will help with your learning as these foods provide your body with the nutrients that it wants.

See the websites below for foods that are considered good for the brain:

8. Memorising essays – this applies mainly to the English subjects. Memorising an A+ essay and regurgitating that essay in a SAC or exam is not going to get you high marks because the topic of the essay in the SAC or exam will be different. By writing down someone else’s essay you won’t be answering the question asked of you and hence won’t get the high mark. If you have trouble writing essays seek help from your teacher.

9. Leaving things to the last minute – this will just cause you unnecessary panic and stress. You should know in advance when your SACs are going to so make sure that you plan out your time correctly, to ensure that you have enough time to prepare properly for them. Get in the habit of keeping a diary and USING it to write things down.

10. Not utilising your teacher – your teacher is there to help you. If you need help then you should ask them. They will be more than willing to help you all you need to do is ask!

11. Cramming – cramming the night before the SAC or exam will not do you any good. Not only will you stress yourself out, but you won’t get anything out of it. Start studying early on.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic 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!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

How NOT to Study in Year 12!
read more