You should read books during Year 12. And no, I'm not just talking about your English books - although you absolutely need to read those too! Making the time to read other books is one of the best decisions you can make: for your school results, creativity, and for general wellbeing.
In my very first Year 12 English class, our teacher (who had also been an examiner) sat down and calmly told us all that our final scores in English would be largely to do with one thing: how many books each student had already read in their lives. He proceeded to advise us to read books other than our school books during Year 12, chuckling that probably no one would do it.
I agreed with my teacher on one thing - reading is important. However, I disagreed with the other assumption that our scores were predetermined, and that how hard we worked in the final year wouldn't alter them that much. This was another debate altogether.
Putting aside questions of predetermination, research has found that reading is possibly one of the very best ways of reducing stress. Explored in this Telegraph article, it was found that reading could reduce stress levels by 68%, better and faster than listening to music, going for a walk or having a cup of tea. In the high-pressure environment of Year 12, taking time for yourself is far from a waste of time: it is essential to reset your stress to function at best. You don't even have to read whole novels to feel the benefits; the same study found that simply reading for six minutes can have the same calming effect.
Furthermore, reading is an amazing way of improving your abilities at schoolwork (admittedly, especially for humanities and English subjects), without having to put in any effort. Your vocabulary will improve, as will your instinctive feel for sentence structures, and it can even help you to become more creative. So what are you waiting for?
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