How to do Well in VCE
This article has been written by Sarah Abou-Eid, a Years 7-10 English, Literature & History, Year 12 VCE English, VCE Business Management and VCE Global Politics Tutor. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Sarah then please check out her page here.
There is no doubt that your VCE years are the most grueling of your school career. Success in VCE does not come easy. As most teachers say, VCE is a marathon not a sprint. Doing well does not mean writing 50 pages of notes, reading your English texts 5 times each or completing 40 past papers per subject. It does, however, require a combination of effective study habits and healthy mindsets that encourage and enable you to do your best.
Below are five tips, tricks and mantras that I used and lived by throughout my VCE. Incorporating them into your own VCE journey will help you in developing the right study habits and mentalities that will allow you to succeed and achieve your dream ATAR!
1. Create specific goals to keep you motivated.
Throughout VCE, I found myself more motivated to study and improve when I had specific goals to work towards. I recommend creating definite numerical goals for your ATAR, study score and each individual SAC. Instead of saying ‘I’ll be happy with an ATAR over 70!’ set yourself the goal to achieve a 75 ATAR. The same for study scores and SAC marks, be as specific as possible with what you want to achieve. Write the goal down and stick it somewhere where you will see it often. It’ll serve as a reminder of what you want to achieve, and hopefully, push you to do the work to see your goals realised.
2. Study smarter, not harder.
This has probably been said to you a million times already. But it doesn’t make it any less true. VCE is not about doing the most work. You will not excel by memorising flashcards. Study smarter by doing what you will be tested on in the SAC or exam such exam style questions or time restricted responses. These will develop the skills you need for your assessments. Another way to study smarter is by identifying your weaknesses and doing exercises to directly target these faults. For example, in English, some students are comfortable with writing capabilities under timed conditions but seriously struggle with coming up with ideas for unseen prompts. Why waste time churning out full essays when that student can better address their weaknesses by gathering unfamiliar prompts and writing plans for them?
3. Utilise the resources made available to you.
I cannot stress this enough. Your teachers are your greatest resource in VCE. They are there to help you, no matter how grumpy or reluctant they seem to be. Give them any practice work you do throughout the year. Hound them for as much feedback as possible. Request to see them after class to further explain a concept. Ask them to point you to areas where you can improve. Also, make use of the free VCE resources that can be found online such as practice questions/exams, examiner’s reports, study designs, advice from past students and even videos explaining concepts. Don’t tackle VCE on your own, there’s plenty of help out there to help you do your best.
4. Take everything one step (or SAC) at a time.
Don’t worry too much about your ATAR throughout the actual school year. Take everything class by class, day by day, SAC by SAC, exam by exam. This can help reduce stress levels. It’s easy to get overwhelmed about the work you have ahead of you. But this mindset breaks things down, and every class starts to feel like an accomplishment and a step in the right direction. I
5. Listen to your body and take proper care of yourself.
Learn to listen to what your body is telling you. This is so important. At times throughout the year, you might feel too exhausted to go on. Don’t push yourself past this point. It is okay to take a break to reset and refuel. A healthy mind is just as crucial for success in VCE as studying is. Make sure that VCE stress does not consume you and reduce you to a number. Know your worth and treat yourself kindly.
If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: You Can Procrastinate And Study – At The Same Time, How to Study Effectively and How is University Different from High School?
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