What is SWOTVAC?
This blog focuses on what is the "SWOTVAC", "swot vac" or "Swot-Vac" period which many of you will have heard about or are about to enter into. Swotvac means study without teaching vacation and is the period where you do not have not have any formal classes but rather have dedicated time to study.
This period will be different for everyone, as each school starts this period at different times and each student has a slightly different exam timetable. This means that different exams, or intensive study for them, will be your primary focus at different times throughout this period. That said, it is important that although you may focus on your immediate upcoming exams, you should maintain balance and not neglect exams that occur later in the period.
How should I use this period?
At this time of year, it is important to use your time wisely. "But doing what?" you ask.
It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?"
- Henry David Thoreau
Working hard in and of itself is not a sure path to success. You need to ensure you are spending your time the right way. From our survey of past successful students, 79% of students who achieve an ATAR of 90 or above have one thing in common: they complete practice exams for all their subjects. 88% of students who achieve an ATAR >99 did this.
And so data suggests that the critical thing to do during SWOTVAC is to refine your exam technique in exam like conditions and test your subject knowledge and mastery.
Completing practice exams and having the answers to self-correct your work allows you to refine your understanding of a subject and test your ability to apply it in the required conditions. The more you complete and the further back you go in terms of previous exams completed, the more prepared you'll be to handle curveball questions.
Didn't finish a practice exam in time? Better now than during the official exam. Work out where you spent too much time and try to set a new personal best with each practice exam. Try considering the marks attributable to where you spent your time and determine if that time was better spent elsewhere. Time management is just as important as knowing the subject inside out and being able to apply it.
Furthermore, it is vital that after you complete a practice exam, you get feedback. The assessor’s report is a very good starting point when you are reviewing your work, however for writing based subjects (humanities, English, etc.), find a teacher, tutor or other student to read and mark your work as there is a much bigger scope of what constitutes an acceptable response.
Finally, just because you do not have formal classes, it does not necessarily mean you will not have access to your school. Your school likely has a place set up for year 12 study. This is really useful if you struggle to study at home, want a convenient place to meet up and study with your friends/classmates or to test your exam preparedness in a formal environment.
It's an important time of year so ensure you manage your time, schedule and focus deliberately. If you need any resources to help structure your time and focus during this period, checkout Learnmate's Study Timetable Template and Guide to Success.
If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: How To Take Notes To Maximise Success, 2U Maths Tips from a Past Student (98 in 2U Maths)! and Tips on Studying for Exams – Learnmate Tutoring.
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