How to Succeed in the SACE!

How to Succeed in the SACE!

This article has been written by Helen Karakulak, a SACE English, History, Society & Culture & SACE Research Project Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Helen then please check out her page here.


Starting a new year of high school can be daunting, especially if you’re unsure how to handle the workload. Luckily, there is an abundance of resources available to help, and the following points are crafted to help you focus on one goal: putting the ace in SACE!

  1. Organisation

 With deadlines hitting you from all directions and social events popping up, keeping track of time is crucial. I recommend utilising calendar apps on your phone/tablet/laptop and setting notifications to remind you what’s coming up. If you would prefer a physical copy, purchase a planner with a funky design or colourful print you love. You’re more likely to consistently use something that you like looking at, and personalised entries that are highlighted or written in colour are more likely to grab your attention.

  1. Know how long it will take, not just to do the work, but to understand it.

Working at your own pace is important. You don’t want to feel stressed or rushed when completing assignments, especially if you don’t understand the content. For example, you may have to write an analytical essay on intertextuality for stage 1 English. However, if you don’t understand how to relate two texts to each other, you may need to allocate more time to understanding the two texts individually and then making a list of what they have in common, before beginning your essay.

  1. Understand the requirements of the assessment.

Assessment Criteria for SACE is divided into three specific features: Knowledge & Understanding, Analysis and Application. Assessments are designed so you can demonstrate these features. Although the criteria rubrics can be initially confusing, when you break them down you’ll realise they’re not so complicated. By reading through them, and highlighting the key words, you’ll realise the rubrics categorise exactly what assessors want and the standard they expect, to help you identify what to do to get the grade you want.

  1. Ask for help

If you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone, and it is completely okay to ask for help. Whether that means finding a tutor (which LearnMate can certainly help with ?), or asking your teachers or friends for support. Your teachers want you to succeed, and they know the curriculum back to front. It’s best to explain the problem you’re having and ask for advice or tips regarding how an assignment should be rather than isolating yourself and potentially doing the work wrong.

Alternatively, if you’re unsure about the flow of your sentences or you struggle with deadlines, try studying with a friend, and hold each other accountable. Make a pact to send each other your completed a few days prior to the deadline and then proofread each other’s work.

  1. Remain optimistic!

It’s totally possible to stay on top of your work, and balance your social life and other obligations as long as you have a positive outlook. You’re more than capable of making this one of your best years yet! ?

To get in contact with SACE tutors and other tutors in Adelaide from LearnMate, please learn more here.

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: How is University Different from High School?Tips for Finding the Best SACE Tutor! and How to Succeed In The BSSS This Year!

 – LearnMate Tutoring.


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 Succeed in the SACE!
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Tips for Finding the Best SACE Tutor!

Tips for Finding the Best SACE Tutor!

This article has been written by Twisha Banker, a VCE Chemistry, VCE Biology and VCE Maths Specialist Tutor at Learnmate. 


Year 12 can be an incredibly stressful time, from committing to assignments to keeping up with your well-being. But, perhaps we can help you out in the former. Certain subjects require guidance from someone who has previously been through the same level of intensity and teachings as yourself. That is when a tutor comes in handy!

A tutor should be someone that can provide both practical and emotional support. Sometimes, despite your hard work, attaining high grades can be difficult. But, a tutor should be able to guide you through your downs.

When on a search for a tutor, it is important to recruit someone who not only has done well on the subject but has also developed an efficient personal method to study. This way, you can implement some new ways to study the same material. For example, while you may have used highlighters to help you remember the important concepts of a subject, a tutor might suggest using flashcards as a more efficient manner of learning.

Another factor to look out for is whether your tutor provides you with feedback that is both positive and critiquing. Of course, we all love hearing the good stuff, but adhering to mistakes and understanding how to improve your weaknesses is a crucial point in education. However, if your tutor only points out the negative, then perhaps you should reconsider.

Communication is key! You must ensure, from the very first session with your tutor, that you are comfortable in talking with them about the nature of your struggles. If you find them extremely intimidating or stubborn, it may be difficult for you to ask for help. Furthermore, you should feel safe in a study environment, in that you can talk to them about a subject they may have misjudged you on. Tutors can make mistakes too! If you feel that a tutor’s assessment of your work has been inadequate, you must be able to bring this up to them.

Lastly, tutors should have a plan and be able to address your needs as a student. From your very first class together, you will generally have an idea as to whether the tutor is able to connect with you, study-wise. Practically speaking, if you tell them that, say you have trouble with calculus, are they addressing your difficulties successfully? Are they floundering or are they confidently creating a plan for you to improve your skills?

Generally, as a student, you will inherently have a good idea as to whether a tutor is excellent at teaching or not. Hopefully, this guide has aided that process. With hard work and good guidance, year 12 should be a bliss! Good Luck!

To get in contact with SACE tutors and other tutors in Adelaide from LearnMate, please learn more here.

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: How is University Different from High School?2U Maths Tips from a Past Student (98 in 2U Maths)! and How to Succeed In The BSSS This Year!

 – LearnMate Tutoring.


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!

Tips for Finding the Best SACE Tutor!
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SACE English Literary Studies Study Tips – Read Now!

SACE English Literary Studies Study Tips – Read Now!

This article was written by Scott Davies, a current SACE English Literary Studies tutor. Scott currently is accepting students, so if you’re interested in his services, please go here


Exam season is fast approaching. With your exam preparations (hopefully!) being in full swing, here are some tips for dealing with the upcoming SACE English Literary Studies exam. These tips have been written specifically with the new SACE Literary Studies exam in mind. However, most of these tips are useful for any exam you may be taking this year, especially within English subjects.

Preparing for the Exam

The 2017 English Literary Studies exam is 90 minutes in length. It involves critically reading and responding to one or more short texts. These can take the form of a short story, news article, poetry, visual texts and more. As such, you should put in the time to familiarise yourself with as many types of text as possible. The SACE English Literary Studies website has some sample exam papers which can be a useful place to start with your preparation.

It is important to note that this exam will be completed by hand, though it is moving to an electronic format next year. This means that your study should be done via pen and paper as much as possible. You may not often write by hand and it takes time to build up stamina writing in this way.

Study Tips

This has no doubt been said to you countless times before and is a bit off of a truism, but a regular, sustained study schedule is far more beneficial to your chances of achieving a high exam grade than cramming or studying for a long period of time inconsistently. Studies have consistently shown that shorter, more focused study sessions, with regular breaks, are more productive than longer ones.

Make sure that each study session has a clear purpose. Are there specific quotations, lines of dialogue or literary devices within the text you’re examining? Becoming skilled at identifying and noting these down quickly will be crucial to your exam success. Organising and structuring your study mindfully will not only help you retain information, but it will also go a long way towards alleviating stress about the exam.

Mindset and Approach

Having a positive, resilient mindset is crucial in an exam situation. Timed, pressure situations are always difficult, but there are ways to alleviate stress. A very good way is to practice replicating exam conditions. Your English teacher may do this anyway, but it is good for you to practice this independently as well.

If, during the exam you find yourself confused at a particular question or text, move on to another one! The exam does not have to be done sequentially. Completing part of the exam which you find easier, rather than agonising over a difficult part will help to build confidence and momentum during the exam. Often, doing this will also aid your thinking for the more difficult part of the exam. Remember, any attempt will count for more marks than no attempt at all. The work you put into your preparation now will help prevent exam anxiety on the day.


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!

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR A TUTOR NOW!
SACE English Literary Studies Study Tips – Read Now!
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SACE Specialist Maths Study Plan – Read Now!

SACE Specialist Maths Study Plan – Read Now!

This article was written by Twisha Banker, a current SACE Specialist Maths tutor. Twisha currently is accepting students, so if you’re interested in her services, please contact us!


So you have decided that you want to study SACE Specialist Mathematics?

As intimidating as it may seem, SM is one of the most interesting and smoothly executable units that you can do in year 12, with due dedication and perseverance. So where to begin? Firstly and most importantly, I cannot stress this enough: Do not leave your assessments to the last minute. This is universal to all subjects but as simple as certain concepts may seem in practice, when you set your final exam, your theory behind that practice will be tested. Yes, you may choose to revise for your test a day or two before, yes, you may score well enough, but in your examination, the type of questions you will encounter are not as simple.

My advice is to grasp the theory that is being taught for each of the chapters thoroughly. My reasoning behind this is that if your understanding of the concept is up to standards, then believe me when I say that the exam will seem straightforward. I am aware that many of us are introverts, but if you want to excel, you must ask questions. If you feel intimidated in class, stay back and make it a mission to have your queries answered. Specific to SM, understand your graphics calculator. Allocate time during your exam preparations to do questions that require the complex use of your GC. Many a times students go through a process of trial and error to figure out exactly which operation to use to solve a question in the exam. You do not want to be allotting precious time of using a calculator in the exam, so familiarise yourself with your GC. As exam dates get closer, prepare using past exams which are available on the SACE website, under Support Material. Make use of this as, without past exams, you will struggle with timing.

I also recommend, if possible, to purchase or borrow a copy of MASA student guide for Specialist Mathematics. This guide is excellent in giving material for each of the specific chapters and previous years’ exams. If you are unable to acquire one, ask your teacher. Often, teachers will also have copies of old examinations. To give you a guide, any paper from 2000 onwards is worth having a look at as the structure of the exam does not change much. Another tip while practising for exams is to use a timer. During my practising, I would always allocate myself a 3-hour slot where I would not be disturbed. Avoid stopping to look at answers for clarification. As tempting as it may seem, be true to yourself and test yourself so that when you actually check your answers, you know exactly which concepts you need clarification on. It is also helpful to keep in contact with someone, a fellow student or tutor, who can assist you with last-minute confusions.

During that exam preparation period, due to the high levels of stress, some very basic concepts seem complicated, so have someone who can reassure your doubts. Lastly, take breaks. Do not exhaust yourself out with continuous practice, rather take 15-20 minute breaks in between where you are away from your study environment.

This is a rough guide that I followed myself and I have suggested to people. Just remember, with your dedication and perseverance, you will do well! Good Luck! 


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!

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR A TUTOR NOW!
SACE Specialist Maths Study Plan – Read Now!
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SACE English Communications Study Plan – Read Now!

SACE English Communications Study Plan – Read Now!

This article was written by Leon Kasperski, a current SACE English Communications tutor. Leon currently is accepting students, so if you’re interested in his services, please go here


A study plan for English of any kind is very subjective as a student’s writing style and thought process’ is as unique as the fingerprint that adorns their hand, however, there are some common approaches to English which both my friends and I applied to improve our grades significantly.

Firstly, think just outside the box:

There is a very ‘cookie cutter’ approach to writing essays, comparative studies, communications studies, etc. however fine-tuning your method to bring a fresh and new perspective to an otherwise commonplace piece of assessment is a sure-fire way of standing out and usually, achieving a higher grade. That being said, I certainly don’t encourage that you stray from the assessment criteria and requirements rather, provide a new and innovative perspective. This is why I emphasise the ‘just’ outside the box.

Here are two examples of how I thought beyond the confines of our criteria in year 12 English Communications:

Our communication study required a written and oral component, with students commonly opting for a familiar written essay and class presentation to outline the literary techniques used in the said essay. I took a different approach, filming a ‘Ted Talks” style persuasive presentation and wrote a commentary on the literary techniques I used and how I applied them. This not only made me stand out from the rest of the class and to moderators, but enabled more control of the content I was creating as I did not have to present in front of my classmates, nor did I encounter the word limit confines that my fellow essay writers experienced.

An additional example of my ‘just outside the box’ English method was when I completed a comparative essay on two current affairs programs. Whilst a majority of the class compared similar shows from different channels, I compared completely different current affairs programs which used impartial views sourced by their government ownership as opposed to shows which framed their media coverage based on their shareholder’s agenda. In doing so, not only was the comparative essay more interesting to read but provided more content for me to write about.

In both instances, the necessary criteria were met however, a point of difference was achieved. I urge you to find your point of difference in your English subject.


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!

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR A TUTOR NOW!
SACE English Communications Study Plan – Read Now!
read more