VCE STUDY SKILLS – Figuring Out What Works for You
This article has been written by Imogen Van der Meer, an English tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Imogen then please check out her page here.
It’s a word you are going to hear A LOT during VCE. Whether you’ll be insisted by teachers, begged to from parents, or questioned by friends, the idea of ‘study’ is going to be a major part of your day-to-day for these final years of schooling. And, whether you like it or not, it is absolutely necessary to perform ample amounts of ‘study’ if you want to complete VCE to the best of your ability.
It’s likely you know all this by now, and reading it again is just enforcing the dreading of what is to come. Maybe you’re worried that you’ll never be motivated, or that none of it will do any good, or it will just be too hard to do right. And the fact is, unfortunately, that ALL of this is possible… especially when you don’t know how you learn best.
I know, it sounds ridiculous. How can there be more than one way to learn? Isn’t that what school is? And yet, if you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. We all know someone with notebooks that look like a bowl of Froot Loops with the amount of colour coding in them. And there’s that kid who can explain even the most difficult concepts in a way that everyone understands. You can also probably hear someone muttering the same phrase over and over again minutes before a test. And of course, there’s always someone who seems like they ace everything without ever lifting a finger. I can guarantee you that someone does not have it that easy. There’s definitely some work involved in their brilliance. They aren’t acing everything because they’re insanely gifted. They’re acing everything because of the know how they learn best.
That’s all it takes: knowing how you learn. Unfortunately, figuring that out requires a bit more effort, and usually involves some trial and error. But there are some questions you can ask yourself to get you on your way…
- When do things make sense to you in class?
Is it when you have a class discussion, or when the teacher writes notes on the board? Or are you someone that learns best by doing questions and exercises? Figuring this out will help you understand if you’re more of a visual, aural, or kinetic learner (that is, seeing, thinking or doing).
- How do you remember things?
Do you need to set yourself reminders? If so, you’ll need to start your studying early so you can revisit the same notes multiple times.
Do you write things down? Because I do. I’m someone that will tend to remember anything I’ve written on paper. I went through a lot of pens in VCE.
- What do you like least about studying?
If it’s super tiring and boring, you’ll probably benefit more from having lots of little breaks within a 3-4 hour study session. However, if you’re someone who worries they’ll never finish everything, then having a more task-based rather than time-based study session will work better for you.
You might not know the answers to these questions yet, but that’s what the start of the year is for: it gives you time to figure out the best approach to those final examinations. Trust me, once you know how your brain works best, every SAC or exam will become that little bit easier.
Once again, good luck everyone!
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