The final year is here! How can you make the most of it from the get-go?
Australia’s scorching summer is like no other. Here, we’re blessed with clear skies, beautiful beaches and a very long Christmas break. It’s quite likely that the summer of 2022/23 is the last hurrah Year 12s will enjoy before kicking into gear for a busy year. So, how can you flip the relaxation switch onto full grind mode?
The key is in what you do in Term 1. The work you put in at the beginning and the habits you set up early will set you up for future success. With four terms in the year, it’s important to set up your grade 12 journey as a successful one straight from the get-go.
I graduated in 2022, and my plate was not empty. I was house captain, played soccer for my school, had a casual job and also made time to hang out with my friends – all whilst studying.
The word that sums up a successful year 12 comes from one word. Balance. Here are some tips that worked for me, and will help you on the road to success!
School and life balance
School-life balance is imperative in optimising academic success. With a healthy balance, you can improve your mental health and your academic results!
Without balance comes the dreaded burnout. It’s very common for Year 12 students to feel the rippling effects of burnout. The omnipresent pressure to achieve a high ATAR through consistent study encourages students to lock themselves in their rooms, slaving away at work that they might not always be useful. It’s easy to feel detached from yourself, and soon schoolwork will consume you. Breaks are so important.
That’s why it is crucial to find time for the things you love in your final year. It could be as simple as putting 20 minutes aside now and then to watch something on Netflix or read a book. Or, you could spend a day on the weekend hanging out with a friend.
Research shows that getting out of your study space allows your brain to retain information for longer, so you’re helping yourself more by taking a break.
If you have a part-time or casual job, it is also great to keep working. It could be as little as one three-hour shift per week, but it’s a break from studying and will foster healthy interactions with people. If you're interested in getting some Year 12 support, browse Australia's top tutors here.
Study smarter, not harder
Have you ever sat at your desk for hours, reading over the same sentence in that textbook, but not understanding anything? We’ve all been there. But, what if I could tell you that instead of slaving away for hours, you can retain information faster and with a lot less effort?
One method that is truly a lifesaver is the ‘Pomodoro Technique.’ This method is based on studying in 25-minute intervals with a 5-minute break between each interval. Research shows that this technique promotes sustained concentration and staves off distractions.
Not only is this method awesome for increasing focus, but it is super helpful for helping to break down big assignments. If you’re stuck with an assignment and don’t know where to start, you can use the Pomodoro technique to break down your huge task into 25-minute chunks. Each 25-minute interval can be used to tackle different aspects of the task; for example: researching, planning, and writing. Use this online version of the method whilst studying.
Know when things are due
Set up a spreadsheet of when things are due. Being able to physically see when your assignments are due makes everything a lot less overwhelming. You’ll also notice how much spare time you have (strange, I know!), and be able to allocate this to either working on your assignments or towards your hobbies.
By planning your time like this, also encourages you to set goals for when you’d like to have things completed. For example, although you may have a draft due in week 5, you may want to have it finished by Monday of week 4 to thoroughly edit it.
Knowing your term dates and when you’ll be on holiday will aid in planning your time.
Check out your relevant term dates below, and be sure to write them down in your diary or spreadsheet.
Ask your teachers
Your teachers are employed to help you, so utilise them and the skills they can share with you! It’s so important to feel comfortable to ask for help whenever you’re unsure. The more you can get into this habit in term 1, the more you’ll feel confident in seeking their feedback and asking questions when the final exams approach.
By getting into this habit, you’re encouraging yourself to be attentive in class and think on your feet; this will save heaps of stress and time when it comes to remembering content for exams.
Ultimately, the results you produce are in your hands. These tips can help with setting up healthy habits, but the driving force is motivation. The power is within you, and with initiative and determination, you’ll be set up for an awesome year. If you're interested in getting some Year 12 support, browse Australia's top tutors here.
1. How can I start Term 1 off on the right foot?
Plan your time, and know when assessments are due. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to stay on top of your work and figure out when you have time to work on assignments.
2. How can I improve my concentration?
The Pomodoro technique is a super easy and useful method: you study for 25 minutes and take a break for 5 minutes. This technique encourages you to break down work into bite-size chunks and helps you study smarter, not harder.
3. It’s Year 12, should I always be working whenever I have spare time?
It’s important to have a school/life balance. When you have free time, yes, it’s important to allocate some of that to your work. But, it’s also important to live your life a little, and find time to hang out with friends!
Written by KIS Academics tutor Tiana Rukavina. Tiana currently offers tutoring for QCE English and Literature. Tiana is completing a Bachelor of Laws & Business. If you would like to request Tiana as a tutor, feel free to reach out through her profile by clicking here