The Ultimate 99+ ATAR 30-day Study Guide

Need to get exam ready in 30 days? Let me show you how I organised my time to get a 99.90 ATAR.

7 months ago   •   4 min read

By KIS Academics

Welcome to what is generally considered the big year 12 ‘grind time’. However, studying is not all about smashing through practice exams after practice exams. The most important thing to do is get organized! So, how do you do this?


Making a study planner running all the way until the end of exams helps structure all your upcoming work. Start right at the exams, and plan what you’ll do each day working backwards, so you can do the most relevant practice papers closest to the exams. I penciled in what I wanted to achieve each day and then consolidated my plan for the week ahead each Sunday night. I first filled in my enjoyable activities and then fitted the questions and exams I wanted to do around this.

Space exams out so you don’t overload yourselves. I tended to do 3 exams spread across a day, so 5-6 hours of papers, and 2 hours of marking. This gives you enough time to do activities you enjoy, socialize and also just relax without worrying about procrastinating.

Study should always be planned around other activities.

This way it doesn't overwhelm you and burn you out quickly. No one can study for 30 days straight (I certainly didn’t), and this way you won’t feel guilty about taking your designated rest times to bedazzle your uniform for Muck-Up Day.

Your planner does not need to be beautiful, or insanely detailed. No one is going to see it or judge you on it (apart from your mum maybe…). It’s just a tool to help you organise your study effectively!

Here is the study plan I used to achieve my 99+ ATAR goals


I think the best way to approach practice exams is to start working on them in SEGMENTS, for example doing a multiple choice section or half the written answers. You can address topics that you find you aren’t doing as well in by finding questions specific to them, and instantly improve your marks without struggling through an entire paper. It is also important to organise and begin memorising those pesky English quotes!!

Do that Officeworks trip you’ve been waiting for all year, and ensure you have all the pens, highlighters and more that you need. My pro tip is to buy small coloured tabs, which can be used in marking your exams.

Most importantly, we want to be actively marking the work we do. This is more than just ticking and crossing, we want to identify incorrect answers as one of the three options below:

  • Dumb mistake (make a list of these, and then identify common mistakes, such as incorrect significant figures or using the wrong formula)
  • Conceptual error (work on these by doing related questions from your textbook, the KIS site or other resources)
  • I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT IS HAPPENING (talk about these with a teacher or tutor, and then see if you can repeat the question without looking at the answers, and improve your mark)

Flagging these issues with a different colour tab gives you a visual of how your study is progressing, and also helps you find the areas you need to work on quickly. Don’t get disheartened if your marks don’t improve every practice paper, remember different companies and years vary in difficulty. By the end of the 30 days, you can look back to your first papers and hopefully notice an improvement.

Actively marking your work and ensuring you learn from your mistakes is the key to success!!


As exams approach, make sure to keep that practice consistent! It tends to get easier by this point, which may sound counter-intuitive, but the common mistakes become less regular and therefore extra practice becomes less time-consuming. Make sure to still be diligently and actively marking papers, and for subjects that are more subjective in their marking, send them to your tutors or teachers for feedback! There’s no point doing all this work if you aren’t improving from it.

It’s vital that you keep up social engagements and extra recreational activities to manage your free time well and not binge the new season of Too Hot To Handle…. Organise these activities with a certain time frame on your planner to avoid procrastinating by having a 4-hour long coffee break.


You’re almost at the end of the road now! Keep a consistent routine throughout exam time, especially with the times you go to bed and wake up. Eat well, try and go outside for at least 30 minutes a day, and look after yourself throughout this period. As you cross more and more things off the all-important study planner, the feeling of accomplishment increases as you can visually see how much you’ve achieved.

The night before an exam, revise your notes for the subject. But whatever you do, DO NOT DO A PRACTISE EXAM!!!! The biggest mistake you can make is doing a practice exam when stressed, making silly errors and decreasing your confidence going into the exam. If you’ve followed all these tips and stayed on top of your study everything will be okay, and you just need a good sleep.

Best of luck for exams everyone!!! Remember to stay calm, study hard, and most importantly come up with a really good plan to help you stay on top of it all. ♥️

Want more personalised study guidance to help drastically improve your marks? A private tutor can make the biggest difference!

Written by KIS Academics VCE Tutor for Chemistry, Physics and Mathematical Methods, Tamsyn Lovass. Tamsyn is currently in her Chemistry Honours year at the Australian National University and has received stellar reviews from her past KIS Academics students. You can view Tamsyn’s profile here and request her as a tutor.

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