There’s only less than 2 months left before the SACE and IB exams take place this year. It is high time to start preparing for the final exams while finishing off the learning theory at school. Here are some important tips for students preparing for the Year 12 exams this year to achieve the best possible results. Read on to find out what our Managing Director, Dr. Don Wenura Dissanayake has to say about SACE & IB exam preparation.
Tip 1: Set Goals
It is important to set a goal for what ATAR students aspire to achieve and what grade students want to achieve for each subject. Knowing your goals helps you to understand how much effort is required to put in for each subject. It will also make it easier to develop a relevant and realistic study plan to achieve the set goals. Students can break down their main goals into monthly, weekly and daily goals to develop an effective study plan.
Tip 2: Develop a study plan and a productive study environment
Planning and scheduling provides motivation to achieve goals. After setting the goals, students need to be clear about when, where and how to start studying, and what to do in order to achieve those goals. It is essential to develop a comprehensive study plan with clear tasks for all the subjects while considering all the commitments such as any ongoing extracurricular activities and part-time work etc.
When allocating time for each subject, students are required to consider which subjects they are weaker in and hence need more effort to prepare until the exam day. Depending on the subject and the exam date, students need to consider when to start revision and how many hours to allocate for each subject. It is important to have a variety in the study plan for best efficiency.
To boost the productivity, it is vital to have the right environment, This can be different from one student to another. But in general, the study space should be away from interruptions, such as the TV and phone. A space with enough lighting and a quiet environment is always advisable.
Tip 3: Develop a timetable and be persistent in following it
Students can set aside a particular time each day for study and revision and be persistent in following the timetable with consistent timing every day. In developing the timetable, it is recommended to divide large tasks into small-sized tasks. Furthermore, it is important to closely match the timetable to the study plan developed earlier. With a timetable in place, students can plan to cover all the subjects in an organised and progressive manner, allotting the appropriate time for each without becoming overwhelmed.
Tip 4: Go through past exam papers
In addition to studying and revising the theory, it’s paramount to go through past exam papers and any other available practice exams. This will help a lot to be familiar with the types of questions that could come up in your exam.
Treat past exams seriously; there is little benefit in cruising through past exams. Irrespective of the subject, it is highly recommended to mark each practice exam – or getting them marked. Doing practice exams is a great way to understand and improve the time management aspects, as well as becoming aware of areas that students need to focus more.
Never underestimate the power of practice exams. I highly recommend doing at least 2 past exams (for subjects with new curriculums) or more under exam conditions. This will boost students’ self-awareness on strengths and weaknesses in each subject. If students have done enough practice exams before the final exam, the final exam would be like another practice exam from handling the pressure point of view.
Tip 5: Manage stress and look after yourself
Good preparation boosts confidence, which contribute to good exam performance. It is normal for students to feel stressful during this time. However, by having a plan in place and by preparing early, students can reap the rewards later.
Also students should reward themselves for studying well. Balance the studying with timed breaks; Watch your favourite TV program, spend time with your friends, walk to the park, play sports etc. However, students should be accountable in doing so to make sure they follow the plan and take actions towards achieving set goals.
Healthy eating is also critical! Make sure to get enough sleep each night to recharge your brain. Fitting in physical exercise, or stretching during study breaks can make you feel great and boost your energy level.
Tip 6: Ask for help
Students shouldn’t feel alone or helpless during this critical time. Students can always talk to their family, friends or teachers for help or for advice. If a student is struggling, seek help. That’s all part of stress management.
There are some useful advice in the SACE website as well. By all means, if students need any extra help with understanding content or revision, they can always approach us at Tutors SA. We have revision sessions running for all the core subjects from the end of September, until the exam day.
We wish students all the best in your Year 12 exam preparation!