Making the most of your VCE – Debunking a few VCE myths!

Making the most of your VCE – Debunking a few VCE myths!

The VCE years are particularly demanding. There is no hiding the fact that students are in for some hard work. Many of the students may have pre-conceived views about how to do well this year. There will be lots of advice provided during the year, not all of it accurate. Here are some of the ’myths’ you may have heard about or been provided as advice.

Myth 1: The amount of work you do is directly proportional to your marks.

Yes and no. Of course, you need to put in the effort to do well this year. However, it’s not just about how much time and effort you put in, but also how well you use your time, how you prioritise and structure, how you efficiently study and also whether you’re productive during the time which you have reserved for studying.

Myth 2: Some people are geniuses, I can never be as good as them.

Year 12 is about how well you want to do, working effectively and giving your best.

Absolutely not true!! The first step to succeeding in VCE is to have a goal and to be able to imagine it. Not everyone does well, but then again, a lot of people who do well aren’t geniuses. They just work effectively, have a set goal and know what they want to do. Myth 3: I won’t get a high ATAR if I don’t study high scaling subjects.

It makes no sense to only undertake subjects that scale up. Think about it this way. If you were no good at Mathematics and had to select between Mathematical Methods or doing, for example, IT Applications, you might get something like a 35 in Methods and a 43 in ITA, which essentially will scale to around the same score. So, select subjects you think you will do well in and enjoy learning – don’t do it for the scaling. Myth 4: I don’t have the best teacher so I won’t do well.

It doesn’t matter! Year 12 is about you! It’s not about your teacher. You’re blessed to have such a great community here at St Catherine’s and apart from the passionate and committed teachers available, you’ll have plenty of access to other resources. These include books, practice exams, friends and most of all, your own efforts!

Myth 5: Doing lots and lots of practice exams for a subject will get me good marks. Maybe! However, it doesn’t necessarily work that way. Remember, the most important part of undertaking a VCE subject is not doing practice exams, but knowing and understanding the material in the course. The bulk of your time throughout the year should be devoted to learning and perfecting the components of the course rather than completing practice exams. Of course, regular practice at exams questions is essential. Aim for 10-15 during the year for each subject with more being completed closer to the end of the year.

Lastly, a couple of tips about time management:

  • Work in blocks of time. Instead of organising your time loosely, organise your time strictly, and follow this! If you decide to study from 6.00pm till 8.00pm, being strict about it has two benefits. Firstly, you’ll be more efficient, no more waiting around till 6.30pm and secondly, you’re more likely to persevere till 8.00pm. You’re also more likely to push yourself a little harder if you get tired at 7.30pm.
  • Fit time to subjects. For example, you want to finish the key themes in Macbeth by the end of this week. This is an example of the topic methodology. It is a lot freer, and you have the opportunity to change subjects when you get sick of it. This keeps you concentrated and doing what you most want to do. But be disciplined enough to finish it within the week!
  • Rests. Spend 30% of your time at home devoted to resting, eating and other non-study activities.

Remember, at the end of the day it’s really about how well you want to do, working effectively and giving your best. If you do that…it will be a good year for you.

Mr Robert Marshall

Director of Teaching and Learning

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