You’ve made it through 12 years of school and only have one left, go you!
You just have to make it through the next 11 months and you are let out into the world as young adults who are in charge of their lives.
By now you have probably heard that “Year 12 is the most important year of your life” and to get a good ATAR you will have to ditch your social life, commit to studying hours a day and say goodbye to your luxuries and hobbies…
But is it really true and what should you really expect walking into year 12?
Here are some things we believe you should know before you start the year.
The workload in Year 12 will be much greater than Year 11.
There are no ifs ands or buts about it, you will have to learn, memorise, understand and be able to apply knowledge before every sac and eventually before your exams, at the end of the year. This means studying smarter than you have needed to in previously. Just doing your homework is not enough to get you through this year as expectations and requirements are much higher. There will be an adjustment period and your first set of sacs probably won’t go the way you are hoping for, however, with the right study techniques and mindset this transition can be smooth and feel effortless. Innate intelligence does not define your ATAR, rather the hard work you put in will be the key determining factor when it comes to your year 12 results.
Year 12 is a marathon, not a sprint.
It is important to start on the right foot and set yourself up for success. The goal is to study smarter, not harder. Meet your new best friend – Active recall. Active recall is being able to retrieve information from memory without prompts. It is the key to being able to memorise and recite information in SACs and exams. You can read more about the importance of active recall in one of our other posts, “use it or lose it”. Active recall is a tool that a lot of students fail to incorporate into their study routines and instead spend hours upon hours rewriting notes and reading the textbook. You are only able to retain roughly 10% of the content when you study like this, however, studying more actively makes your rate of retention jump up to 5-7 times this and it increases the more you incorporate active study into your routine. Instead of re-reading the textbook, you can spend your time studying smarter by making cue cards, one-page summaries or doing practice questions. Don’t be afraid to try out study techniques you have never used before as this may be what you need to take your studies and results to the next level.
Balance is key.
A lot happens while you are in year 12 but maintaining a balanced routine is vital. There are a lot of fun events that happen during the course of year 12 – formals, sports carnivals and public holidays. There will also be a lot of 18th birthday parties and friends getting their licenses. There will be more opportunities for extra-curricular activities such as leadership, sports and part-time work. It is important to have a balance between your social life and study and this will look different for everyone. However, remember to be realistic as there is only so much you can commit to in Year 12. Know your limits and think about what will set you up for success by giving yourself ample opportunity to achieve the results you want while also avoiding burning out.
It is okay to not know what you want to do next year.
You don’t need to have your whole life planned out just yet. Course preferences don’t open up until September so you have plenty of time to be able to think about what you want to do and what courses may interest you. Use this year to attend university open days, talk to university students and explore professions you may be interested in. But remember, university may not even be the pathway you want to go and that’s okay. Year 12 is important but it is not the only path to success. There are many pathways into university and many pathways to achieving what you want to do in life. Year 12 is not the end of the road, it is only the beginning.
Finally, know when to ask for help. No one expects you to be able to get through this marathon alone. Remember to ask your peers and teachers for help. You are not the first, last or only student going through year 12. There are many people and resources to help you. Not sure where to go? Reach out to us, we have a team of study coaches eager and ready to help.
Student Coach – Megan Ross