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Splash-Tackle-Flail

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Splash's Life Tips :)
« on: January 14, 2016, 03:15:25 pm »
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 (Credit to Swag for the title inspiration)

~Reaching Level 20~
by Splash <3

So since results have been released and all that drama, Iíve received a few PMs asking for VCE study tips and advice. I figure it would be much easier to just write up a guide to post for everyone to see. However, as a casual disclaimer, these tips/experiences are largely entirely based on my own, personal journey through VCE, and thus I cannot guarantee that each and every message of ďwisdomĒ will be applicable to everyone, especially those who didnít do my subjects! :D Also I wrote this jet-lagged and with 3 hours sleep, so donít expect any Bangali-quality prose lol.

Öso without further ado:

~Splashing, tackling, and cherishing of the EXP-Share~

(If Charizard was VCAA, I'm going to teach you how to dodge VCAA attacks like a useless fish~a metaphor on surviving VCAAís fire blasts)

Just like almost every one of the 50000ish students that enrol in VCE, I feel that my VCE journey really began during Year 11 subject selection. For many schools, and my school is no exception, the Year 11 subject selection is an introduction to a new way of learning; no more 11-subject-compulsory-subject torment, and more selective, yet intensive studies spread across six rather rigid subjects. While it may be easy to simply choose your favourite subjects, and by all means do, this is also a time to consider university course requirements, and subjects that play to your strengths, and to the strengths of the system.

Thereís already an amazing post on choosing the right subjects by Bangali (shameless Bangali-promotion) at VCE Subject Selection Guide (uncertain year 9/10s, please read!). However there are some things I would like to reiterate as in discussing subject choices, comes insight into the VCAA system, and hopefully helpful ideas:

-Remember these subjects are likely the subjects you will be committing your whole VCE to. Yes you can change subjects part-way through the year, but often this limits options and causes difficulties in playing catch up. VCE is innately demanding and stressful for most people, and itís common to see people struggle somewhat after major subject changes halfway through the course.

-If you are really striving for a high score, note that while choosing subjects that perk your interests is ultimately a good idea, remember you are also in a competition, and personal enjoyment is only one of many factors. Think of ways to minimise your workload, without sacrificing your potential score or motivation to study. And play to your strengths! For example, if youíre a maths whizz-kid, considering taking Math Methods and Specialist Maths, as there is lots of overlap, and when I was taking the two, it was almost as if I was only taking 1.5 subjects. Or if you love writing, perhaps consider English and Literature, for amazing training in producing eloquent prose and as the saying goes, killing two birds VCE subjects with one stone powerful sweep!

So if you're a mathematical oddball, embrace it like this guy (ok I may have got a bit gif happy in this guide- thanks Beh):

-Now this third point is definitely up to contentious debate, but I would recommend being aware of how the whole VCAA system works, including how each subject scales. I completely understand this is risky advice, and anecdotally Iím sure it has led to students choosing high-scaling subjects and suffering for it. However, it is nevertheless something worthy of consideration-statistically the large majority of high performances are aided by a 50+ scaled VCE subject. If you are a maths genius, for example, Specialist Maths has great potential to become your best subject, and for the extra high aggregates, it creates some leeway for your other top four subjects- especially for English! Personally, my specialist score scaled just shy of 50, despite dropping more marks in that exam 2 than in all my other subject exams bar Chinese (SL). Donít let scaling define your subject choice, but make sure you are aware of how it affects you! Being aware of how the system works can better provide you with the most reasoned strategy to tackling VCE.

As far as knowing the system, check out links such as:
   -http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Pages/vce/statistics/2014/statssect3.aspx
   -http://www.vtac.edu.au/pdf/scaling_report_15.pdf
   -http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/pages/vce/studies/index.aspx
   -http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/pages/vce/exams/examsassessreports.aspx (may give an indication on whatís required)
   -http://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=160060.0
   -http://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=135475.0
   

Note that this doesnít mean we should all play the ďnumbers gameĒ, however knowing what is required for your goals does come with benefits (such as choosing to prioritise English or being wary of taking 3 maths as one must go in your bottom 2). It also means you are able to make your choices with a complete understanding of what youíre committing to!

-Finally, consider the benefits of accelerating a Year 12 subject. Completing a VCE Year 12 subject one year early may sound daunting, but the benefits it provides are, in my opinion, too valuable to pass by. Accelerating a subject provides you with precious experience in how to study for SACs, exams, and how the whole, convoluted process works. Additionally, Year 12 subjects tend to foster dedication, and a sense that every second of time spent in Year 11 will inexplicably contribute towards your overall ATAR and that golden ticket to your dream university course. Itís honestly an amazing feeling after smashing your year 11 subject, as you already have one of your top 4 subjects potentially taken care of.

Keep in mind that this year 12 subject does not have to be diabolical, and often people, myself included, choose Ďeasierí subjects such as Further Maths. This provides a more gradual introduction into life (or lack thereof) of a year 12 student! Other commonly selected subjects are:

-Biology
-Geography
-History (all)
-LOTEs (especially for background students)
-Hospitality   
-Psychology
-Methods (not every school will let you accelerate this subject) 
-Visual Communication & Design
-Physical Education
                                                               
-Ok, since I canít signpost correctly, I would like to extent the benefits of acceleration a Year 12 subject to acceleration TWO subjects! Now this may sound crazy, and some schools donít allow it, but tackling two VCE subjects early doesnít increase the burden of studying exponentially (at worst, quadratically :P). Especially given most of us take easier year 12 subjects anyway. And itís not like we are going to mature to much within one year, that taking on another Year 12 subject will make us crumble and cry. Effectively, accelerating two subjects is thinking long term. You get double the amount of spare periods in Year 12, and you will only have to juggle 4 subjects, giving you the opportunity to tackle either a 7th subject or a uni extension. Or you can just stress less in the comfort that your workload is more relaxing than most. If you can take two subjects, youíll thank me for it in Year 12. Trust me.

Study habits, plans of attack, and clunky transitions from advising Year 11s to advising Year 12s

(Don't have a silly plan of attack like Mr. Stark here :D )

VCE is a volume harder than Year 10, and I could dabble on about extensive study options, but everyone has their own means of learning. Personally, thatís one of the greatest aspects of Year 11; you have a whole year to experiment and develop a study plan that works best for you. Now something I want to stress about this is to find and embrace a study routine that works for you (best to do this before Year 12). I know my school adopted a strict record book regime, involving the extensive listing of each and every homework task, their due date, and when we planned to do the work. However, much to the annoyance of my Ďmentorí, throughout Year 11 I found that creating study habits worked best for me- and this carried on to Year 12. As a frequent bus-traveller (3 hour return each day), it became natural for me to work on maths homework sheets, and light readings of the science text-book on the bus, with the occasional messily-written english paragraph if need be. My routine was flexible, and deemed writing up study plans unnecessary, and in a year where time is precious, wasting time is really not an option. For the sake of the title reference, spending time on unnecessary tasks is like splashing- ďit does nothingĒ! Sure it created mentor-student hassles-and it resulted in me often wagging ďmentorĒ, which did nothing for me :P- but when you find a study foundation that really works for you (and if a planner is what works so be it :P), it works wonders in terms or organisation and work efficiency. Just make sure when you finish Year 12 (or year 11), you can confidently say you had no regrets with your individual plan of attack!

(Planning like the crew in True Detective is a much better option than being a doofus like Stark)

Prioritising: Another important message is to prioritise! Really, our first opportunity to prioritise begins in Year 11, and I cannot stress the importance of giving your year 12 subjects attention first! For the lack of a better analogy your accelerated subjects are like that precious starter pokemon, or your favourite toy- think Woody in Toy Story. Why? Because the marks you receive in your Year 12 subjects count. Personally I wholly prioritised Chinese, then Further (as it was easier but very boring), then my year 11 ones. Not only did this give me the best chance for a respectable score in my accelerated subjects, effectively locking in one of them as a top 4, but also reducing the pressure on my 2015 year. This doesnít mean those Year 11 subjects should be completely neglected, but since there is the potential to pick those subjects back up in 2015, Iím of the belief that understanding the foundations is adequate. In Year 11, for example, I consistently received 7/10s for my English essays- but there was plenty of time before exam day 2015 to bring those scores up!

For Year 12, even though I had double the spares most people had, I still had to prioritise. And this is when awareness for the VCAA system really comes into play. For example, remember how important English is- there are often people who raw 50 all their science and maths subjects, but get a relatively lower (40ish) score in English, and are thus barred from getting the top top ATARs. Iím not going to say/argue whether these VCAA rules such as ďEnglish must be in the top 4Ē are needed as the rules are unlikely to change any time. However what this means is that English (or Literature/English Language) must not be neglected! When I was in Year 12, I would always do English homework first.

 Other forms of prioritisation for me was giving Specialist Maths a lot of attention, as for me, it had the potential to scale above 50, and thus had a very high chance of making it into my top 4 subjects, which although it didnít scaled past 50 for me, it did end up as my 4th highest subject. As far as prioritising goes, itís also really helpful to consider why each different homework task is set- often people mindlessly complete homework- something I believe planners such as record books needlessly encourage- and although this may come off as studying hard, it is not exactly studying smart. For example, many math teachers set an extraordinary amount of textbook questions to complete, but these questions are often only there to help us develop a basic understanding of the concepts learned in class. Personally, I acknowledged this, and after rereading and making sure I was confident with the concepts, I would move straight onto exam practice questions (or other subject homework), which require a more complicated sense of application. This saved me more time and helped me better prepare for the exams at the end of the year. Often practice SACs and exam questions will provide a much better means of preparation than textbook questions so if you are confident with the understanding at hand, donít be afraid to simply complete 1/3rd of what was set, and spend the newly-created time on other things! 

Goal setting + motivation: Furthermore, please donít underestimate the value of setting goals! Personally I set big goals at first, of which mine were:

1. Get dux of my school. Achieve an ATAR of 99+ (It was originally to get dux but I felt getting 99+ would account for both)
2. Achieve a raw score of 50.
3. Achieve a raw score of 40+ for each subject.

Then, I broke these goals into smaller goals, such as for my third goal I made a ďsubset goalĒ in English to ďbring my Text Response essays up to a 9-10/10 standardĒ, which was then further broken down into ďwriting an engaging insightful introduction to all Text Response promptsĒ. To be honestly, however, I never really broke down my goals for my maths subjects; if you are really aiming for the top math scores, sometimes itís best to try and ďace everythingĒ! I didnít exactly write these goals down in my head, but I made sure I had a clear idea of what I wanted, and therefore, what needs to be done to get what I want.

Perhaps even more importantly, smaller, more gradual goals really help making the overall journey doable. Yes, VCE can be brutal. Yes, it can be stressful. And of course there are going to be times where we feel like giving up. Iím no exception, as around halfway through Year 12 I was simply done with the whole thing- on the last unit 3 Chemistry SAC I just lost my drive, consequently and unsurprisingly performing way below my usual standard. As a consistent outright rank 1 in my other Chemistry SACs, I can confidently say my ranking for that SAC was only just about the median mark. Iím no motivational speaker, but when we are put in these types of situations being in the right mindset is so important. As always, health comes first. Donít continue destroy yourself with sleepless nights and social isolation- rest is real important too. And donít forget to balance the demands of Year 12 with chill time with friends, and sport too; theyíre easy to neglect.  So just think about the little goals, and remember that itís really just overhyped uni entrance shenanigans. :)

If that's not enough motivation, here's some more inspiration from the prophet himself:

;)

Friends: I cannot stress how important taking the time to spend time with mates really is as well. Despite struggling through a cohort-deemed ďdysfunctional year levelĒ, I had some close friends who really kept me sane, and soldieriní on in a group is so so so so so so much better. There's people everywhere in the state going through the same tribulations you are and working together can make the fight through these tough years actually.... doable? Talk to your buddies, do questions together, motivate each other! Give each other accountability for completing tasks, and make sure you and your friends don't slack off! There seems to be a stigma that VCE is a cut-throat competition, and it can be, but hiding notes and refusing to help your friends for a "good SAC ranking" is only going to lead to bitterness, loneliness, and the likely exclusion of yourself from comrade support! In fact, if you're really dedicated, help out on a question thread on AN; teaching others not only makes people happy, but is an amazing means to consolidate your own knowledge, and don't worry if you get something wrong, there's bound to be a genius on the forums ready to correct you! Frodo Baggins needed his buddies to help him bring the ring to Mordor, and I sure needed my mates to keep pushing me throughout VCE!



Using teachers: Also, if you have a really great teacher, it is really really really really helpful to nag them and drown them in questions and essays, well do so in a nice way and itíll pay off! Theyíre the greatest opportunity to consolidate understanding in a topic, and really extend your learning. Iíd say this is even more crucial in essay-orientated subjects, such as English, as the main way to improve in my opinion is to practice writing, and applying your teacherís suggestions. This should both improve your writing, but also demonstrate to them that you want to do well, and you are willing to push yourself! I know thereís been instances for me where Iíve applied my teacherís feedback before SACs, and since theyíre also the SAC markers, I often see a nice mark up in my responses. Note that this doesnít mean repeatedly asking trivial questions in class- itís much better to consult them after class, and make sure what you have to say in class discussions are really top notch ideas.. sometimes I think English is all about them impressions, and a rank one in this subject works wonders! Personally I stayed back every now and then to hand in English essays, or ask my Chemistry teacher questions, something I also did in class, but I found doing it afterwards to be more beneficial. Even if you just spend an extra 1.5 minutes asking them for advice, you'll already have stood out from your cohort in demonstrating your drive to do well in the subject! If we were playing pokemon right now, think of teachers as that universally cherished EXP-share; VCE can be made so much easier if you drain your resources/teachers, but only if you turn that EXP-share on/ask questions and get things marked!

(Chase your teachers like I'm chasing magikarp!--yeah I just needed an excuse to share this gif)

And donít forget if teaching or resources are not working out for you, thereís always the AtarNotes Forums! In Year 12 I was in a position where I didnít really have an opportunity to really find help for one of my subjects, and the forums have been a real life-saver. There are question threads for each subject, and heaps of high-achieving students with a wealth of knowledge on here. They are more than willing to answer questions, no matter how stupid they are, and itís an invaluable resource for tips and guides in smashing VCE. From feedback in essays, to general attack plans for different subjects, AN provides a nice alternative to teacher feedback and advice, and a great opportunity to learn from students, who just like you had to struggle through VCE, and know from first-hand experience how to beat the game.

When in doubt, consult the AN-hokage ;) (sorry I know I left some people out, this is really just an excuse for sharing my bad photoshop skills!)


Hypothetically, if some mystic genie said I could only offer a finite amount of advice, the above tips are the ones I would choose. Of course there is much more tips and tricks, but hopefully for now, these tips should provide some help to the Class of í16 and í17, or at least provided some procrastination material! So all the best for those facing their VCE endeavours this year, you guys can do it!

FAQ/AMA section (ask me anything and I'll try my best to answer):
(Edit: Thanks MightyBeh :) )

How to deal with not so great teaching or resources:

So I know this is a touchy subject, but itís a situation that many students will find themselves in. From not receiving enough help in understanding concepts, to having classes that donít achieve anything, it can very easily have an adverse influence on oneís performance. For one of my subjects, I felt this was quite an issue; often I would have to self learn, and if there was a question I couldnít answer, there was a fat chance I would be able to find someone at my school that could. So what should you do in this situation? What I did was find all the help I could get- namely AtarNotes question thread, and eventually receiving help from a teacher at a local school. Of course it was still a struggle, but searching for help and looking for resources online or from other students is a massive underrated help. And think of what you can do yourself, such as doing the questions you can do in class, and researching misunderstandings via google or Atarnotes or KhanAcademy. Just find solace in the course content being readily available on the VCAA website, so you know what each subject requires, but also make use of every webpage, knowledgable friend or question thread you can find.

How important it is to do summer holiday preparation:

Personally I did some VCE preparation in the summer holidays in both Year 11 and 12. In year 11, I wrote up a draft of my Chinese general conversation (ending up completely rewriting it later, but it was good practice), and I memorised my one-minute report. In year 12, I wrote up notes for both Specialist Maths and Maths Methods, covering complex numbers, vectors, and circular functions for specialist and learning up to logarithms for Methods. While for Chinese, I found working in the holidays to be really beneficial, as it really boosted my chinese proficiency, and since memorising the report was more of a chore than a conceptual understanding task, it was good to get out of the way. However I donít really believe it helped much at all for math. I mean it was useful during term one, having covered all the content, but I found the majority of my notes, which took ages in the holidays, to end up fairly redundant. And it was hard for me being quite far ahead to keep up motivation and stop procrastinating for these subjects. That being said, the holidays were a really good time to use up reading English novels and reading up on each subjectís course study designs. All in all summer preparation is helpful for reading and more ďchore-likeĒ tasks that just need to be done, but it is not that amazing of an opportunity to start learning ahead- of course it helps but it is not very efficient studying at all in my opinion. It may have been how I tackled learning ahead, but in hindsight doing those math chapters in the holidays was not worth it. Besides, holidays and working are oxymorons, so do some preparation if it keeps you busy, but there is no need to overdo it, such as by covering the entire course or something.

Whether it is worth going ahead of the class:

Iíve got a similar stance for this to my stance regarding learning ahead in the holidays. However staying one chapter ahead or so can be a nice assist in studying as it provides you with a greater foundation that is quickly (unlike working in the holidays) built upon by classwork and teacher assistance. It also puts you in a great position organisation-wise, giving you more time to focus on other subjects, or explore the content complexities even deeper than usual, which comes in handy when tackling the separator questions rife in many STEM subject exams. Contrarily,  after the class caught up to me in Specialist Maths (which in hindsight I should have kept going ahead as we only finished the course about a week before the English VCE exam :( ), and Math Methods I didnít bother working ahead, and at least for Math Methods I went just fine. Teachers usually teach the course at a pace perfectly fine for the VCE curriculum and I know a few students who have done really well from simply keeping pace with their class. Most importantly, I believe, is to not fall behind in class- thatís a recipe for disaster/sorrow/downwards spirals into insanity/academic death.

Is tutoring necessary:

No. But itís definitely something that works on a case-by-case basis. Many people do really really well without any tutoring, while some people perform disappointedly with 5. Itís really there if you believe you would benefit from it, whether it be to provide accountability to work in a subject, if youíre in a situation where tutoring is necessary to provide you with the opportunity to adequately cover the content required, or even as a confidence booster. Tutoring can be pricey, but there is usually little other risk in taking it up. Itís ultimately a personal choice, but all in all, I am very appreciative of the one-on-one help in the 2 subjects I received tutoring for last year, and I have no regrets in taking it up.

A really rough guide to how I studied in Year 12:

From Year 11 I had basically developed a habitual routine in terms of study, and below is a rough summary of what I did-

Weekdays: Pay attention and perform class tasks in class. Spend my spares (I had 2 a day) either tackling Specialist Questions, or doing English homework/practice paragraphs. On my bus trips home, I would complete Math homework sheets if I had any, followed by reading the Chemistry textbook. With the two spares in class amounting to about an hour and a halfís worth of work, and the bus trips providing me with 3 hours of potential worktime, by the time I got home at 5ish, I could relax/doing extracurricular activities. A useful thing to note though, is that sometimes when I was at home, while I didnít do any direct work, I did a fair bit of passive learning, involving watching Crash Course Chemistry videos, surfing AtarNotes, and browsing the /writingprompts subreddit on reddit- not that that subreddit was overly useful, it nevertheless provided me with a chance to learn new vocabulary and appreciate good-ish writing. Even simply contemplating context ideas while trying to sleep can help in the overall preparation towards the end of year exams.

Weekends: Finishing off any homework that comes to mind. Most of my weekends involved catching up with friends, exercising, and mindless interwebs browsing..

Hope you guys enjoyed my guide, and hope this wall of text helps you procrastinate with your VCE!!!  :) ;) :D ;D :D ;) :) ;) 8) ::) 8) ::) :P :) :)

-Splash
« Last Edit: January 15, 2016, 01:32:38 am by Splash-Tackle-Flail »
VCE: Done!
2016:  Monash University, Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (Honours)
Currently offering Methods and Chemistry tutoring for 2016! (Currently full for 2016)
Splash's Life Tips :)
How to be the one who knocks

Syndicate

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2016, 03:21:09 pm »
+1
Great tips! I would recommend everyone to have a read through Splash's tips  :)

« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 04:35:06 pm by Syndicate »
2017: Chemistry | Physics | English | Specialist Mathematics | Mathematics Methods
2018-2020 : Bachelor of Biomedicine at University of Melbourne

Physics Guide 2017

Alter

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2016, 04:16:10 pm »
+7
Control+F "Pokemon" only yields two results so there's little reason for me to read this thread in its entirety.


...amazing thread, though. You should be really proud of what you've achieved and these tips really sum up everything you need to know about succeeding in VCE into one thread. I rate it highly.
2016Ė2018: Bachelor of Biomedicine (Neuroscience), The University of Melbourne
2019Ė2022: Doctor of Medicine, The University of Melbourne

IndefatigableLover

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2016, 05:49:28 pm »
+1
Fully blossomed into Gyarados young one ;)

Awesome guide, highly recommend (IGN 10/10) and again, congratulations on your achievements :)

MightyBeh

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2016, 06:42:34 pm »
+5
FAQ/AMA section (ask me anything and I'll try my best to answer):
[/color][/b][/size] (this is meant to me green, centred, bolded and in 18pt, but it's not working help!!!)
Here you go fam:
FAQ/AMA section (ask me anything and I'll try my best to answer):
Code: [Select]
[center][size=18pt][color=green][b]FAQ/AMA section (ask me anything and I'll try my best to answer):[/b][/color][/size][/center]
VCE: Further Maths | Methods | Specialist | Literature | Software Development | Classics
2017: making some dolla

qazser

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2016, 10:47:05 pm »
0
You and Silverpixeli should be bffs, he also wants to be a Pokemon master, not too sure if he wants a magikarp though
AN Chat: Hop On!

2016:Methods[   ]

Splash-Tackle-Flail

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2016, 01:18:56 pm »
+3
Thanks everyone-you guys are amazing- (and for the sticky!)- I'm just giving this an impromptu reminder that if anyone has any general (or specific i guess) questions about tackling school please don't hesitate to chuck the Q in this thread.

Or PM me if you'd rather a private answer :) (but if it's something lots of people would find helpful then it would be great if you could just post up here)
VCE: Done!
2016:  Monash University, Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (Honours)
Currently offering Methods and Chemistry tutoring for 2016! (Currently full for 2016)
Splash's Life Tips :)
How to be the one who knocks

qazser

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2016, 01:45:21 pm »
0
Thanks everyone-you guys are amazing- (and for the sticky!)- I'm just giving this an impromptu reminder that if anyone has any general (or specific i guess) questions about tackling school please don't hesitate to chuck the Q in this thread.

Or PM me if you'd rather a private answer :) (but if it's something lots of people would find helpful then it would be great if you could just post up here)

Questions from zsteve's thread

ACEVCE777 - How did you motivate yourself?

(been answered by mtse and wyzard , but share ur perspective) - AspiringDoc - Here's a question - for those of you who scored soo highly, what do you think it is that separated you from the 1000s of other smart, studious students who are also at very strong schools etc. that resulted in you claiming the top spots?




« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 01:50:11 pm by qazser »
AN Chat: Hop On!

2016:Methods[   ]

Splash-Tackle-Flail

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2016, 03:13:10 pm »
+2
Questions from zsteve's thread

ACEVCE777 - How did you motivate yourself?


By making motivational AtarNotes usernames.

Jokes aside, I felt the majority of my motivation stem from a sense of underlying competitiveness, and rather innate passion for learning. In this sense, make sure you've chosen the subjects you absolutely love (or at least enjoy haha)- I very easily lost motivation for further for example, simply because it was a boring subject :P. However, given that you've attended lectures, that you've been on AN forums for quite a while, and that you have set such high goals for yourself, I'm sure you already have that will of fire to seek knowledge and win the game of VCE.

I feel the goal-setting technique I talked about in the main post further complimented my overall aims and motivation, which when coupled with my natural fear of submitting homework late, I never really bombed out to a stage of complete lack of study for weeks on end. If homework doesn't scare you, try find some accountability with friends. And of course, keep that end goal in mind whenever you're finding motivation.

Finally if you feel like you're burning out- don't fight it! Relax for the night (or two), and get a good nights sleep. Sometimes it helps to balance the more intense study with lighter reading or watching youtube videos :)

I think you'll find motivation comes in waves. I just made sure I consistently reminded myself what I wanted, and how rewarding it will be at the end when it's all over :)

Questions from zsteve's thread
(been answered by mtse and wyzard , but share ur perspective) - AspiringDoc - Here's a question - for those of you who scored soo highly, what do you think it is that separated you from the 1000s of other smart, studious students who are also at very strong schools etc. that resulted in you claiming the top spots


Hmm, this is tricky tbh, and I'm of the position that the top end is really all of equal ability. If I had to answer something I'd say it's that determination to achieve well; that drive that compels you to embrace stress and channel all the VCE frustration and work into raw ambition. You really have to want the score, almost to the extent that you'll quickly and readily sacrifice other luxuries in the mean time to get it (by luxuries I mean you can't go to every 18th birthday, or become addicted to gaming or something).

Another thing to add is that I'm not 100% sure people can even guarantee they'll get a top top score (exceptions ofc). Sure you can do everything you can, but often things may not work out perfectly, and it's a tight line when we're dealing with 35ish increments for each Atar score.

I'll also note that iirc you're rural like me, and we do have an intrinsic disadvantage educational-wise. But this doesn't immediately bar you from achieving a really good score. Sure you'll have to commute 4hours or something to get to lecture, or have access to resources metro kids get so easily, but it's not impossible. Just keep consolidating your understanding of absolutely everything, embrace the drive/passion to achieve your aims, and take solace in the ever-increasing internet help, resources and support. Remember you're competing against the state (I often underestimated the competition of the state thinking it was similar to my school, and this can be dangerous), and I guess we just gotta try and scavenge what we can haha.

Oh and don't forget about submitting that SEAS -if you meant claiming the top spots, as in claiming the uni course you want to get into-cause that's really the main thing that matters :)
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Currently offering Methods and Chemistry tutoring for 2016! (Currently full for 2016)
Splash's Life Tips :)
How to be the one who knocks

qazser

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2016, 03:17:21 pm »
0
By making motivational AtarNotes usernames.

Jokes aside, I felt the majority of my motivation stem from a sense of underlying competitiveness, and rather innate passion for learning. In this sense, make sure you've chosen the subjects you absolutely love (or at least enjoy haha)- I very easily lost motivation for further for example, simply because it was a boring subject :P. However, given that you've attended lectures, that you've been on AN forums for quite a while, and that you have set such high goals for yourself, I'm sure you already have that will of fire to seek knowledge and win the game of VCE.

I feel the goal-setting technique I talked about in the main post further complimented my overall aims and motivation, which when coupled with my natural fear of submitting homework late, I never really bombed out to a stage of complete lack of study for weeks on end. If homework doesn't scare you, try find some accountability with friends. And of course, keep that end goal in mind whenever you're finding motivation.

Finally if you feel like you're burning out- don't fight it! Relax for the night (or two), and get a good nights sleep. Sometimes it helps to balance the more intense study with lighter reading or watching youtube videos :)

I think you'll find motivation comes in waves. I just made sure I consistently reminded myself what I wanted, and how rewarding it will be at the end when it's all over :)
 

Hmm, this is tricky tbh, and I'm of the position that the top end is really all of equal ability. If I had to answer something I'd say it's that determination to achieve well; that drive that compels you to embrace stress and channel all the VCE frustration and work into raw ambition. You really have to want the score, almost to the extent that you'll quickly and readily sacrifice other luxuries in the mean time to get it (by luxuries I mean you can't go to every 18th birthday, or become addicted to gaming or something).

Another thing to add is that I'm not 100% sure people can even guarantee they'll get a top top score (exceptions ofc). Sure you can do everything you can, but often things may not work out perfectly, and it's a tight line when we're dealing with 35ish increments for each Atar score.

I'll also note that iirc you're rural like me, and we do have an intrinsic disadvantage educational-wise. But this doesn't immediately bar you from achieving a really good score. Sure you'll have to commute 4hours or something to get to lecture, or have access to resources metro kids get so easily, but it's not impossible. Just keep consolidating your understanding of absolutely everything, embrace the drive/passion to achieve your aims, and take solace in the ever-increasing internet help, resources and support. Remember you're competing against the state (I often underestimated the competition of the state thinking it was similar to my school, and this can be dangerous), and I guess we just gotta try and scavenge what we can haha.

Oh and don't forget about submitting that SEAS -if you meant claiming the top spots, as in claiming the uni course you want to get into-cause that's really the main thing that matters :)

Ty Splash, hope more people see this :)
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Splash-Tackle-Flail

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2016, 03:36:51 pm »
+7
I have a question

How did you study for your English subject(s)? Usually, English is the weakest subject for science/ mathematics students, and sometimes, is one of the reasons, that the student just missed out from the perfect score.

Thanks  :)

Ahh, what I like to call every STEM kids' kryptonite :P . The best thing to do first, is acknowledge that English is going to be the greatest VCE challenge for us math/science kids, as it's just so... different. Of course there's always going to be the few who are so good at their other 50+ scaling subjects, they can afford to cut some slack on their english score (not much though!). But for the rest of us (such as us who start sentences with conjunctions), we have to really work towards a good english score.

I basically went into Year 12 knowing that I'd have to prioritise the sheep out of it (Yep I'm keeping the forums G rated). I guess I was doing pretty well in English already, but the main improvements were really seen last year. In the summer holidays, I read my Unit 3 novels twice, and did the holiday homework required. I also did some google research for themes and study notes for my texts. Finally, I read past high-scoring essays, from both AN and a previous student at my school who basically blew the whole school away at being so amazing at English, in the hope I could pick up precious vocabulary. I found that improving my vocab paved the way for my writing skills to develop and my expression to really pick up.

Once school started I actually found my Year 9 teacher for English, who I absolutely loved. She offered to tutor me (and ended up helping about 1/5th of my English cohort :P-small school if you're wondering). Both her and my teacher helped me explore text ideas and write practice paragraphs, but it wasn't until week 3ish (after orals), that I started writing practice essays and getting them marked. I set myself a goal of writing one essay a week (very doable, albeit at the cost of my other subjects), and after writing it I would hand it to my teacher (or tutor if on Wednesdays) to read.

I guess I was lucky to have a teacher so set on detailed feedback (not AN detailed but v detailed for a teacher who has to mark lots of essays- perhaps this was a plus of my rural school, that I was the only one in my class to consistently hand her essays to mark!), and I analysed her feedback like crazy. If I didn't understand the feedback I'd either talk to my teacher after class quickly, or go through it with my tutor. Then I'd apply the feedback to the best of my ability, and rinse and repeat. Since I had a concurrent word-bank/glossary, I'd also use these essays as an opportunity to apply new vocab and see if I'm using the words correctly. It's also important to consider the importance of feedback- it's so vital that I'd say writing more essays than your teacher can mark in a certain amount of time becomes fairly redundant. If you have a flaw in one of your responses, chances are, you'll have it in the next 4 you do ;)

This basically took me through the majority of the school year- so through SACs and all that jazz. When I was practicing writing essays however, I really focused on the quality of my writing above all else. This mean essays often took 3+ hours, or were done over a few days. And this is OK!!! Especially when we're just starting. There's enough time in SWOTVAC to bring essay speed up to where it needs to be- but it's way easier to cut down on time than quickly improve essay quality.

Once SWOTVAC started, I went insane. Well, I insanely wrote essays- I think I managed 9 in the 14 day holiday, which for me was a big big big milestone- where 3 of them were done as a practice exam timed. Of course I didn't finish, and I found my paragraphs were a tad long, but gradually, essay after essay, I brought my time and length down to an exam appropriate level. This was especially relevant for my LA essays, which I can go into more detail on how I brought those down if you need- it was a situation where I analysed everything, and ran out of time/only analysed the 1st half of the article in the 70minutes I used. This period was basically the same approach as the SAC period, just on uber steroids haha- so write->feedback->apply, and with the extra consideration of time.

Honestly the final thing was the TR and Context prompts on the exam just worked really well with what I had to respond with (memorised quotes and ideas etc). But perhaps this was because of all the essay prep I did :P- who knows, english is notorious for it's 'dependency' on luck, and maybe I just got lucky?  :)

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2016:  Monash University, Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (Honours)
Currently offering Methods and Chemistry tutoring for 2016! (Currently full for 2016)
Splash's Life Tips :)
How to be the one who knocks

qazser

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2016, 03:55:01 pm »
0
I'm sorry splash but it seems you are infected with Bengali fever, the syndrome where you write alot and alot and alot and alot. Thanks for sharing.
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2016:Methods[   ]

Syndicate

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2016, 04:12:41 pm »
0
Ahh, what I like to call every STEM kids' kryptonite :P . The best thing to do first, is acknowledge that English is going to be the greatest VCE challenge for us math/science kids, as it's just so... different. Of course there's always going to be the few who are so good at their other 50+ scaling subjects, they can afford to cut some slack on their english score (not much though!). But for the rest of us (such as us who start sentences with conjunctions), we have to really work towards a good english score.

I basically went into Year 12 knowing that I'd have to prioritise the sheep out of it (Yep I'm keeping the forums G rated). I guess I was doing pretty well in English already, but the main improvements were really seen last year. In the summer holidays, I read my Unit 3 novels twice, and did the holiday homework required. I also did some google research for themes and study notes for my texts. Finally, I read past high-scoring essays, from both AN and a previous student at my school who basically blew the whole school away at being so amazing at English, in the hope I could pick up precious vocabulary. I found that improving my vocab paved the way for my writing skills to develop and my expression to really pick up.

Once school started I actually found my Year 9 teacher for English, who I absolutely loved. She offered to tutor me (and ended up helping about 1/5th of my English cohort :P-small school if you're wondering). Both her and my teacher helped me explore text ideas and write practice paragraphs, but it wasn't until week 3ish (after orals), that I started writing practice essays and getting them marked. I set myself a goal of writing one essay a week (very doable, albeit at the cost of my other subjects), and after writing it I would hand it to my teacher (or tutor if on Wednesdays) to read.

I guess I was lucky to have a teacher so set on detailed feedback (not AN detailed but v detailed for a teacher who has to mark lots of essays- perhaps this was a plus of my rural school, that I was the only one in my class to consistently hand her essays to mark!), and I analysed her feedback like crazy. If I didn't understand the feedback I'd either talk to my teacher after class quickly, or go through it with my tutor. Then I'd apply the feedback to the best of my ability, and rinse and repeat. Since I had a concurrent word-bank/glossary, I'd also use these essays as an opportunity to apply new vocab and see if I'm using the words correctly. It's also important to consider the importance of feedback- it's so vital that I'd say writing more essays than your teacher can mark in a certain amount of time becomes fairly redundant. If you have a flaw in one of your responses, chances are, you'll have it in the next 4 you do ;)

This basically took me through the majority of the school year- so through SACs and all that jazz. When I was practicing writing essays however, I really focused on the quality of my writing above all else. This mean essays often took 3+ hours, or were done over a few days. And this is OK!!! Especially when we're just starting. There's enough time in SWOTVAC to bring essay speed up to where it needs to be- but it's way easier to cut down on time than quickly improve essay quality.

Once SWOTVAC started, I went insane. Well, I insanely wrote essays- I think I managed 9 in the 14 day holiday, which for me was a big big big milestone- where 3 of them were done as a practice exam timed. Of course I didn't finish, and I found my paragraphs were a tad long, but gradually, essay after essay, I brought my time and length down to an exam appropriate level. This was especially relevant for my LA essays, which I can go into more detail on how I brought those down if you need- it was a situation where I analysed everything, and ran out of time/only analysed the 1st half of the article in the 70minutes I used. This period was basically the same approach as the SAC period, just on uber steroids haha- so write->feedback->apply, and with the extra consideration of time.

Honestly the final thing was the TR and Context prompts on the exam just worked really well with what I had to respond with (memorised quotes and ideas etc). But perhaps this was because of all the essay prep I did :P- who knows, english is notorious for it's 'dependency' on luck, and maybe I just got lucky?  :)

Thanks Splash,

I do like the idea of one essay per week  :)
2017: Chemistry | Physics | English | Specialist Mathematics | Mathematics Methods
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Physics Guide 2017

Splash-Tackle-Flail

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2016, 05:20:41 pm »
+3
Thanks Splash,

I do like the idea of one essay per week  :)

No worries :) -imo it was a good, achievable, but not demotivating goal to set!

I'm sorry splash but it seems you are infected with Bengali fever, the syndrome where you write alot and alot and alot and alot. Thanks for sharing.

Oh no- is there a cure?!?

wait

Do I even want a cure? :P
VCE: Done!
2016:  Monash University, Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (Honours)
Currently offering Methods and Chemistry tutoring for 2016! (Currently full for 2016)
Splash's Life Tips :)
How to be the one who knocks

geminii

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Re: Splash's Life Tips :)
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2016, 01:29:50 am »
0
By making motivational AtarNotes usernames.

Jokes aside, I felt the majority of my motivation stem from a sense of underlying competitiveness, and rather innate passion for learning. In this sense, make sure you've chosen the subjects you absolutely love (or at least enjoy haha)- I very easily lost motivation for further for example, simply because it was a boring subject :P. However, given that you've attended lectures, that you've been on AN forums for quite a while, and that you have set such high goals for yourself, I'm sure you already have that will of fire to seek knowledge and win the game of VCE.

I feel the goal-setting technique I talked about in the main post further complimented my overall aims and motivation, which when coupled with my natural fear of submitting homework late, I never really bombed out to a stage of complete lack of study for weeks on end. If homework doesn't scare you, try find some accountability with friends. And of course, keep that end goal in mind whenever you're finding motivation.

Finally if you feel like you're burning out- don't fight it! Relax for the night (or two), and get a good nights sleep. Sometimes it helps to balance the more intense study with lighter reading or watching youtube videos :)

I think you'll find motivation comes in waves. I just made sure I consistently reminded myself what I wanted, and how rewarding it will be at the end when it's all over :)

Thanks, this is awesome!  :D I have heaps of trouble with procrastination but then found that motivation was a good way of tackling it, so I wanted to get better at motivating myself. Thanks again!
2016-17 (VCE): Biology, HHD, English, Methods, Specialist, Chemistry

2018-22: Bachelor of Biomedical Science @ Monash Uni