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One More Year

Hey Everyone! 

I hope everything is going ok, shout out to those doing the HSC at the moment, that must be daunting.


Speaking of daunting, I wanted to talk about not Year 12, but Year 11. 

As some of you may know, many Year 11 students start the HSC course this term and continue into next year.

At the moment for me, there is lots of talk about "Major Works" and "getting the ATAR you want" and "subject selection"

Everyone of my teachers is talking about what is coming in the next year and to be honest, I don't think I'm alone in thinking this is all a little overwhelming. After 12 YEARS at school, suddenly, we only have one more left!


For all those about to head into Year 12 (and for those who have already),

How are you feeling about it? Whats your mindset going in? Are you excited or terrified? And if you want, tell us what subjects your doing? (maybe you can get some good study tipsSmiley Very Happy)


I'm doing:

Ancient History


English Ad

English Ext 1 & 2

Mathematics (even though I suck at it : )

Design and Technology

and maybe History Ext


Remember, you don't have to feel completely fine about it, its a big step so of course its scary. I, for one, feel like I'm ready, but still a bit uneasy. 


Good Luck for your final year, I'm sure you'll all do great!


Re: One More Year

Hi @Snowyxp!

Even though I finished high school quite a few years ago I can vividly remember year 11 and 12. It seems overwhelming for now but the memories you are going to make are going to make up for it Smiley Very Happy

Also I wanted to say good luck! 


Re: One More Year

I wasn't going to say anything since I'm an oldie who graduated back in 2012 (you make me feel like I should be going into a retirement home, haha Smiley Tongue ), but I'm deciding to chip in just because of how similar your choices were to mine. For reference, I took:


  • Ancient History
  • Modern History (I accelerated this and finished it in Yr 11)
  • History Ext (until I dropped it in like...June of my HSC year. Loved it until I didn't, then figured it wasn't worth the effort because I'd be graduating with 14 units with it, which was...more than a bit overkill. Still finished with 13 units though. But hey, high school is free, and you can never learn too much...although there is such a thing as overloading. Smiley Frustrated)
  • Physics
  • English Ad
  • English Ext 1 & 2
  • 3unit Mathematics (even though I also sucked at it.)

Main tip to keep in mind is probably to be strategic and to take care of yourself.


HSC is a stressful year at the best of times (somewhat undeservedly, but that's another conversation), and you won't be as effective as you could be if you spend the entire year burning yourself out. Be strategic about when you're studying- our energy levels dip and recharge throughout the day, so it's important to know what hours you're going to be the most effective and motivated in and use those to study- you can spend the other hours hanging out with friends, napping or gaming and recharging your ability to focus. Set up a schedule, and stick to it. 


A personal tip to help you with this, is to use the environment to your advantage. People are constantly making associations between the environments they're in and what they're doing and what their internal states are - I won't bore you with the science behind this, but suffice it to say, there are just some places that will make you want to study more and help you focus your studying...just as there are places where you'll want to play more and are more likely to be distracted. If you don't have any of these places in mind yet, that's okay. You can create them. Have a room or space set aside in your home or at school or at the local library where you work, and you only work. I mean it. Don't even look at your phone when you're there. If you have to take a call or want to find out what all those facebook messages are about, walk somewhere else THEN look at your phone. You need to guard these places from distractions jealously, or they won't work as triggers to get you in "focus mode" for studying.


On that note, when you need to study and only study- GET RID OF ALL DISTRACTIONS. This will help you focus much better. Leave your phone somewhere else, download your notes and turn off the wifi. You'll find that focussing on "boring" schoolwork is much easier when it's the only form of "entertainment" available.


Finally, SLEEP WELL. This is still something that I struggle with (managing sleep only gets worse when you're in uni), but sleep is critical to your health and brain function. Science shows that sleep is critical to the consolidation of memory - that is, helps you remember things better. Given the choice between no sleep and even a 20 minute power nap, always take the nap. If you're sleep deprived, chances are that you won't be learning terribly much and you'll be keeping even less of it- sleeping means you might miss out on one or two final pieces of studying, but it means you'll remember the bits you did cover a lot better. Sleep is also important for neurogenesis - the growth of new brain cells- in the hippocampus (the bit of your brain responsible for memory). 


EDIT: Man, this ended up being way longer than I meant, hahaha. Anyone else get issues where they start off thinking to write something short and then end up writing semi-essays when you realise you had more to say than you originally thought? 


Re: One More Year

@Asche woah, that is some great advice!! I'm not in year 12, nor will I be doing the HSC (I'm in year 10 and will be doing the BSSS system next year) but this is still really helpful for me going into a similar system.
For me right now I'm coming to an of year 10 and doing my semester exams, but I still also have assessments due a week before the exam week. This stuff is really helpful for two reasons: 1) I can apply a little bit of that stuff to my situation right now but 2) I'll be able to apply ALL of it for next year. It's all a stressful time, but it's all worth it at the end of the day.
Good luck to everyone doing HSC Smiley Happy

Re: One More Year

@tomo_13 Good luck with your exams and everything to come, I'm glad you found somthing useful!


Re: One More Year

Thanks for bringing this up @Snowyxp, everyone focuses so much on those who are at the end that we can often overlook how scary or emotional it can be to be /almost/ at the end.

It's around this time when things really start to look serious and real. Whatever you are feeling, it is completely normal to be feeling that way. I remember I was both extremely ready to be done with the routine of school, but also terrified/sad to think that this was all I had left, that these were the last of things.

I'd advise you all to think of what you want out of this year, what you had always thought you'd do 'someday' in all of the other years. Yes, you should probably devote more time to study and take it seriously, but also relish in everything else - go all out on dress up days and get involved in the carnivals and audition for the school musical if you ever wondered what it'd be like to be on stage.
Let yourself have this year and enjoy it.

Re: One More Year

I too am an "oldie" and finished school a few years ago but it is still fresh in my memory. I think if there is any advice I can offer it is to do subjects that you love and feel you are good at (usually these two go hand in hand) rather than subjects that get "marked up".

I did studio arts (and psych, bio, health and human development and english) despite it being marked down the most but it was my best subject by far and the reason I got into my degree! Smiley Happy

Also avoid atar calculators because they are silly (I know it is tempting)! But seriously there's no way you can predict what scores you will get - just try your best and that is all you can do Smiley Happy good luck and try not to stress too much!

Also are you doing 7 subjects? @Snowyxp (it was the norm to only did 5 when I did VCE so I'm a bit confused sorry)


Re: One More Year

Thanks @May_ that's always good advice and I've diffently taken it on board, partly why I have so many subjects
I need at least 5 subjects or 10 units. My best 10 units will be marked, so I can choose to do more as sort of a "safety net"
At the moment, I have 8 subjects I'm studying this term (or 13 units). The only reason I have all these is because I like all my extensions and I'm reluctant to drop any, though I will eventually. I won't be going into the HSC with 8, maybe 6 or 7 in case I crash out on maths (I am really quite terrible at it)
Just to clarify, my "core" 5 subjects are all bigger, 2 unit subjects and my 3 extensions are smaller 1 units, usually meaning less work. Even though 7 subjects may seem like a lot, it's really the equivalent of 6 subjects.
Sorry for the long explanation, I really meant it to be short : )
Thanks again for your advice!

Re: One More Year

Definetly older than others here as I graduated in 2010, but year 11 and 12 will always been a fresh memory. My best bit of advice for those going from year 11 to year 12 is to do the best you can, but also take time out for yourself. Year 11 and Year 12 can be quite daunting, especially when you have teachers telling you how important it is to get the right ATAR, etc.
My pricinpal had one quote he used to movitate us and it was "failing to prepare is preparing to fail" and despite my own best efforts I still only got an ATAR of 46.44. I know not great, actually quite a horrid score, but as someone who got probably the WORST ATAR, I want to tell you this, If you don't get the results you were hoping for don't stress, there are more options post school than you think. Do your best and it will be okay.

Standard English
Ancient History
Visual Arts
Japanese Continuers
3 TVET courses

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Re: One More Year

Oh yes, I want to second what May_ said about choosing subjects you enjoy rather than ones that are going to be scaled up.

One of my best friends primarily did creative subjects that were scaled down. These were subjects she was (is) good at and enjoyed most, and she ended up with one of the highest ATARs in our school.

If you pick subjects because they scale up but you're not good at it and most importantly don't like it, the scaling probably isn't actually going to end up helping you. Instead the whole subject could be a hinderance.