14th October 2020
ATAR is a very stressful time – particularly if you want to study Medicine in Australia. Follow these seven tips to help boost your ranking.

By Olivia Nguyen

Pace Yourself

SWOTVAC is coming. It’s longer than you’ve ever had before to study and you don’t know what to do or where to start. First of all, remember that this is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

You need to pace yourself. Trying to get all your studying done in the first week isn’t going to help you come a few weeks time when you’ve forgotten everything that you learnt back then. Start at a steady pace and make a timetable. More importantly, don’t forget to make a timetable that’s realistic.

Keep Calm

You have time. As much as it doesn’t seem like you do, there are still many weeks left in the year. Keep calm and try not to stress too much!

I know it seems impossible but trying to clear your mind, using meditation or yoga, or even phone apps are a really great way to ground yourself. Remember, if you’re stressed, you won’t be able to function as well and your study might not go as well as planned. Keep calm and carry on.

Do Activities Outside Of Study

Activities outside of study keep you sane. Trust me when I say there is nothing worse than studying day in, day out. It will eventually make you more unproductive than productive.

Doing activities such as a team sport or exercise, walking the dog, spending time with family and friends will help to relax you and take your mind off study, even just for a few minutes to hours can help you get back on track.


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Use Your friends!

Make study groups! Help each other out! If you have friends who are studying the same subjects as you, make a study group.

Often people see different problems in different ways and having another person look at the same problem you’re having difficulty with can help you solve it.

Past Papers Are Key

Doing past papers is one of the best ways to study for those final year exams. They are full of questions which have been used in past years and will show you how the examiners like to write their questions and give you a reasonable look at what kind of questions may come up.

Doing these papers under exam conditions is a great way to start preparing yourself for the real deal.

Read The Examiners’ Reports.

The examiners’ reports are on the SACE/IB websites and will give you an overview of what mistakes the majority of the students in previous years made.

It also gives you what the examiners were exactly looking for in their answers and where they gave each mark for each question.

Ask Your Teachers For Help If You Need It

Finally, teachers are there to help you. If you are struggling or really feeling like you’re a bit out of your depth, ask for help. My teachers were some of the best mentors I’ve had and I owe a lot of my schooling life to them. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for my teachers and my willingness to ask for help when I needed it.

Year 12 exams are some of the biggest you will come across but they are not the end of the world. If you prepare well and you try your hardest, you will be absolutely fine.

As important as your year 12 studies are, there are other important things in your life as well such as sleep, friends, family and a healthy study-life balance. Make sure you keep up your other activities and allow yourself some time to relax.

You will make it and don’t forget that there is a lot of summer coming up to look forward to.


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