Year 12 is not easy. If you’re in senior school, you’ve probably been made very aware of this several dozen times. However, as someone who was fairly successful in my final results—with an ATAR 96.10 and five A’s—I may be able to shed some light onto the several facets of Year 12 life, and how to finish on top at the end of the year.
It’s easy for teachers to instruct you to attack your assessment early in the term—and, chances are, you’ve probably started some of your past assignments at the eleventh hour and still performed fairly successfully—but you may be surprised to hear that their suggestions are valuable. When the assignment task sheet is distributed, you should highlight some of the more significant parts of the task outline, and browse through the criteria information to identify the core areas of focus for your work.
Sketch some basic dot points to help you arrange your paragraphs, so when you actually start writing, you will be fully prepared to just start writing—no messing around with paragraph structure at that point. When you delete material from your work, move it to a separate document; you never know if it will become useful later on (it often did for me). I typically keep my dot points and scrapped material within the same document, as they often influence each other and spark further discussion for my work. This may not work for everyone, but it worked a charm for me.
And study for your exams! Keep making dot points throughout the year, and narrow this down to the most significant information as you get closer to the exam. Don’t stop reading over these notes—the week before, the night before, the morning of. You will cherish those notes later on (even if you do feel tempted to throw them in the trash when the exam is over).
In my third term of Year 12, I had an exam and three assignments due within the same day—my final grades for these assessment pieces ranged from B+ to A+, and I certainly would not have achieved this had I not allowed myself the preparation time earlier in the term. In fact, I often criticised myself at the time for not preparing more than I did, as I felt that more time would have resulted in higher grades. Preparation is imperative, and the key to success in education.
Personal, Social and Work
Entering senior school, I was told that study takes over your life, and there will be no time for socialising or much of a personal life at all. While school and study certainly do take up a large amount of focus—and so it should—it is still possible to maintain a social life throughout Year 12. In fact, on weekends and after school, I would often spend my time with friends, or relax in my bedroom to recharge my energy for the week ahead. It is possible to stay social; you simply need to find the right balance. If you start your assessment early, as I’ve stated above, you will be able to spend some time with friends throughout the term. However, if you spend most of your time socialising instead of preparing for
If you start your assessment early, as I’ve stated above, you will be able to spend some time with friends throughout the term. However, if you spend most of your time socialising instead of preparing for assessment, you’ll probably make yourself very stressed towards the end of the term, and you will burn yourself out before the holidays even begin. Pace yourself correctly, and keep an organised (but flexible) schedule, and you will lead yourself to a happy and successful final year.
If you finish Year 12 with the goal of further education—whether it be TAFE or university—there are several options for you. You can apply to the establishment directly, or via a tertiary admissions centre (e.g. QTAC in Queensland, VTAC in Victoria). Make sure you pay the fees required to do so, and submit all outstanding documents for your chosen course/s.
Keep in mind that the decisions you make are not final—some establishments allow you to defer your course offer for 6-12 months, and some give the option to change courses depending on your grades in the first year. You are also under no obligation to finish your course or degree—I’m almost finished my first year at university, and I’ve recently discovered that my degree may not lead to the career that I truly wish to pursue in my life, so I am preparing to change that. Your life is not a book that has already been written—it’s up to you to write it yourself, so allow yourself the time and thought that you deserve, and allow yourself to unfollow your previous dreams if you feel yourself taking another path. The choice is yours.
If I could give advice to Year 12 students, it would be to stay prepared, stay organised, and keep an open mind. The future may seem dark and scary and messy, but it only stays that way if you let it. Stay positive, study hard, and get enough sleep. I wish you the best of luck, and I know that you will achieve the best in the future.
All the best,