Tim Howe graduated in 2015 with an ATAR of 98.65. He now studies Science and Education.
Well done, everyone – you’ve completed Term 1 of Year 12!
Unfortunately, Year 12 is more of a marathon than a sprint, and there are still a couple more terms, half a dozen exams and seemingly countless assessments before you’re actually finished the year.
It sucks, I know – I’ve been there.
So what’s the best way to approach Term 2?
Here are my top tips:
1. READJUST YOUR ATTITUDE
You’ve made it through the first term, which is great. If you smashed it, congratulations! If you struggled, that’s okay – you’ve still got plenty of time to rise back up.
At the beginning of Term 2, you really have to reset and readjust your attitude.
If you found Term 1 a breeze, that’s fantastic – but you can’t fall into the trap of thinking everything will be easy and that the rest of the year will be cruisy. You need to knuckle back down and have the same work ethic that you did at the start of the year.
If you found Term 1 really brutal, that’s fine as well. You just might need to adjust your attitude towards Year 12 – skew it more toward work and less towards 18ths. Or perhaps studying a bit smarter, as well as studying hard.
2. PUSH THROUGH IT
To be honest, Term 2 can be a really tough term. During Year 12, I found the first few weeks of Term 2 the hardest part of the entire year. The assessments start coming in thick and fast, and homework and study expectations keep rising. Exams start creeping into conversations and class discussions, but are still too far away to actually start preparing for.
In my opinion, Term 2 is the time of the year that you just have to get through. Put your head down, work consistently, do the necessary work and make sure you don’t fall behind. It can be really hard to catch up! Sometimes you just have to take it day by day. Or week by week. Tick off those assessments and keep moving forward.
3. WORK OUT A ROUTINE
There are often heaps of things going on in Term 1. New classes and classmates, orientation activities, school sports. All that jazz. This can make Term 1 feel like it’s over in a flash. Unfortunately, Term 2 often seems to drag past a lot slower. Not only is it actually longer (10 or 11 weeks compared to nine) but classes can become monotonous, rather than new and exciting.
This is why it’s a great opportunity, and usually really helpful, to develop a routine. This doesn’t mean you have to make a specific study timetable for different classes (although you can if that works for you). Rather, you just want to develop an idea of roughly when during the day or week that you want to be doing things. For example, I developed a routine of catching the bus home from school, doing roughly an hour and a half of study/homework, eating dinner and then relaxing.
If you play sports, like I did, then obviously they go into your routine as well. One handy hint – a lot of students write off Friday night completely. I managed to get into a routine of doing a couple of hours of homework/study on Friday night, which then let me take most of the weekend off as a break to play sport or catch up with friends. Whatever works for you.
4. DON’T THINK TOO FAR AHEAD
This might seem like the complete opposite of the advice that a lot of people are giving you. But there is some logic to it.
Term 2 is often the time that people start stressing out about the end-of-year exams and working themselves into a worried frenzy that they’re not smart enough to do Year 12 and everything is going to be super difficult and the whole world is going to crumble around them… and so on.
During Term 2, the exams are really too far ahead to actually prepare for and do anything productive about, so my advice is this. Try not to worry about them (as much as possible). There’s no point wasting time and energy stressing about them when you can’t do anything.
Instead, try and stay in the present as much as possible. Don’t worry too much about the big picture and where you might be ranked in your cohort for different subjects. Instead, work hard on nailing that next English essay, or that next Maths test. At the end of the day, that’s going to be much more helpful.
You’re already one term down, and that’s sick. You’re doing well!
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