Whether you have already started your Year 12 studies or your school is saving the fun and games for next year, it’s a good idea to get ahead over the summer holidays. This will give you the confidence you need to ace your studies in 2023, no matter what subjects you do. Here are 10 productive things you can do these holidays.


Read the syllabus

Each state has a syllabus that details what topics you’ll learn, what assessments you’ll do and the criteria you’ll be marked on. Syllabuses are publicly available online for you to use to your advantage.

These documents are invaluable because you can use them as study guides to ensure you’ve studied every possible topic or question that could appear on an exam. Syllabuses usually detail the conditions for exams and assignments, like how many words you need to write, how many hours or weeks you’re given to complete it and roughly how many sections or questions there are. You can also get an idea of what your assignments will be about.


Ask about your next topic

Asking your teacher or the head of the department about your next topic or text will likely give you more school-specific information than the syllabus. Your school may have a specific system that they follow every year, such as a particular English book students must study. Asking about this before the holidays will allow you to do targeted study before school resumes.


Read texts in advance

Checking the syllabus or asking your teacher about what plays or books you’re studying next year is only step 1. Try to read plays or books over the holidays so you have more time to understand them. Search for copies of them online, borrow a physical copy from your school or ask your school for early access to a digital version.

The plays students typically study are often from different eras, meaning the language they use is harder to understand. Of course, when something’s harder to understand, it requires more of a time commitment. In subjects like English and Literature, you may be comparing a play or book to a film or television episode, so you could watch these in advance too.

Of course, when something’s harder to understand, it requires more of a time commitment.


Use your textbooks

If your school has physical textbooks, ask if you can take one or more home. If your school has digital textbooks, make sure you know how to access these from home before the school year wraps up. Many textbooks have helpful practice exercises that you can do, examples that you can analyse and general learning material that can help you understand your subject.

It’s unlikely that you’ve ever looked through your textbooks in great detail because your teacher probably assigns you specific chapters to work on, so you may be pleasantly surprised by the gems you find.


Do practice exams

In addition to the syllabus, your state will probably have a database of previous exam papers. Once you’ve studied your topic or text enough to feel confident, it’s worthwhile to test your knowledge by doing these papers in exam conditions. This will not only help you improve your knowledge of the content, but it will also help you to improve your exam skills, like using planning time wisely, managing your exam time and staying within the required word count.


Practise writing different genres

The best way to get better at writing is to write. You may like to identify specific genres of writing that you struggle with and focus on those, or practise writing a range of genres. Examples include essays, persuasive speeches, creative short stories, poems and reports. You can find inspiration for what to write about online, from the syllabus or from your teacher. Alternatively, you could just use your imagination!

The best way to get better at writing is to write.


Work on your grammar

Regardless of which subjects you do, grammar will always be a skill you’ll need. Where there is writing, there is grammar. Read your work out aloud, read it to other people and get others to read it. Do online grammar courses, seek tutoring or do desktop research to help you improve.


Make lists of questions

As you study, compile a list of questions for your teacher or teachers. There are bound to be questions you can’t do or errors you can’t find. You may also like to ask your teachers to check your work so they can provide feedback and give you advice on what areas of improvement you should focus on.


Create a study plan

As you start to get an idea of your schedule, try to create a study plan for the new year. You may designate certain time blocks during the school week to focus on homework and others time blocks to do additional study. This will help you balance your personal life and school life.


Have a break

Last but not least, have a break! You need to recharge before going into your final year of schooling, and you deserve it.


Have a go at some or all of the tips above during the summer holidays to get prepared for the new year. Good luck!