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May 19, 2021, 04:08:09 am

Author Topic: My QCE journey to surviving and hopefully obtaining happiness.  (Read 1337 times)

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Britnium

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Whoaaaaaaa okay so honestly I had no idea what these 'journal' things I've been seeing floating around the forum were until a few hours ago, but hey. Call me britnium. And as for pronouns, I go by any!

As of now I am currently putting off doing my specialist PSMT; I'm just overwhelmed by everything and think I just need to take a break for the rest of the day and get back into the flow tomorrow. But yeah, here's a little introduction of me and my QCE journey.

As of now, I'm hoping to get a job in the engineering industry or even astrophysics if I'm lucky, since my grades in physics and maths are pretty solid at the moment; they're both subjects that I genuinely enjoy. But honestly, I don't know why I'm doing this all. Yeah, I know I'm definitely set on getting a job and becoming independent but for what purpose? To work my butt off and then just disappear? I'll let adult me figure that out; right now, all I need to do is get a decent ATAR.

I'm currently studying:
1. Mathematical Methods
2. General English
3. Physics
4. Chemistry
5. Specialist Mathematics
6. Japanese

ABOUT ME
I'm currently in grade 11 but I've just started unit 3, so will be graduating in 2021. I have a few interests that aren't school-related: I think the fact that I'm studying Japanese makes it obvious already, but I'm a huge anime fan. Japanese has been something I've been passionate about since starting it in grade 7, and was actually what got me into anime. I've managed to top the subject in my grade four years in a row, and in grade 10 I was offered a scholarship by Queensland Education to participate in a STEM student exchange tour in Tokyo - probably one of the best experiences in my life so far. I was scheduled to go on exchange again this year in December, but because of COVID and whatnot those plans have gone down the drain. My grasp on the language is also pretty strong - I can hold a conversation (but with absolutely broken Japanese) without problem and can understand most anime/shows without subtitles (provided that the plot is pretty straightforward). I'm currently self-studying for JLPT N4/N3! I hope to also pick up some other languages once I graduate, maybe Spanish, German or Vietnamese (which was actually my first language before English but I've literally forgotten it all now HAHA).

I'm also an avid stationery hoarder. I run a study/bujogram on Instagram focusing on note-taking and anime journaling! If you're curious you can find me at @mafumafues. If anyone else here runs a studygram or anything similar, please let me know your handle names! I would love to gain some mutuals doing QCE as well :)

Lastly, I guess I'm kind of into music? I also used to play piano, but since my piano teacher moved away I haven't been playing as much. Recently, I've been listening to a lot of indie (Dayglow, Grizzly Bear) and Japanese math rock - def a genre of music you should check out if you're into foreign music. I also listen to J-POP from time to time; it's not one of my fav genres but because of anime and 2D idols I listen to the genre quite often haha

UNIT 1 AND 2 SUMMARY
Heading into grade 11 I was really scared. For my whole life I have been told that the biggest jump in high school was from grade 10 to 11, and that A+ students were bound to go down to B's. And I can definitely see why - boy, unit 1 and 2 was tough. But somehow, I managed to power through and obtained grades that I'm pretty satisfied with.

METHODS
FA1 - 15/20. This was our first assessment for the year and was a PSMT - my worst assessment piece in all of school. So getting this back, I wasn't surprised with my mark but I definitely was disappointed, for this was my first B in maths since grade 8 I think? But it definitely did push me to achieve higher in methods and even spesh.
FA2 - 15/15. I was pretty pleased with this, but overall the exam was really easy; my class was dominated by 14's and had 2 15's.
FA3 - 14/15. The exam was pretty straightforward until the last complex unfamiliar question - this was where everything went downhill. I managed to score around two marks for it though - thank the gods we get marks for writing down formulae.

SPECIALIST
FA1 - 15/15. I was really happy with this mark! The content imo was really hard (esp. combinations and permutations, proof) so I worked so hard only expecting tops a 13 on this test. But I managed to power through to situate myself at the top of my class!
FA2 - 17/20. Gotta love PSMT's. Honestly I was a little disappointed, but again, PSMT's are my weak point, so gotta give myself some credit there.
FA3 - 13/15. This was officially one of the hardest exams I have ever taken in my life. So although I dropped from unit 1, I'm definitely happy with my mark.

ENGLISH
FA1 - 25/25. I was really surprised with this one - our assessment piece was a persuasive oral. I'm not the type of person good at expressing my emotions, and being someone that experiences social anxiety this I may have vomited multiple times when preparing for my oral. Really happy with how I did!
FA2 - 24/25. This was a short story. During this time I was so focused on specialist because I was really struggling with the content - the course was really crammed. Online school didn't help with my specialist studies either. So because I was so focused on specialist, I did SO bad on my draft; I think I got around more than half of the ticks in 'needs attention' for my draft? After seeing that, I completely changed everything. A little risky, but it got me there in the end.

PHYSICS
FA1 - 9/10. Data test.
FA2 - 20/20. Research Investigation.
FA3 - 20/20. Student Experiment.
FA4 (school's attempt at recreating the unit 3 and 4 external exam) - 49/50.
Physics in grade 11 was literally such a calm subject for me. I knew no one in my class, so I never really had to interact in class (which is a plus for me since I'm one of the biggest introverts out there) and the overlap with chem and spesh really helped.

CHEMISTRY
FA1 - 10/10. Data test.
FA2 - 8/8. It was a research investigation, but bc of COVID we were only assessed on the evaluation and conclusion.
FA3 - 20/20. Student experiment.
FA4 (same as physics - practice external) - 41/41.
OKAY CHEMISTRY WAS OFFICIALLY MY BEST SUBJECT THIS YEAR KUROO ARE YOU PROUD OF ME (if ur a haikyuu stan can we pls be friends SFLDSJFDSLKFJSDSE)

JAPANESE
FA1 - 15/15. This was listening and reading.
FA2 - 29/30. This was writing and speaking in the form of a one-on-one spontaneous interview with the teacher. Gotta love losing marks for going over word limit under test conditions ;)

I'm yet to receive my FA3 marks for English and Japanese! Hopefully I'll receive them some time during this week (week 3 of term 4). But overall, I'm really proud of how I did in grade 11.

So yeah, I'm probably going to end it here and try to get something down for my spec PSMT; I literally have NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING AHHH. I don't think I will be updating often, but I'll try to update when something important has happened in school (typically getting marks back). Thank you for reading this far, and I hope to see you soon!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 09:13:15 pm by Britnium »
QCE Class of 2021: General English | Mathematical Methods | Specialist Mathematics | Physics | Chemistry | Japanese

zhongli pls come home ;-;

Owlbird83

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Re: My QCE journey to surviving and hopefully obtaining happiness.
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2020, 09:40:03 pm »
+8
Hi Britnium!

I just followed your studygram because wow your notes are SOOO satisfyingly neat!! How is it possible to set them out so perfectly!?! Does it take a long time to create a page?

Do you have a favourite pen brand or type?

Good luck with your subjects!  :D
2018: Biology
2019: Chemistry, Physics, Math Methods, English, Japanese
2020: Bachelor of Psychology (Monash)

Britnium

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Re: My QCE journey to surviving and hopefully obtaining happiness.
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2020, 10:25:55 pm »
+7
Hi Britnium!

I just followed your studygram because wow your notes are SOOO satisfyingly neat!! How is it possible to set them out so perfectly!?! Does it take a long time to create a page?

Do you have a favourite pen brand or type?

Good luck with your subjects!  :D

AHHHHH HI OWL I SAW YOUR FOLLOW AND WAS WONDERING IF IT WAS YOU HAHA thank you so much for the follow!!  I'm flattered that you think they're perfect because honestly it isn't anything special :)

It really depends on how much effort I put into them. Typically for science notes where I draw lots of diagrams it can take up to one hour! For my math notes though which predominantly include worked examples and a few formulae, usually around 30 to 40 minutes!

As for pen brands and types, my go-to for writing is the Sarasa zebra clip in 0.5mm! They work really well for exams where you can't afford to spend time forcing the ink out of pens - something that you typically experience with ballpoint pens :(
For calligraphy, I love using the Pentel Fude Touch Brush pens or Tombows, and for highlighters I use mildliners - nothing fancy  :D

Your calligraphy is immaculate by the way   ;D ;)
QCE Class of 2021: General English | Mathematical Methods | Specialist Mathematics | Physics | Chemistry | Japanese

zhongli pls come home ;-;

Britnium

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Re: My QCE journey to surviving and hopefully obtaining happiness.
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2020, 06:23:36 pm »
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Okay, I think it's time for an update!!

So it's been a little over a month since I've started unit 3 now. Since then, I've received all my unit 2 assessment back along with my unit 2 report card, have completed all my drafts for all my current assignments, and have handed in my unit 3 specialist PSMT which I just got back today!!

Starting with a rundown of the subjects I didn't get to talk about last time and how I did with them in unit 2!

ENGLISH FA3 - 46/55
So this was the equivalent of a BORDERLINE A-. The assessment piece was an extended response under exam conditions to a question relating to the post-apocalyptic novel we studied that unit. Overall, the grade 11 cohort dropped significantly for this assessment piece. My class up until this piece never had any fails. Some other classes as well had C's as their highest mark, and I think this goes to show how much we all need to reflect on our analytical writing haha

JAPANESE FA3 - 29/30 (unconfirmed)
I actually got marked down on this because I simply interpreted one of the stimulus in a fairly different way to how the answer was modeled, which, when you consider the nature of text analysis, is rather uncanny; there should be no black or white answer. At least, that's what we've been taught in English  :-\ My teacher is still confirming this though, and may be able to mark me up to a 30!

Okay, and now for the big one - my specialist IA1 (PSMT). This was officially the CRAZIEST PSMT I have ever done. Big kudos to keltingmeith and Bri over on the QCE specialist help forum for your input on this assignment, because holy heck I needed it.

So, my overall result (it's still being moderated, but my teacher and I don't think it's likely to change) was 19/20! This is the highest mark I've ever received on a PSMT before (I've only ever done 5 - almost 6 if you include my methods one due this Friday), so I am so glad that I finally managed to nail it where it actually matters. My teacher was really disappointed that she couldn't award me full marks; I got marked down on simply denoting my models a D1, D2 etc. rather than describing them as growth models, decline models and the like. And I understand why - it's a really easy fix. But honestly, I'm not going to get too hung up about it;  I've already done way better than I have previously. So yeah, first specialist assessment done and dusted!

Now what's next? I've already mentioned that my methods PSMT is due this Friday; compared to specialist, though, it's the easiest thing I've ever seen in my life (we're designing a waterslide and analysing the thrill and acceleration through differentiation). And I definitely won't let my mistakes in specialist bring me down for this PSMT - just hoping that I don't get brought down elsewhere yikes

Next week I have my English IA1 due on Friday, which I'm pretty confident in also; drafting went pretty smoothly, and there isn't a lot to fix up. Also on next week Wednesday is my chem data test and Japanese listening and reading. Not too confident about chem (my teacher isn't the best, so I have a lot of self-studying to do). My physics data test is then the week after and then... I'm finished with the year!!

Lastly, we should be finding out who duxed what subjects soon... I'm sitting on an 100 for chem so I'm hoping I'll get that in the bag! As for physics, I'm on 98; I have a chance, but given how big and competitive my school is (we have around 3000 students) I'm pretty sure there's at least a few other kids that got 99 or even a few that got 100. We'll see soon enough though :)

Hope to see you all again soon!
QCE Class of 2021: General English | Mathematical Methods | Specialist Mathematics | Physics | Chemistry | Japanese

zhongli pls come home ;-;

Bri MT

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Re: My QCE journey to surviving and hopefully obtaining happiness.
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2020, 09:24:38 pm »
+5
Congratulations!!!

Sounds like you've had an amazing start to your IAs.

Wow my school was much smaller.  Is that fairly similar to the size it had in year 7 or has it grown a lot?

If you ever have any chem questions please feel free to ask! Make sure you get the equilibrium stuff down and confident because that then feeds into the pH section; if you fall behind it can get overwhelming quickly.

Best of luck! 

Britnium

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Re: My QCE journey to surviving and hopefully obtaining happiness.
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2021, 01:50:57 pm »
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Hello hello! I think it's time for an update.

I've been at school for around two weeks, officially as a senior now! We've recently received our senior jerseys and badges, and are now on to starting our IA2's! To be honest, it still hasn't registered with me that I'm in grade 12. Content-wise, perhaps, but mentally, definitely not. Spending the majority of my social life interacting with people younger than me definitely hasn't helped  ???

Not sure if I mentioned it already, but the year 11 subject duxes for my school were also released! I only managed to dux chemistry, but was also really close in the running for physics and specialist. So yeah, year 11 went pretty smoothly!

There's also been a lot of talk going on with my teachers about the seniors' results last year. So my school received 18 above 99 ATAR's, and 44% received above 91 (OP 1-5). For a state high school, that's pretty damn good, and with the way results have been going in the past years since I entered grade 7, it definitely was a shocker. We even got one 99.95! But with all these exceptional results, there has definitely been a lot of pressure from teachers on our current senior cohort. I definitely am excited to see how things will play out, though.

So I think I will end this entry with a recap of my unmentioned IA1 results, now that they have been finalised!

Methods - 20/20 (really unexpected since I absolutely suck at PSMT's)
Japanese - 13/15 (HAHA I don't know what happened here but we'll leave it at that)
Physics - 10/10
Chemistry - 9/10 (I was borderline 10, but I wasn't expecting it anyhow; a trend I've noticed in the past years is that I tend to drop slightly for the subjects I dux the year after  ;D hopefully I'll pick myself back up later)
English - 24/25

Congratulations!!!

Sounds like you've had an amazing start to your IAs.

Wow my school was much smaller.  Is that fairly similar to the size it had in year 7 or has it grown a lot?

If you ever have any chem questions please feel free to ask! Make sure you get the equilibrium stuff down and confident because that then feeds into the pH section; if you fall behind it can get overwhelming quickly.

Best of luck! 


Thank you so much Bri!! And so sorry for the 3 month late reply   :( 

I think back when I was in grade 7 there were around only 2000 students? And we've been accepting around 100-200 more each year, so we definitely are getting bigger haha
 
-

So I think I will end this entry here! I will be sure to update some other time during this term. Looking forward to seeing you all soon!
QCE Class of 2021: General English | Mathematical Methods | Specialist Mathematics | Physics | Chemistry | Japanese

zhongli pls come home ;-;

Britnium

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Re: My QCE journey to surviving and hopefully obtaining happiness.
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2021, 05:11:42 pm »
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Update time again!

So recently with college admissions results being released over in the US, there's been an influx on my social media feeds of college reaction videos, which prompted me to look more into the admissions tips (purely out of curiosity).  Studying in the US has always been a side unrealistic dream of mine; in ninth grade I was really set on going to UCLA but was later scared out of the idea after attending a conference session on the admissions process. However, I'm starting to reconsider. I definitely won't be applying for undergraduate school, because:
1. It doesn't differ much from other universities
2. I don't think I am mentally prepared to move solo to the US
3. My EC's aren't the best and I am sure they won't get me into any famous schools AHA

Rather, I'm starting to look into exchange programs, and am thinking of maybe spending 1 or 2 semesters over in the US while enrolled at an Aus uni. UPenn and UC Berkeley's exchange programs have definitely piqued my interest as of now; hopefully exchange will be up and running again when I'm eligible to apply! Until then, I'll definitely be trying to balance academics with EC's more to build up my repertoire. If anyone has any experience at all with applying for exchange, particularly for more competitive universities, any advice would be greatly appreciated!

On a more current note - half of my IA2's have now been completed and marked! Fortunately, I was able to obtain full marks in all of them:
Specialist - 15/15
Methods - 15/15
English - 25/25

Specialist was something I definitely wasn't expecting. Our teachers, after seeing how the whole grade on average performed, admitted to making the exam too hard; there were only two 15's in the grade and lots of fails on top of that. The paper was definitely tough, however, I think it was a matter of there being too many questions rather than difficulty. Luckily I realized that early on, so I went full-on Dream-mode attempted to speedrun both papers, barely checking any of my answers, which, in the end, got me where I needed.

I also got a STEM research internship! I was meant to complete this on the April holidays at QUT, but with the QLD lockdown, it was rescheduled to the July holidays. Definitely looking forward to it.

So what's next?

I'll be having my Japanese IA2 in two weeks time. I think I should be set for speaking (session 2), something that exchange has and will forever help with, but I'm a bit worried for reading and answering questions in English (session 1). Analysis has never been a strength of mine  :-\
Also in two weeks time are the due dates for my chem and physics student experiments. Hoping that these will go smoothly as they did last year!

I think that's about it for this update  :)  Wishing everyone the best of luck with their studies; I'll see you all next time!
QCE Class of 2021: General English | Mathematical Methods | Specialist Mathematics | Physics | Chemistry | Japanese

zhongli pls come home ;-;

Bri MT

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Re: My QCE journey to surviving and hopefully obtaining happiness.
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2021, 07:32:56 pm »
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omg congratulations!!!!

Absolutely excellent results obviously & the internship sounds very cool - do you know what you'll be doing?

Britnium

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Re: My QCE journey to surviving and hopefully obtaining happiness.
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2021, 05:15:48 pm »
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omg congratulations!!!!

Absolutely excellent results obviously & the internship sounds very cool - do you know what you'll be doing?

Thank you so much! I'll be doing some research with two other students and a professor on photochemistry :) We've been given a few readings and the content is starting to get a little daunting since things seem to be taking a quantum physics-ish turn,, looking forward to getting myself boiled up in a pot of confusion HAHA
QCE Class of 2021: General English | Mathematical Methods | Specialist Mathematics | Physics | Chemistry | Japanese

zhongli pls come home ;-;

Bri MT

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Re: My QCE journey to surviving and hopefully obtaining happiness.
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2021, 08:04:18 pm »
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Thank you so much! I'll be doing some research with two other students and a professor on photochemistry :) We've been given a few readings and the content is starting to get a little daunting since things seem to be taking a quantum physics-ish turn,, looking forward to getting myself boiled up in a pot of confusion HAHA

No worries! Would it really be research if it wasn't daunting? :P
Keep in mind that the professor won't expect you to know all of the answers and it's completely ok to say you don't understand something.

I'm assuming you're looking at the light dependent reaction of photosynthesis then. I looked at this in 1st year uni and I remember finding the high efficiency of energy transfer to the photosystems being explained by quantum mechanics interesting but I can't say we went into much depth on that at all.

For QCE physics you will need to know about the photon model of light so getting started on that early might be an advantage :)