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January 25, 2021, 08:49:02 am

Author Topic: How do I get an ATAR of 99+? Some study advice and Tips?  (Read 2359 times)

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Twisty314

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How do I get an ATAR of 99+? Some study advice and Tips?
« on: January 18, 2019, 10:25:25 am »
+1
Morning/Afternoon all!

This is probably one of the most popular questions here on ATARNotes, but I think it is worth asking again due to Queensland and our syllabus being shuffled. How can I get an ATAR above 99? I know its a strange thing to ask, because, hey, nobody in QLD has done it yet! But, if any of you know any tips or words of wisdom, please impart them onto to us!

I'm absolutely desperate to get a 99 or above, so even if you are uncertain about something you've heard, don't be afraid to share it anyway.
Thanks everyone, and good luck with QCE!  :)
QCE 2020:
English [], Biology [], Chemistry [], Physics [], Mathematical Methods [], Specialist Maths []

Lear

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Re: How do I get an ATAR of 99+? Some study advice and Tips?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 10:38:44 am »
+8
I can only give you general tips as I did VCE, not QCE.

- Stay ahead of your class for a few reasons. Firstly, you will eventually burn out and being ahead means you wonít be affected big time. Secondly, staying ahead means you can prepare for assessments weeks before which will obviously increase your performance. Lastly this means you can start preparations for exams much earlier

- Be organised. I know this is quite obvious but it is so so important. For example, I would use a checklist of things that I need to do everyday and used my calendar religiously. Super important to stay on top of things.

- do things outside of school work. This sounds counterintuitive but believe me it is really important. To do well you need a healthy brain and hugging your books 24/7 will not help you have a healthy brain. Eat well, exercise and relax time to time.

- Work with others. Learning and teaching others is SO useful. I canít emphasise this enough. I would genuinely hold revision sessions for all my friends where I helped them revise. Sure I did help them too but honestly this consolidated my own learning A LOT. Also for subjects like English I found teamwork to be the best way to explore ideas and themes. Year 12 is indeed a competition somewhat but teamwork should not be overlooked.


2018: ATAR: 99.35
Subjects
English: 44
Methods: 43
Further Maths: 50
Chemistry: 46
Legal: 40
2019: Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine @ Monash
Tutoring Methods, Further and Chemistry.
Selling high-quality notes for above subjects
Monash MMI Tutoring!

Twisty314

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Re: How do I get an ATAR of 99+? Some study advice and Tips?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2019, 08:23:59 pm »
0
Quote
I can only give you general tips as I did VCE, not QCE.

- Stay ahead of your class for a few reasons. Firstly, you will eventually burn out and being ahead means you wonít be affected big time. Secondly, staying ahead means you can prepare for assessments weeks before which will obviously increase your performance. Lastly this means you can start preparations for exams much earlier

- Be organised. I know this is quite obvious but it is so so important. For example, I would use a checklist of things that I need to do everyday and used my calendar religiously. Super important to stay on top of things.

- do things outside of school work. This sounds counterintuitive but believe me it is really important. To do well you need a healthy brain and hugging your books 24/7 will not help you have a healthy brain. Eat well, exercise and relax time to time.

- Work with others. Learning and teaching others is SO useful. I canít emphasise this enough. I would genuinely hold revision sessions for all my friends where I helped them revise. Sure I did help them too but honestly this consolidated my own learning A LOT. Also for subjects like English I found teamwork to be the best way to explore ideas and themes. Year 12 is indeed a competition somewhat but teamwork should not be overlooked.

Awesome Lear, thanks!

I am often ahead of my class in maths and science and english because I really enjoy studying these subjects. One question, how do you stay ahead, as in what did you do? Study over holidays, or get tutoring?

Yes, agreed! Organisation is key.

Having hobbies is a great way to de-stress, but I'm personally struggling to find a hobby  :-[ . Basically school is my hobby at the moment, but I know I should have another non-school related activity.

Definitely! Working with others, as you say, may help them which is all good and fine, but it actually reinforces your knowledge on a tough topic too! But as I go to a school that is very small (there's about 15 kids in my year - not class - whole year level!!) I'm like the only one who actually wants to get a 99+ and thus, nobody is really motivated to do study sessions with each other. Do you have any suggestions or ways I can still work with others?

Thanks so much Lear!
QCE 2020:
English [], Biology [], Chemistry [], Physics [], Mathematical Methods [], Specialist Maths []

Lear

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Re: How do I get an ATAR of 99+? Some study advice and Tips?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2019, 08:32:59 pm »
+2
Awesome Lear, thanks!

I am often ahead of my class in maths and science and english because I really enjoy studying these subjects. One question, how do you stay ahead, as in what did you do? Study over holidays, or get tutoring?

Yes, agreed! Organisation is key.

Having hobbies is a great way to de-stress, but I'm personally struggling to find a hobby  :-[ . Basically school is my hobby at the moment, but I know I should have another non-school related activity.

Definitely! Working with others, as you say, may help them which is all good and fine, but it actually reinforces your knowledge on a tough topic too! But as I go to a school that is very small (there's about 15 kids in my year - not class - whole year level!!) I'm like the only one who actually wants to get a 99+ and thus, nobody is really motivated to do study sessions with each other. Do you have any suggestions or ways I can still work with others?

Thanks so much Lear!

Personally I finished half of the content that I needed for that year in the holidays for all my subjects except further and legal. This built a great foundation from me and I kept chipping away at the content as the year went on. I also had a tutor for Methods but honestly I was ahead of that too. It was only of use as extra practice.

Definitely find another activity. School is not a hobby :D I'd recommend anything from a sport to volunteering in the community.

You don't need to work with genius kids or even kids aiming for a high ATAR. Even people who don't pay as much attention to their studies can offer great ideas and perspectives. While i don't have experience in your position, i'd recommend actually kindling your fellow student's interest in their studies. Believe it or not holding revision sessions for them also will benefit you a great amount. Plus you help others in terms of their education!
2018: ATAR: 99.35
Subjects
English: 44
Methods: 43
Further Maths: 50
Chemistry: 46
Legal: 40
2019: Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine @ Monash
Tutoring Methods, Further and Chemistry.
Selling high-quality notes for above subjects
Monash MMI Tutoring!

angewina_naguen

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Re: How do I get an ATAR of 99+? Some study advice and Tips?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2019, 08:53:30 pm »
+5
Hey, Twisty314!

Lear's advice aligns with mine  :) I did the HSC instead but I agree with the points raised in this thread. I wanted to suggest assigning "non-negotiables", as I called them during Year 12, for your week so you can pace yourself with tasks that you want to keep at the forefront of your priorities. These are mainly for assessments and homework. This helped with keeping me motivated especially when I had multiple essays to write and allowed me to work the rest of my study schedule around it. I ended up finding myself actually moving ahead with content once I completed my non-negotiables for the week and powering through more work over time.

As for a hobby, I would also recommend just going to the movies or hanging out with your friends. This can at the very least get you out of the house and give you complete down time before, during and/or after periods of stress. You can regulate how much down time you want but I definitely would recommend spending some time away from the desk to treat yourself  8)

Along with Lear's suggestion to invest in the studies of students with a diverse range of abilities, also consider using this forum  ;D The community on here is really friendly and willing to help you out wherever we can. You can submit work for feedback, discuss content or even just to ask advice and check in here and there. Hope this helps and good luck with your endeavours!

Angelina  ;D

-HSC 2018-

-ATAR-
97.50

-UNI 2019-2022-
Bachelor of Music (Music Education) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music

LifeisaConstantStruggle

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Re: How do I get an ATAR of 99+? Some study advice and Tips?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2019, 11:45:00 pm »
+4
Know what you need to learn, and learn to understand them WELL, your teachers should be able to indicate what's important and what's not.
Instead of routinely doing practices try to understand every question you get from back to front. Note down specific instances when you are stuck on a question or when you made a mistake, and collate them before your final exams so you know your weaknesses to be able to amend them effectively.
Spend more time on your own studies instead of competing with other people. Rankings might be important, but it's not everything.

most importantly,

Save your time for more important moments in your life, with your friends and family, which is far more important than a 4 digit number in the long run.
I'm paraphrasing this form The Office, but it'd be nice if you know you're in the good old days before you've actually left it.
2016-2017: VCE (ATAR: 99.3)
2018-2020: Bachelor of Actuarial Science (+ Econometrics), Monash
2021: Bachelor of Commerce (Honours), Econometrics & Financial Mathematics, Monash

Twisty314

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Re: How do I get an ATAR of 99+? Some study advice and Tips?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2019, 11:13:10 am »
+1
Wow, thanks guys! Awesome advice!

Quote
Personally I finished half of the content that I needed for that year in the holidays for all my subjects except further and legal. This built a great foundation from me and I kept chipping away at the content as the year went on. I also had a tutor for Methods but honestly I was ahead of that too. It was only of use as extra practice.

Definitely find another activity. School is not a hobby :D I'd recommend anything from a sport to volunteering in the community.

You don't need to work with genius kids or even kids aiming for a high ATAR. Even people who don't pay as much attention to their studies can offer great ideas and perspectives. While i don't have experience in your position, i'd recommend actually kindling your fellow student's interest in their studies. Believe it or not holding revision sessions for them also will benefit you a great amount. Plus you help others in terms of their education!

Sounds like a great idea finishing half the content from the start of the year, and then progressing from there. I'll definitely do this!  ;D

Yes school work probably isn't a great hobby, but the thing for me is I REALLY enjoy my subjects. But, yes, as you say, it shouldn't really a hobby; it's essential to have a life outside of school. I'm just struggling to find anything outside of school that interests me. I mean, I'd like to play a team sport, but my parents just don't really get around to letting me do that. They tell me I can exercise at home which is true, but, I'd really prefer to participate with other people and feel others presence other than my own.

I absolutely agree with you on the group feedback idea, and I would really love to do this, but I have already tried making a study group, and no one was really interested, and the fact that the school library is only open 3 days doesn't really help  :(. But maybe going into senior years may wake some of my classmates up, so I'll definitely try it again.

Thanks for the advice!

Quote
Hey, Twisty314!

Lear's advice aligns with mine  :) I did the HSC instead but I agree with the points raised in this thread. I wanted to suggest assigning "non-negotiables", as I called them during Year 12, for your week so you can pace yourself with tasks that you want to keep at the forefront of your priorities. These are mainly for assessments and homework. This helped with keeping me motivated especially when I had multiple essays to write and allowed me to work the rest of my study schedule around it. I ended up finding myself actually moving ahead with content once I completed my non-negotiables for the week and powering through more work over time.

As for a hobby, I would also recommend just going to the movies or hanging out with your friends. This can at the very least get you out of the house and give you complete down time before, during and/or after periods of stress. You can regulate how much down time you want but I definitely would recommend spending some time away from the desk to treat yourself  8)

Along with Lear's suggestion to invest in the studies of students with a diverse range of abilities, also consider using this forum  ;D The community on here is really friendly and willing to help you out wherever we can. You can submit work for feedback, discuss content or even just to ask advice and check in here and there. Hope this helps and good luck with your endeavours!

Angelina  ;D

Thanks Angelina, that's awesome!

Creating weekly tasks that need to be completed sounds like an effective strategy to not only getting needed things done, but also if you want to go beyond in your knowledge on a topic. I never thought of doing this, but I'll certainly start doing this this year. Thanks for the tip!

Argh, back to my embarrassing hobby situation ahaha. Well, as I said to Lear in this post, it's not like I dread school, so it's not always treating myself when I go do something else. Occasionally, I don't like to do school related things so I just play games on PC, which de-stresses me. But, it's certainly not an ideal hobby regarding a healthy balance - I can't be sitting all day. I think the thing for me is I enjoy exercise, as long as it's with some other people. Actually, I was at the movies a couple days ago lol. Thanks for the advice though! :)

I will definitely be using the forums. I just want to say 1 thing about the forums before I continue. It is the nicest, friendliest community I've bumped into so far. No one is selfish and everyone is happy to help each other here. I honestly don't know how this place has maintained such a great community! It's amazing!

Ahem, anyway, yes I'll be using these forums for questions, as well as for trying to answer others questions. With Lear I said a similar thing - I just don't know how to go about creating a study session or the like for unmotivated peers. Don't get me wrong - I will try and I would absolutely love to do study sessions with my peers, it's just I don't know how to begin it. Any ideas?

Thanks a bunch Angelina!! :)

Quote
Know what you need to learn, and learn to understand them WELL, your teachers should be able to indicate what's important and what's not.
Instead of routinely doing practices try to understand every question you get from back to front. Note down specific instances when you are stuck on a question or when you made a mistake, and collate them before your final exams so you know your weaknesses to be able to amend them effectively.
Spend more time on your own studies instead of competing with other people. Rankings might be important, but it's not everything.

most importantly,

Save your time for more important moments in your life, with your friends and family, which is far more important than a 4 digit number in the long run.
I'm paraphrasing this form The Office, but it'd be nice if you know you're in the good old days before you've actually left it

Hey LifeisaConstantStruggle! (sad username btw lol  :'()

Good advice! Better off understanding things from the start than waste time doing a bunch of prac exams to make sure you have (not to degrade prac exams, though, I probably wouldn't do too much  ;)). Comparing yourself can be a distraction when studying, so agreed, focus on individual improvement, and you'll improve in rankings. Nice tip!

And yes, definitely agree. Friends + family should always be much more important than a your ATAR, and you should treat them accordingly.

Thanks for the advice! :)
QCE 2020:
English [], Biology [], Chemistry [], Physics [], Mathematical Methods [], Specialist Maths []

angewina_naguen

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Re: How do I get an ATAR of 99+? Some study advice and Tips?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 12:03:20 pm »
+3
Quote
I will definitely be using the forums. I just want to say 1 thing about the forums before I continue. It is the nicest, friendliest community I've bumped into so far. No one is selfish and everyone is happy to help each other here. I honestly don't know how this place has maintained such a great community! It's amazing!

Ahem, anyway, yes I'll be using these forums for questions, as well as for trying to answer others questions. With Lear I said a similar thing - I just don't know how to go about creating a study session or the like for unmotivated peers. Don't get me wrong - I will try and I would absolutely love to do study sessions with my peers, it's just I don't know how to begin it. Any ideas?

Hey, Twisty314!

I'm glad you feel the same way about the forum  ;D We have some of the most helpful and friendly people around and even if we might have different curriculum, we will be more than happy to assist wherever we can  :)

As for creating a study session, pitch the idea to some of your closer friends who might be more interested first and see if they would study with you. Just bring up the idea with them in a conversation. Study sessions don't have to be formal and rigorous. I did some after school with my friends at the food court of the local shopping centre. I also had some in the library where it was a lot quieter. It just depends on what you and your peers may be interested in doing. You could start it off being a more casual session, quizzing each other over lunch or discussing topics across shared subjects. From there, you can gradually try to approach the idea of having bigger group study sessions and you'll have the support of your friends for it.

Our teachers also organised some holiday workshops where we did group studying and I found those particularly helpful in collaborating with my classmates. Perhaps bring up the idea with your teachers and see if they would be up for organising a peer study session? That can help get more people to work together too  :) Hope this helps! I'm sure you will find a way to do it  8)

Angelina  ;D

-HSC 2018-

-ATAR-
97.50

-UNI 2019-2022-
Bachelor of Music (Music Education) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Jigsaw

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Re: How do I get an ATAR of 99+? Some study advice and Tips?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2019, 01:10:59 pm »
+3
Hey Twisty  :)

I also am from the VCE system so I can't really get into any specifics. However, from my experience, I just want to stress how important it is that you look after both your physical and mental health during the year. Sleep is extremely important and a non-negotiable; try to ensure you're getting around 7-8 hours minimum a night. I'm not going to hamper on about the benefits of sleep (you probably already know these), but a lack of it will make your study and ability to concentrate lot harder. To get a 99+, you need to be present and alert in your classes, consolidating what you know and understanding what you don't. You can't do this when your sleep deprived. If you're in a position where you can spend an extra 30 minutes revising at 11:30pm or getting an extra 30 minutes sleep, I'd advise going with the sleep option. You'll be better off for it in the long-run.

Also, make sure you keep your extracurriculars up. Throughout my year 12 year, I was a part of the tennis, cross country and debating teams, was house captain and had a part-time job until 3rd term. Keeping these activities up was extremely advantageous, as not only did it provide me an outlet/break from my studies, but it also ensured I was able to keep me both physically and mentally active. If you neglect this part of school, you run the risk of overworking yourself and suffering burnout. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you need to be studying 24/7 to achieve a high score; do things that you enjoy, too. If you do, you'll return to your studies refreshed and it'll make studying a lot easier. In saying this, don't sign up for more activities than what you can handle; try and find a balance.

From my experience, keeping a timetable or a schedule on when all your upcoming assessments are is also invaluable, so I'd also recommend doing this. Once you know the date of an assessment, you can set targets/goals in terms of having content learnt by a certain date, completing practice tasks etc. I'm not sure with QCE, but with VCE it is mandatory for at least one week's notice to be given before an internal assessment task, so this method really worked well for me.

There (most likely) will be be times in the year where you'll feel extremely disheartened; you may not perform as well as you had liked in an assessment or feel as if you'll never be able to understand a certain concept.. This is completely normal! What you need to realise from this is a) everybody will feel this way during the year and b) you need to take these moments as a learning experience and learn from them. This happened to me with Accounting; I underperformed severely in an internal assessment task and was extremely disappointed with my score. Although I could've chosen to give-up there and just accept I'd never get a good score, I put a lot of time into focusing on what I didn't understand with that test, made notes, rectified my mistakes, and overall, learnt from them. Whilst its normal to feel disappointed to begin with, you need to learn from these moments, as hard as that may initially be.

Sorry if I've rambled on a bit; best of luck with the year :)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 01:19:23 pm by Jigsaw »
2017: | Business Management [47] |
2018: | Legal Studies [50] (Premier's) | English [48] | Accounting [41] | Japanese SL [38] | Maths Methods [32] |

ATAR: 99.40 2019 Onwards: Laws (Hons)/Arts @ Monash

Twisty314

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Re: How do I get an ATAR of 99+? Some study advice and Tips?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2019, 03:22:50 pm »
+1
Quote
Hey, Twisty314!

I'm glad you feel the same way about the forum  ;D We have some of the most helpful and friendly people around and even if we might have different curriculum, we will be more than happy to assist wherever we can  :)

As for creating a study session, pitch the idea to some of your closer friends who might be more interested first and see if they would study with you. Just bring up the idea with them in a conversation. Study sessions don't have to be formal and rigorous. I did some after school with my friends at the food court of the local shopping centre. I also had some in the library where it was a lot quieter. It just depends on what you and your peers may be interested in doing. You could start it off being a more casual session, quizzing each other over lunch or discussing topics across shared subjects. From there, you can gradually try to approach the idea of having bigger group study sessions and you'll have the support of your friends for it.

Our teachers also organised some holiday workshops where we did group studying and I found those particularly helpful in collaborating with my classmates. Perhaps bring up the idea with your teachers and see if they would be up for organising a peer study session? That can help get more people to work together too  :) Hope this helps! I'm sure you will find a way to do it  8)

Angelina  ;D

Sweet, thanks for the advice Angelina! I will most certainly try to discuss creating a study session with my friends or teachers. There is a local library, within very close range of our school, so maybe I can invite them there sometime after school. Thanks for the ideas! :)

Quote
Hey Twisty  :)

I also am from the VCE system so I can't really get into any specifics. However, from my experience, I just want to stress how important it is that you look after both your physical and mental health during the year. Sleep is extremely important and a non-negotiable; try to ensure you're getting around 7-8 hours minimum a night. I'm not going to hamper on about the benefits of sleep (you probably already know these), but a lack of it will make your study and ability to concentrate lot harder. To get a 99+, you need to be present and alert in your classes, consolidating what you know and understanding what you don't. You can't do this when your sleep deprived. If you're in a position where you can spend an extra 30 minutes revising at 11:30pm or getting an extra 30 minutes sleep, I'd advise going with the sleep option. You'll be better off for it in the long-run.

Also, make sure you keep your extracurriculars up. Throughout my year 12 year, I was a part of the tennis, cross country and debating teams, was house captain and had a part-time job until 3rd term. Keeping these activities up was extremely advantageous, as not only did it provide me an outlet/break from my studies, but it also ensured I was able to keep me both physically and mentally active. If you neglect this part of school, you run the risk of overworking yourself and suffering burnout. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you need to be studying 24/7 to achieve a high score; do things that you enjoy, too. If you do, you'll return to your studies refreshed and it'll make studying a lot easier. In saying this, don't sign up for more activities than what you can handle; try and find a balance.

From my experience, keeping a timetable or a schedule on when all your upcoming assessments are is also invaluable, so I'd also recommend doing this. Once you know the date of an assessment, you can set targets/goals in terms of having content learnt by a certain date, completing practice tasks etc. I'm not sure with QCE, but with VCE it is mandatory for at least one week's notice to be given before an internal assessment task, so this method really worked well for me.

There (most likely) will be be times in the year where you'll feel extremely disheartened; you may not perform as well as you had liked in an assessment or feel as if you'll never be able to understand a certain concept.. This is completely normal! What you need to realise from this is a) everybody will feel this way during the year and b) you need to take these moments as a learning experience and learn from them. This happened to me with Accounting; I underperformed severely in an internal assessment task and was extremely disappointed with my score. Although I could've chosen to give-up there and just accept I'd never get a good score, I put a lot of time into focusing on what I didn't understand with that test, made notes, rectified my mistakes, and overall, learnt from them. Whilst its normal to feel disappointed to begin with, you need to learn from these moments, as hard as that may initially be.

Sorry if I've rambled on a bit; best of luck with the year :)

Hey Jigsaw!

That's perfectly fine that you're from another system, I am open to any advice! Good point - though you may get in a couple more hours of study, it may be pointless as you can't focus when you're tired. Last year I wasn't up working on school work beyond 10:30-ish and served me well academically but also physically.

Yes! Definitely! Having a life outside of school is critical. I absolutely agree!

Actually, I just realised I kept a schedule of dates for assessments. I have an online calendar where I put dates for tests and assignments etc. And yes, same here in QLD, the teachers must give at least 1 week notice prior to an assessment. Thanks for the heads up! ;)

Completely true. When trying to reach a goal, at times you will feel disappointed, but you can either learn from it or mope about it. A strategy about this that I've heard other high achiever's do is create a logbook of errors. Did you do this and would you recommend it?

No worries Jigsaw! I don't mind people rambling about invaluable advice to help me achieve my goals! ahaha  :D
QCE 2020:
English [], Biology [], Chemistry [], Physics [], Mathematical Methods [], Specialist Maths []