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November 29, 2020, 12:43:50 pm

Author Topic: Unsure and worried  (Read 345 times)

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Bubblesxgrapes-_+

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Unsure and worried
« on: October 22, 2020, 12:03:38 am »
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Iím currently in year 9 this year. My school is pretty trash and the teachers teach us the bare minimum, but I love to learn so I asked my principal if I can go into year 11 next year. He said yes and I have half of term one to see if I can handle it. My brother has been telling me itís a stupid idea and Iíll get a better ATAR if I do two VCE subjects for year 10 and donít move up (this may be because he doesnít want me in his classes, he doesnít want me to study all the time, or he cares). I really donít want to waist my time on the same work I did this year again. The current year 10 at my school are at a similar level to me. I plan to do English, Methods, Physics, Chemistry and biology (I want to be a scientist). I want to get the highest ATAR I can because I want to get into a good Uni but now Iím doubting myself. Iím a quick learner and these subjects get me excited. Opinions?
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keltingmeith

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Re: Unsure and worried
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2020, 10:30:47 am »
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Hey man, welcome to the forums. It's neat to see someone here wanting to be a scientist - I'm currently in a career as a scientist myself, though I will be changing that soon for reasons I'll disclose near the end.

On some level, your brother is right - think about it. Year 11 does not affect your ATAR, year 12 does. If you were to do 2, or even 3, VCE subjects next year, and then in year 11 you did 3 year 12 subjects, that's only 3 VCE subjects each year that will affect your ATAR, instead of the typical 4 or 5. On top of that, if you do year 11 next year, and year 12 the year after, you'll only get 5 subjects to count to your ATAR, instead of the maximum 6 - I did an analysis months ago that showed your 5th and 6th subject won't affect you much if you're only aiming for a middling ATAR, like 60-80, anyway, but why not get the advantage if you can?

On another level - maths is super useful, no matter WHAT type of scientist you want to be. You should aim to study as much maths as you can, while you can. I noticed you don't have specialist in your list - it's definitely a subject you should be thinking about doing. If you only do 3 VCE subjects next year, then that means you'll have another 1 you can do in year 12, and that one could be specialist (which if your school doesn't offer, you can do by distance education).

If you think you're capable, and your teachers and principal are happy to accelerate you, then you likely are. Nobody knows you like you do, and nobody's had to judge you more than your teachers have. But the bonuses to not accelerating aren't as simple as you'll get to learn year 10 subjects, they also include being able to take more VCE subjects to get a bigger ATAR at the end of it all. Not to mention, if you wanted to, you could look into doing a university enhancement subject in year 12, so you'd still get a taste of uni in 2023 anyway, even if you aren't there full time. (I believe this can be done even if commuting to the university regularly isn't feasible).

I guess my question to you is, why in such a rush to grow up? I'm not gonna feed you some bullshit like, "high school will be the best years of your life", because I hated high school lmao (and now I'm trying to go back to it, oops). But just because it's not the best years of your life, doesn't mean its not worth staying there for an extra year if it means long-term or even short-term benefits.

As for why I'm getting out, and one reason I would suggest not rushing to finish VCE ASAP - doing science in Australia is a dead field right now, and it's going to take about a decade to recover. It's still worth doing, particularly someone who's so far away from being a scientist (3 years of high school + 3 years of undergrad + 1 year of honours + 4 years of PhD = 10 years), but it is worth giving the field economy as long as possible to recover. If your aim is being a scientist, waiting a bit longer for the scientific field to get better could be in your favour.

Feel free to ask if you want anything clarified
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heids

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Re: Unsure and worried
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2020, 01:45:44 pm »
+9
Iím currently in year 9 this year. My school is pretty trash and the teachers teach us the bare minimum, but I love to learn so I asked my principal if I can go into year 11 next year. He said yes and I have half of term one to see if I can handle it. My brother has been telling me itís a stupid idea and Iíll get a better ATAR if I do two VCE subjects for year 10 and donít move up (this may be because he doesnít want me in his classes, he doesnít want me to study all the time, or he cares). I really donít want to waist my time on the same work I did this year again. The current year 10 at my school are at a similar level to me. I plan to do English, Methods, Physics, Chemistry and biology (I want to be a scientist). I want to get the highest ATAR I can because I want to get into a good Uni but now Iím doubting myself. Iím a quick learner and these subjects get me excited. Opinions?

Yay, a question I can uniquely answer!  I also skipped year 10.  For me personally, it was an excellent move that I never regretted.

I absolutely hated year 9.  I felt we learnt literally nothing all year in any classes - and why else was I spending precious time at school?!  I went to my principal and told them they would either let me skip year 10 or I'd drop out (it wasn't an empty threat - I knew my TAFE to uni pathways well).  They agreed.

Academically, it was a pretty smooth transition.  I did skim-work through the year 10 maths textbook over the summer, but otherwise did no "year 10 replacement" work.  Apart from English, I hit the ground running easily.  (My first year 11 English SAC was the 6th essay I had EVER written, which created a lot of English panic for me all through VCE.)

Socially, though... well, that was a different cup of tea.  Rough.  I went to a small school, so everyone knew everyone, and I couldn't exactly blend in.  The students in the class I jumped into were understandably a bit pissed off about it, and I was pretty hopeless socially anyway.  I actually had nightmares most nights of the summer between years 9 and 11 - I was scared shitless about what people would think of me and what the social transition would be.  The first few days I could barely speak at all.

In the end, it worked out well.  I ended up liking my classmates a lot more than my previous year level.  I came out of my shell a bit, and they gradually accepted me (it wasn't helped by the fact that I completed about half of VCE overseas, which is another story).  It really challenged me socially, which was what I actually needed to learn from school - and still do - though I didn't see it at the time.  I was more academically challenged too, which made school 100x better.

I was very happy with my ATAR.  However, it was definitely lower than if I hadn't skipped, as I only did 5 subjects (my school understandably didn't let me jump straight from year 9 into a 3/4 subject).  A 6th subject makes a bigger difference in the 98+ ATAR range; I wouldn't have had a chance at entering medicine with the score I got, for instance.  As it was, my score has been utterly unimportant to me.

At the time, rushing through school was very important to me.  I wanted to get out the other end and get qualified as quickly as possible.  It hasn't actually worked that way - I'm about to start my degree next year, and I finished VCE in 2014(!).  I don't think that's a bad thing, as I finished HS at 16, and needed some time to grow up and try different jobs first.  I've gained value out of all the things I've done in between.

Theoretically, you could try chopping one year out of high school and spend that as a gap year trying to learn other things that school didn't teach you - get a job and/or travel, for instance; lots of people haven't done this when they finish school and uni.  But really, whatever way you choose to spend your time, it's up to you how much value you get out of it.



If you want to skip the rambly anecdotal experience:

It'll probably work out either way.

You'll probably get a higher ATAR if you don't skip (doing 2-3 subjects in year 11 and 3-4 in year 12 would give you the 6th subject advantage and more time to spend on perfecting each subject).

But possibly the challenge, both academically and socially, will be worth that small ATAR sacrifice for you (unless you're trying to enter a very competitive field).

Good luck either way!
« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 02:09:25 pm by heids »
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The Cat In The Hat

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Re: Unsure and worried
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2020, 01:52:41 pm »
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Yay, a question I can uniquely answer!  I also skipped year 10.  For me personally, it was an excellent move that I never regretted.

I absolutely hated year 9.  I felt we learnt literally nothing all year in any classes - and why else was I spending precious time at school?!  I went to my principal and told them they would either let me skip year 10 or I'd drop out (it wasn't an empty threat - I knew my TAFE to uni pathways well).  They agreed.

Academically, it was a pretty smooth transition.  I did skim-work through the year 10 maths textbook over the summer, but otherwise did no "year 10 replacement" work.  Apart from English, I hit the ground running easily.  (My first year 11 English SAC was the 6th essay I had EVER written, which created a lot of English stress for me all through VCE.)

Socially, though... well, that was a different cup of tea.  Rough.  I went to a small school, so everyone knew everyone, and I couldn't exactly blend in.  The students in the class I jumped into were understandably a bit pissed off about it, and I was pretty hopeless socially anyway.  I actually had nightmares most nights of the summer between years 9 and 11 - I was scared shitless about what people would think of me and what the social transition would be.  The first few days I could barely speak at all.

In the end, it worked out well.  I ended up liking my classmates a lot more than my previous year level.  I came out of my shell a bit, and they gradually accepted me (it wasn't helped by the fact that I completed about half of VCE overseas, which is another story).  It really challenged me socially, which was what I actually needed to learn from school, though I didn't see it at the time.  I was a bit more academically challenged too, which made school 100x better.

I was very happy with my ATAR.  However, it was definitely lower than if I hadn't skipped, as I only did 5 subjects (my school understandably didn't let me jump straight from year 9 into a 3/4 subject).  A 6th subject makes a bigger difference in the 98+ ATAR range; I would have handicapped myself terribly if I my goal were entering medicine, for instance.  As it was, my score has been utterly unimportant to me.

At the time, rushing through school was very important to me.  I wanted to get out the other end and get qualified as quickly as possible.  It hasn't actually worked that way - I'm about to start my degree next year, and I finished VCE in 2014(!).  I don't think that's a bad thing, as I finished HS at 16, and needed some time to grow up and try different jobs first.  I've gained value out of all the things I've done in between.

Theoretically, you could try chopping one year out of high school and spend that as a gap year trying to learn other things that school didn't teach you - get a job and/or travel, for instance; lots of people haven't done this when they finish school and uni.  But really, whatever way you choose to spend your time, it's up to you how much value you get out of it.



If you want to skip the rambly anecdotal experience:

It'll probably work out either way.

You'll probably get a higher ATAR if you don't skip (doing 2-3 subjects in year 11 and 3-4 in year 12 would give you the 6th subject advantage and more time to spend on perfecting each subject).

But possibly the challenge, both academically and socially, will be worth that small ATAR sacrifice for you (unless you're trying to enter a very competitive field).

Good luck either way!
Just want to add one thing to that - Heidi was very self-motivated and thus would've learnt it whether or not she had a teacher to teach her, I reckon (therefore, she probably handled it better than most would, imo). (Correct me if I'm wrong!) Also, my gut feeling would be - if your teachers are willing to let you they clearly think you can do well at it!
Whatever you decide, good luck anyhow! :)
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