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Study tips and advice for Year 10 and Year 11

By Kartiya Ilardo in VCE
11th of December 2019
How to do well in VCE Year 10 and Year 11

High school has unfortunately (yes, I enjoyed school very much) ended for me, but lucky for some who read this, your schooling adventure has just begun. Following are study tips and advice for students in Year 10 and 11!


Study Tips

Try to attend all classes

The first step is to attend your classes, when you can of course. It is okay if you feel under the weather and your bed seems more beneficial for you compared to school. However, this means you miss out on information. In Year 10, this is not all that bad, but in Year 11 and especially Year 12, it can lead to gaps in your knowledge.

Luckily, this is easy to fix. If you happen to be away for substantial reasons make sure you catch up on what was taught in that lesson through means of talking to your friends, or making an appointment with your teacher.

For me, I knew missing classes would actually cause more stress, I suppose it was FOMO.


Develop an effective study habit

Year 10 is probably the year where homework gets tough. Soon enough, you get more every day and procrastination seems the easier option. Stop! Pull yourself out of the dangerous pit of procrastination and tackle the homework head on. Now, this doesn’t mean knuckling down for twelve hours straight; this calls for an effective study plan!

Plan out your homework hours and make sure you include breaks! Breaks may even be more important than studying itself, how is the brain supposed to absorb all of this knowledge juice if the poor thing wants a rest?

If you start to plan out your study in Year 10 and Year 11, and maybe even abide by it (note: there can be some exceptions, like if you have a test on a specific subject, I would focus more on that despite what the study plan says) you will be ready for the gruelling studying Year 12 entails, maybe with all this practice, you will feel comfortable with studying because you’ve made it a habit and we are creatures of habit.


Handwrite notes

We all know typing notes is easier on our fingers and much faster and neater than handwriting. But what do we also know? We know all (depends on subject) of our tests, SACS and exams need to be handwritten. This means we need to build our handwriting muscles! We want our phalanges buff and strong so we can flex them in the exam period.

So it is vital, that we develop this skill during Year 10, 11 and 12. Students in most of my classes would type notes for English. My teacher didn’t support this because they knew these students wouldn’t be as good at writing in the exam as they could’ve been if they had written all year, which put them at a disadvantage.

To give yourself an advantage WRITE! Write as much as you can, but be wary not to tire your poor fingers, remember they need a rest too! Come test time, your fingers will feel good and want to write neatly and quickly for you.


Pinpoint your weaknesses and work on them

Year 10 and 11 do not actually affect your ATAR directly. This is the perfect opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. This is probably the best advice for English, since it can only be improved by pinpointing your mistakes and improving them with each practice essay.

With other subjects too, if you feel you do not understand a certain concept ask your teachers and friends! Absorb their knowledge.

If you know you cannot last a three-hour exam (applies more to year 11s) write at increasing time intervals. First time can be thirty-minutes, and if this is okay with you, go to an hour. If an hour is too much, maybe go down a bit to forty-five minutes and then increase from there.

Year 10 and Year 11 is where you develop habits and acknowledge your weaknesses, and you use these years to improve and build a solid foundation for these habits so that come year 12, you have a strong start.


Do not stress much about grades

As Year 10 and 11 do not directly affect your ATAR, it doesn’t really matter if you get a really bad score, in fact, it might be a blessing in disguise according to the point above. That bad grade is not telling you that you have failed, it is warning you, it is wanting you to go and figure out where the gaps in your knowledge are so that you can improve next time.

As disheartening as it can be to see a measly grade on something you worked hard on, don’t worry, it happens to the best of us, we just need to use it as a stepping stone to the road of success, which is hella bumpy. Enjoy this tumultuous journey, love its flaws and its perfections!


General Advice

Join ATAR Notes!

This is not a paid promotion, this is a sincere and genuine piece of advice from my heart. If you are in Year 10 or later, join now! There is a treasure trove of helpful information that will definitely get you through VCE. If that isn’t enough, this community is in abundance of kind-hearted geniuses who bestow their wisdom and knowledge onto those who seek it. I found this the most supportive and helpful VCE resource so it would be in your advantage to join.



This is not a paid promotion either, it is another sincere and genuine piece of advice from my heart. Quizlet is the best tool for any VCE student. They may only be electronic flashcards but damn, they help you retain information you never thought you could retain. I do have every single term for Psychology and Computing: Software Development Units 1,2,3 and 4 on there the link is this:



Taking care of yourself

Lastly, and I think the most important piece of advice is to take care of yourself. A member on ATAR Notes, Bri MT, has the following quote:

“Invest in wellbeing so it can invest in you.”

This couldn’t be more accurate. Yes, VCE is important to some, but you are more important than anything else in the world. Treat yourself when you finish the week! Go out with friends and family! Watch your favourite movie or lie down and listen to your favourite song. Do nothing.

You are at the centre of your world and if you are feeling terrible on the inside, then the world outside will reflect that.

It is normal to cry and feel down, especially during VCE. It is okay :). Talk to someone if you feel that will be helpful, teachers and counsellors at school are there for you, but just being by yourself is okay too. 🙂

Trust you will do well and you will.

I’ll leave you all with some quotes I think are important. Good luck and I believe each and every one of you will do very well, now all that is left is to believe in yourself. <3


“every mistake increases our chance to make progress.” – George Adair

“symptoms are not enemies to be destroyed, but sacred messengers who encourage us to take better care of ourselves.” – Jon Gabriel