How to Study for the VCE Psych Exam – Three Weeks OutBy Nick McIndoe in Study
12th of October 2017
Nick McIndoe graduated in 2012 with a 48 raw in VCE Psychology.
Click here for complete course notes for Psychology.
There are three weeks until the Psych exam. Three weeks to study, to prepare. How should you use that time?
Contrary to popular belief, I really don’t think it’s the time to freak out.
Whether you’re in a great position at the moment or not, there’s only so much you can do. You can’t cram six months worth of revision into three weeks, so there’s not much point trying.
What you can do, though, is use these next three weeks as effectively as possible. That way, you really will maximise your exam performance and eventual study score. Here are my three biggest thoughts at the moment.
LEAVE NO QUESTION UNASKED
A question unasked is simply wasted potential.
No matter how big or small, questions are worth asking – even if it’s something you feel you definitely should know. In fact, maybe especially if it’s something you feel you definitely should know.
Psych has a lot of content – we all know that. It’s natural to forget bits and pieces, or have mind blanks here and there. Your teachers will understand.
There are many different avenues to ask questions, too. If you’re not sure where to start, try ATAR Notes’ Psychology questions thread! You can find it here. There are heaps of VCE Psychology experts floating around, including ATAR Notes’ Psych lecturer!
I remember asking Psych questions on ATAR Notes myself, back in the day. Would recommend.
THE WHOLE PRACTICE QUESTIONS THING
Like, yeah, “do practice exams” is pretty common advice. There are some things to note, though.
Firstly, there’s no set number of how many practice exams you need to complete. You could do zero, and get a 50 raw. You could do 100, and get a 25 raw. There may be a correlation of sorts, but there’s certainly no causation, and it’s a very personal thing.
Secondly, not all practice exams need to be in exam conditions. If you only have 15 minutes spare, do just a few questions – there’s no need to sit down and do them “properly” every single time. Topic Tests are particularly good for this, and at this time of year.
It’s definitely good to do a few in timed conditions IMO (we’ll touch on this in the next section), but it’s not necessary for all of them to be conducted in that manner.
Thirdly, I recommend attempting practice questions from numerous sources. Try to get questions from your teachers; do the textbook questions; find VCAA past papers. Of course, the study design has changed, meaning not all VCAA exams will be relevant now. But don’t worry – ATAR Notes’ Psych lecturer has gone through VCAA exams from 2012-2016 to highlight the questions still relevant. Get around it here!
WORK ON EXAM TIMING
The good thing with timed exams, though, is that you get a much better of idea of how long certain sections of the exam will take you.
For example, going into my VCE Psychology exam, I was very confident about how long the multiple choice section would take me. That meant I could focus on the other sections first, and give myself a set period of time to fly through the multiple choice questions at the end.
Of course, this all comes down to personal preference; some people prefer to complete the paper from front to back, and that’s all sweet, too.
Regardless, try to get used to the exam format:
Section A: 50 multiple choice questions (50 marks).
Section B: Short-answer and extended-answer questions, for a total of 70 marks.
Good luck for the next few weeks!