At some point, everyone needs to prepare for a SAC or Exam in year 11 and 12. We often see students who just aren’t sure how to even begin studying for one. Many students get trapped in a cycle where they think the only way to study for a SAC is to get their hands on a practice SAC, and this just isn’t true.
So we have created a list to answer the question of “how to study” and included other ways you can study and prepare for your next SAC or Outcome.
Here are our recommended tips
Top tip on how to study!
Use the study design to make a checklist for your revision.
Here is an example from the English Language study design from Victoria:
Download the Study Designs for each of your subjects.
Go through the key knowledge for each outcome and make a checklist. Cross-off key knowledge you know well and focus on studying those you don’t! This will enable you to maximise your study time. You can find the study design on the website for your state. For example, if you are in Victoria, type VCAA English study design into Google or HSC Chemistry syllabus for NSW and so on.
2. Make sure you understand and can USE all of the key terminology
Key terms for each of your outcomes are often in your textbook’s glossary or study design, maybe your teacher has even given you a glossary for all of the terminologies you need to know.
Being able to understand and use key terminology on your SACs and exams is vital to getting a good score.
3. Make a study timetable and stick to it!
Making a study timetable that fits around your other commitments is important, it means that you will always have time for some study. It doesn’t have to be hours of study, even 15 minutes a day of revision can really help.
4. Focus on what you don’t know
Often what we struggle at is what we avoid when we are studying. It can make us uncomfortable when we are challenged. Want to fix this? Well, remember that checklist we spoke about? Focus on those things that challenge you!
It can be tempting to stick to what we know, but it is important to cover topics we are uncomfortable with. This way, nothing on the SACs or exams can intimidate you. If you are stuck, ask your teacher or tutor for help.
5. Don’t forget to revise topics you learned earlier in the year.
Just because the topic has been and gone in class doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Often these past topics have a way of sneaking into our SACs, Outcomes and Exams. Taking time every few weeks to revise past topics can be all it takes to prevent being blindsided by a question you haven’t seen for 4 months on your next test.
6. Sit a practise SAC/exam
Usually, your teacher will have access to lots of Practise exams, especially if you are in year 12, if they aren’t already giving them out as revision, ask them about it!
Practise exams really help, often they are of a similar difficulty to the real exam, so they really help you prepare. You can also access past exams on the VCAA website (If you are completing VCE) and we have a few practice exams on our website for students in our mastermind courses.
7. Reduce stress
Stress can be our enemy when it comes to sitting a SAC or exam. Stress stops you from doing your best so make sure you are keeping on top of it. The last years of school can be scary and challenging, but remember all you can do is your best! So don’t be so hard on yourself, and remember to keep calm during these stressful periods.
Top tips for reducing stress:
- Getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night
- Eating healthy
- Drinking enough water
- Spending time with our family/friends/pets
- Doing what we love
- Being kind to ourselves
These things can all help with stress!
8. Remind yourself why you are doing this.
When you put as much time and effort into a task as you are in your senior years, it is important to remember WHY you are doing it. Sometimes the things we are working towards are challenging. But if you can master your WHY, you will find it easier to keep going in those difficult moments.
If you want to use our checklists and masterclasses to maximise the results from your study time and to help prepare for your SAC. Check out our Methods and English Masterclasses on our website.