As anyone who has ever played their favourite video game for three days straight can tell you, there can indeed be too much of a good thing. When doing something you enjoy, or something that challenges you, it is a good idea to pace yourself so you do not end up feeling overwhelmed by the process.
To use an analogy, studying VCE could be compared to starting a game of Cyberpunk 2077. In that game, you have the main missions, but then you also have the side missions, and gigs, and everything in between. What order should you tackle it in? Do the side stuff first before tackling the main mission, or vice versa? Maybe complete a main mission, then a side gig, and so on, mix it up a bit? By developing a clear strategy for tackling it, you will get the maximum benefit out of it, as with VCE.
VCE could also stand for Very Carefully Educating
It is the same principle with studying the Victorian Certificate of Education, commonly referred to as VCE. It can initially seem a bit full on for students. This is because they become overly focused on the quantity of what needs to be achieved. As in, “by the end of the term, you will need to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the themes of Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Including how the characters drive them and be able to articulate a response to this in essay format”. Students tend to focus on quantity rather than on completing their study goals to a high-quality standard.
An easy mistake to make is to develop an overly rigorous study plan to address this challenge. “If I cram for two hours a night, five days a week, for the next 9 months, I should be on top of this by the year’s end”. However, this is an ineffective study approach because it dismisses the human element of studying and learning, turning it into a numbers game. Studying should be about finding an approach that works for you, and this means less focus on strict metrics and more focus on helping you achieve your goals
Everyone learns differntly
An effective study approach is very much an individual thing, as what works for one person will not work for another. While some students will readily embrace the two hours a night approach, developing a study plan solely based on times and numbers risks burning students out. Students become overly focused on meeting the study plan criteria, rather than developing an individualised study plan that actually works for them as students.
Instead, to prevent burnout, work at developing a study routine that works for you as an individual. Pace yourself. If a two-hour study block seems a bit too much, then break it up. One hour of study on a Saturday morning and another on Saturday evening is just as effective as a two-hour study block on Saturday evening. In fact, some would argue it is actually even more effective for some students as it gives them time to process the study information between sessions. These breaks can help put students in a more relaxed frame of mind for the next session.
Make the course content more enjoyable by finding an approach that works for you
Another common burnout risk for Year 11 and 12 students is difficulty engaging with certain course content. For example, you might be studying an English text that you find pretty dry. As a result, you are having difficulty engaging with it.
An effective approach for addressing this challenge is to find a unique, alternative way for approaching the text. One that is more in line with your personal interests. While many students like this idea, some express reluctance because they worry that a unique approach to an essay question will be seen as ‘disagreeing with the teacher’.
Guess what? It won’t be, so long as you successfully address the criteria that you need to answer. Teachers are not interested in students ‘agreeing’ with the essay prompt. But rather in students demonstrating an understanding of the set criteria they need to address and the ability to successfully do so. The fact that your essay argues contrary to the prompt (providing the set essay criteria is addressed) is evidence of critical thinking abilities, and the ability to ask questions, which shows that you are a student who takes their studying and learning goals seriously.
In short, the best way to prevent Year 11 and 12 burnout is by developing a study approach that works for you as an individual. Recognise your own strengths and weaknesses and work at developing a study plan that complements them.
Evergreen’s expert tutors are here to help
Reading this article has probably left you with some questions about successful ways to fully develop a study plan. You may also be worrying about overlooking something, forgetting to do something, or not seeing the forest for the trees. Fear not, Evergreen Tutoring Service’s expert tutors are here to help!
We can help you regardless of the study issue you are struggling with. We have a range of tutors on hand who are all skilled at helping their students reach their full potential. Whether you are struggling to get into your element with Chemistry, confusing Physics with psychics, or working at understanding how a persuasive language analysis differs from a textual response, we are here to help you reach your study goals. Importantly without you feeling burned out in the process.
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