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VCE – the pressure is rising

August 18, 2014

There are a number of stages experienced by many of us as year 12 students (yes, most of us, even parents, have been there at some point)…

Just chillaxing in January

Although some students are already getting started…

(The calm before the storm.)

Foreboding in February

I’m not quite sure what it’s going to be like, but it looks even bigger than I imagined.

I don’t actually know what I intend to do after school (except maybe a gap year).

Actually, why am I doing year 12 anyway?

(That’s OK. I tell students, only half-jokingly, that I still don’t know what I’m going to do when I grow up.)

Morbid in March

How do teachers expect us to do homework as well as revise for SACs?

There’s just too much to do.

(Yep. Too much work is still not enough at times. Just do what you can.)

Apoplexy in April

Now I know enough about the subjects to know how big it’s going to be and there’s just so much work, so much to get through.

It just looks too big for me live up to my own and others’ expectations.

And I still don’t know why I’m doing it.

(And yet most students push into it with a good deal of effort and persistence, even with subjects they’re not enjoying much. I, for one, am inspired by their application to the task.)

Mayhem in May

SACs, homework, SACs, homework…

Will it ever end?

(Head down, bum up. Just remember that it will end in less than 6 months.)

Jumpiness in June

More SACs, the GAT, then at least the mid-year break.

(The last time for a break for a few days, at least until the exams are over, so it is important to get some rest now.)

Jaundiced in July

We’re nearing the end of coursework, but there’s still a lot to do in such a short time. It feels so rushed.

There’s still such a lot to do, so much I don’t really get yet.

I’ve done some test exams – a sobering experience. The questions are so much harder than those in the textbooks.

It just shows me how far there is to go. Time is running short.

(Just remember – the exams are in November, not now, so you will be much more prepared for them by then – no, really.)

Angst in August

Counting the days now. I still don’t feel prepared.

(Yes, you can count the days. They’re going to zoom past very quickly now.)

Surging in September

We’re finished all the coursework. No time left. Just revising and revising now.

(Revising will make it all start to come together. Things you haven’t thought about for weeks, months even, will just make more sense than they did before.)

OMG in October

Aaagh! My head is exploding.

(As that wise sage Dory once said, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.”)

Nervousness in November (and then Nirvana)

Will I be able to answer the questions? How will I go?

(1. The aim in doing the exam isn’t to get 100%. You’re there to show them what you can do. This may mean getting 90%, 75% or 60%. All your marks contribute to the end result.

2. Expect to leave some questions unanswered, due to the difficulty of the question, or just time pressure. Remember that the examiners have to distinguish between those getting 95% and those getting 100%, so the hardest questions will be answered correctly by only 5% of those doing the exam.)

Finished! More relief than joy.

Delight in December

Well, maybe not quite the ATAR I wanted, but I’ll do something with it.

But I still don’t know what I want to do.

(1. Even if you don’t have a 5 year plan, when making final course selections, follow the subjects you like. You’re more likely to end up doing things you want to do.

2. And lastly, just remember that in 2 years from now, probably less, no one will care what your ATAR was. It will have been a key for you to open some doors. And if the doors you were aiming for remain shut, you may be surprised and even delighted by what other opportunities arise.)

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