BlogLearnWhy You Should Pay Less Attention to VCE Scaling

Why You Should Pay Less Attention to VCE Scaling

Why you should pay less attention to VCE subject scaling

VCE subject scaling is really important. There’s absolutely no doubt about it. However, that doesn’t discard the fact that VCE students shouldn’t be using it to determine what subjects they want to do.

VCE is a long, difficult journey. Seems obvious right? Although, students make it even harder on themselves by picking or focusing on subjects they have absolutely no interest in.

Lets explore why there is more to subject selection and prioritisation than scaling!

What is the VCE Scaling trap?
How do you decide which subjects to do?
Why should VCE Scaling just be a consideration of my Subject Selection?

What is the VCE Scaling trap?

Every VCE student knows someone doing the following subjects: Maths Methods, Specialist Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, English and any high scaling language.

I always found it odd how no one questioned why they were doing it. The logic was simple, they are smart and the subjects scale up a lot. However, the results were always 50/50, the student either did really well or really poorly and there was never any in between.

Why is this the case? I think it’s because some of these students had absolutely no passion or care for these subjects whatsoever. Now, it’s not a bad thing to do a subject we don’t like, sometimes that is unavoidable. However, it is important to choose – or atleast prioritise – subjects that we feel strongly about.

As I mentioned before, VCE is already really difficult. That initial difficulty can be increased by choosing boring subjects, or decreased by picking interesting subjects (according to your preferences).

How does picking subjects I don’t like or have passion for make VCE more difficult? 

How do you pick VCE subjects?

It simply makes it harder to study. There will be many times where you don’t want to do your homework or SAC preparation. You’ll be tired, burnt out and simply sick of VCE. Having to study for a subject that you dread will add to these difficulties.

If you pick subjects that are more aligned with you, your enjoyment, or internal motivations, it can push you through those VCE struggles. View it as a second – far more effective and healthy – reason for studying, that isn’t your ATAR score!

This doesn’t occur with subjects you picked for scaling purposes.

So, how do you avoid this trap?

How do you decide which subject to do?

How do you pick a VCE subject - VCE Scaling

There are heaps of other factors outside of VCE scaling that should be considered when choosing your subjects. Don’t view this list as comprehensive, this is just to get you started and hopefully inspire other lines of thought.

These factors can apply to anyone, in any point of their academic journey.

#1: Enjoyment

Yes! You can enjoy VCE! I’ve had heaps of friends and students who have found their VCE journey to be fulfilling. These people always seemed to disregard what subjects were popular or ‘right to do’, and instead focused on what they actually want to do.

It is important to note that you will be studying these subjects for possibly two years. Why would you torture yourself for that entire time with dry subjects?

Picking subjects you find fun is easy. Just think about what you enjoyed studying, the first subjects that come to mind will be it. No over thinking required.

#2: Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is when you perform an activity for the sake of reward or to avoid punishment. For example, doing Specialist Mathematics because it scales up well.

Intrinsic motivation is when you perform an activity for its own sake and personal rewards. For instance, doing Literature because it’s a subject you are interested in.

Extensive research suggests that you need to find a balance between these two forms of motivation. One without the other won’t work.

Too much focus on extrinsic motivation could mean you loose your core values. While too much focus on intrinsic motivation may mean you don’t reach your goals.

Think about whether you have both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation for studying a subject. If you do, it’s a pretty good indicator that it’ll be the right subject for you.

#3: Possible Career paths

A majority of VCE students are studying to enter a particular career pathway. Whether that is a trade, TAFE or University, you should still try and pick subjects that will help you with that career path.

Now, this could involve picking subjects to help you decide what degree to study, what TAFE course to enter, or what trade you want to do after High School.

I promise you, regardless of what you want to do after High School, there are subjects that will align with those intentions, and assist you on that path.

I think this is really important considering a lot of students forget to consider why they are doing VCE and what they will do after it. Which is funny considering the whole point of doing VCE is to give people access to career paths.

#4: University Prerequisites

Adding to the previous discussion, University degrees have certain subjects, and certain scores in those subjects, that you must achieve in order to apply. Without it you cannot do so.

You should try to acknowledge these requirements and be familiar with them. You don’t want to get a nasty shock on application day when you realise that you can’t get into your dream course because you haven’t picked the right subjects.

Plus, doing well in these subjects often make your University life far easier. Your future self will really appreciate you putting in the hard yards now, I promise you!

#5: Work Load

VCE doesn’t have to be a long difficult slog! That’s right, it’s ok to not pick subjects because they may require too much study.

Deciding how much work to take on and managing your work load is a life long skill and challenge. When you enter the work force, or start your University degree, you will need to be careful of how much you take on so that you don’t overwhelm yourself.

There is no shame in not wanting to be constantly stressed out through VCE. Nothing comes before your mental and physical health

Want some help with managing your time over the holidays? Here is the comprehensive guide to balancing VCE study and rest over the break!

Why should VCE Scaling just be a consideration of my Subject Selection? 

Why should Scaling be a consideration - not a determinate - of Subject Selection?

VCE isn’t all about the final ATAR score. You’re studying for reasons beyond ATAR and your school. You’re doing this for you.

You can give these various factors different weighting depending on what you value. As long as you do what feels right.

There is so much more to study than what leads to the highest score or scales the most. Although, I understand that it is a very easy trap to fall into. I definitely became fixated with my study scores when I was doing VCE, and I have many students and friends who were the same.

It’s only natural considering the massive amounts of pressure that VCE places on you.

Regardless, it is important to keep in mind why you are doing VCE. Why you are studying what you are. Why you are working so hard. Keeping track of why you are doing something can make a big difference.

Overall, I just want VCE students to realise that their high school journey doesn’t have to be always difficult and terrible. It can sometimes be rewarding and fulfilling too.

That’s all!

Hopefully this article has given you some clarification around what to consider when picking your VCE subjects outside of VCE Scaling.

Something that I wish was emphasised more when I was in high school, is that the subjects you pick now can influence your career paths more than you think. So, try think about it a bit more deeply, you don’t want to end up with a career you don’t like (although you can always pivot)!

Need more VCE resources?

Use our comprehensive list of past VCE exams to start your exam preparation!

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Max Huyton is the VIC Growth Marketer for Art of Smart and a Laws and Commerce student at Monash University. In his other life, Max spends his time reading and writing whenever he gets the chance and cooking extremely mediocre dishes for friends and family.

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