Did you just start Year 12?

Let’s be honest, in Year 11 there’s far less pressure because you know that nothing you do will actually count toward your HSC.

But now that you’ve come to the point of transition, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to maximise your study.

That’s why in this video, we’re going to share with you our three biggest tips for starting Year 12 based on common mistakes that students make every year. 

Tip #1: Don’t Fall Behind on Your Study Notes

So, we asked a bunch of Year 12 students:

“If you could go back in time, what would you do differently at the start of Year 12?”

The number one unanimous response we received was that students wish they had started their notes earlier and stayed on top of them.

When you get into Year 12 there’s FAR more content. If you’re not on top of it, all of a sudden you’ll fall behind!

As a result, when it comes to facing your first assessment, you’ll have to madly create your study notes. This means they can end up being really messy.

Once this happens, EVERYTHING starts to fall apart as you don’t have the time to consolidate your study.

start year 12

The key to avoiding this is to get on top of your study notes ASAP!

Ideally, you want to be writing your notes one week ahead of the course.

Think about it. If your first assessment of Year 12 is in week 8 of term four, you’re going to be learning content all the way up until the week of your assessment.

This means that if you’re not a week ahead of the course in your notes, you won’t have the time to go back, revise and consolidate your understanding.

However, with a week buffer zone, you can really learn your notes then go into that assessment and excel.

But how do you create this buffer zone?

Strategy #1: Pick 1 Day a Week

This is fairly straight forward. All you need to do is pick one day of the week where you have nothing else on and dedicate it solely to writing notes.

On this day, you complete all of your study notes for the week. This means that you do notes for every subject. You then repeat this process weekly.

Strategy #2: Do 1 Subject Per Day

For this strategy, you spend half an hour each day writing notes. Every day you should spend time on a different subject, writing notes for the content you’ll be learning in the week ahead.

It’s best to take notes in whatever way feels most comfortable for you. However, these are the two simplest ways to get on top of your study notes and avoid falling behind!

Tip #2: Integrate HSC Questions Into Your Notes

A really important thing to do as you start Year 12 is to integrate practice questions into all of your study notes.

This is critical, but only 1% of students ever actually do it.

But why is it so important?

Reason #1:

Ultimately, how well you’re going to go in an exam is based on your ability to apply the knowledge that’s stored within your notes to specific questions.

Additionally, at the moment when you’ve written your study notes, how do you know if they’re any good?

Unfortunately, you won’t find out until after the exam.

By integrating a question into your study notes for every single syllabus dot point as you go through your notes, you’re preparing yourself for a real HSC question.

It’ll show you if your notes are any good and if you’re actually covering the content required!

Reason #2:

Often students want to complete a bunch of practice papers before exams.

However, once it gets to the HSC, they don’t have the time to get them done!

By doing a HSC question every single time you finish a syllabus dot point in your study notes, it means that you’re doing past papers bit by bit.

By the time you get to exams and you need to start doing practice papers, you’ve essentially already completed a bunch!

Reason #3:

Due to the new HSC syllabus, it’s even more critical to include practice questions within your notes.

This is because now, your internal assessment will look very different from what you have to do in the HSC.

For example, in Science, you might have a depth study or skills assessment internally but multiple choice and short answers in your HSC.

Or for English, you might have a multi-modal presentation internally but a more essay focused HSC or Trials exam.

This means your internals aren’t necessarily preparing you for HSC style testing.

By integrating questions into your notes, you’re playing the long term game and getting used to the approach you’ll need to take in your actual exams.

Tip #3: Keep Your Extra-Curricular Commitments

Mistake number three that students make when they start year 12 is that they quit all their extra-curricular commitments!

start year 12 running

There’s a few reasons why this can be a massive stuff up!

Reason #1:

There’s a myth going around that if you quit your extra-curricular’s then you’ll have more time to study.

Let’s be honest. You may have more spare time, but you probably won’t use it to study.

There’s a very strong chance that you’ll use it to procrastinate instead.

Quitting your co-curricular’s leads to procrastination, and there’s a really good reason for it.

It’s something called Parkinson’s Law. It basically says:

The work that you have, it expands to fill available time.

So what this means is, when you have a lot more time on your hands due to quitting your extra-curricular’s, you’ll start having a really powerful excuse to procrastinate.

You’ll say: “Well, I’ve got lots of time to do this. I might go watch Netflix for a little bit.”

This is why having too much time can actually be a really big problem.

Check out this article on how one of our coaches achieved a 95+ ATAR while maintaining 5 extra-curricular commitments.

Reason #2:

Quitting your extra-curricular’s is going to lead you to a state where you’re not as physically and mentally healthy as you need to be during the HSC.

This means that you’re more likely to burn out along your HSC journey.

From all our research with top performers, one of the things we found was that it’s critical to maintain a couple of your extra-curriculars.

This is because they’re actually things that you love doing and this is proven to increase your cognitive performance!

So while your parents and your friends might be saying, “quit all your co-curriculars”, this can be a really bad idea.

You may need to dial them back a bit, but it’s important to have an outlet so you can stay physically and mentally healthy.

Do you feel like you need some support through the transition from Year 11 into Year 12?

We have an incredible team of teachers, tutors and mentors who have been there and are ready to help you make that transition!

Our team can help you:

Step 1: Consolidate your Year 11 knowledge so you’re prepared for the jump from prelims to the HSC


Step 2: Get ahead from Day 1, Term 1 of Year 12


Step 3: Develop a rock-solid study plan for the HSC

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you transition from Year 11 to Year 12!