BlogStudyThe Ultimate Guide to Preparing for Your First VCE SAC

The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for Your First VCE SAC

Featured Image - first VCE SAC

Before getting started on how to prepare for your first VCE SAC, you should know the answers to two questions: What is a SAC and how will the assessments contribute towards your ATAR?

If you don’t know or need a refresher, don’t worry — we’ve jotted down all the key info for you!

Let’s dive right in!

What is a SAC?
How to Manage Stress During Your First Year 12 SACs
What to Do the Fortnight Before Your First VCE SAC
How to Boost Motivation Studying For Your First VCE SACs
What to Do The Day Before Your First SAC

What is a SAC?

During your final year of school, you will complete School-Assessed Coursework (SACs) as you progress through each separate subject. Your subjects in Units 3 and 4 are structured into different areas of study, where the assessment for each area is called a SAC.

A SAC can take the form of an essay, test or oral presentation and will differ between each subject.

Therefore, SACs assess how well you are going throughout the year and contribute towards your end-of-year study score along with the end-of-year VCE exams and ultimately your ATAR.

For example, when completing VCE English, your combined SACs from Units 3 and 4 will inform 50% of your end-of-year study score.

Want a deeper look into what a SAC is? Check out our guide on how SACs work! As well our article on VCE SAC Rankings.

Study space

How to Manage Stress During Your First Year 12 SACs

Sometimes not knowing what to expect can lead to feelings of overwhelm and stress. Do not fear, you are more than equipped to tackle your first VCE SAC and all the ones afterward! 

You have already been completing SACs throughout your entire schooling career. Do not let the name intimidate you, a SAC is merely an assessment task in which you will have adequate time to prepare for.

The key word here is prepare — you should be spending a good amount of time preparing for your first VCE SACs!

At the beginning of the year and throughout, it can help to look at your study design in order to visualise the specific requirements of a SAC and how the year will progress in terms of assessments.

Printing your study design out and highlighting specific aspects to familiarise yourself with which content can be included on the SAC can further aid in managing stress before your first VCE SAC.

By understanding what is ahead, you can prepare adequate notes during and after class which will ultimately service your preparation for exams at the end of the year.

Further, creating a study group or meeting with your peers before the first VCE SAC can help you to discuss and troubleshoot key knowledge from the subject. This also helps to establish a support system to aid your learning and mental health throughout the entire year.

Here are shortcuts to our breakdowns of each study design!

What to Do the Fortnight Before Your First VCE SAC

As we’ve chirped on many times, a great way to minimise overwhelm before a SAC is taking the time to prepare well in advance.

Here are two steps on what to do a fortnight before your first VCE SAC!

Step #1: Write Notes Using the Study Design

When beginning to prepare for your first VCE SAC, it can be helpful to collate your notes in accordance with the study design. Recognising gaps in your knowledge is powerful to establish well before the SAC takes place.

By filling in the knowledge you are less clear on, a stable foundation will be created and your notes will guide you throughout your practical study sessions.

Plus you are actively revising whilst generating your notes; this will save both time and unnecessary stress in the long run.

Now that you have created thorough and plentiful notes, it is time to begin studying!

Starting to prepare for your first VCE SAC the fortnight before can be a good starting point. This way you can harness your preparation skills from the beginning of the year and recognise whether or not you need to begin preparing further in advance in the future. 

Step #2: Create and Stick to a Study Routine

Start planning your study routine. Make it achievable in consideration of your schedule and commitments. 

A handy tip is incorporating small and frequent study sessions. These are a tangible way to introduce and reinforce the knowledge you have and are garnering.

Start with a 30 minute block every day or two and slowly increase the blocks. For example, you can edicate half of your free-study period to your upcoming SAC, 30 minutes before or after school.

As the year progresses, you may need to prepare for more than one SAC at a time. Getting into the habit of short and frequent blocks of study from the beginning of the year is an amazing ritual in the long run!

Calendar plan - first VCE SAC

How to Boost Motivation Studying For Your First VCE SACs

When preparing early for a SAC, it can be difficult to remain motivated so we are here to share some tips with you.

Tip #1: Study in a Comfortable Space

Staying motivated can be complemented by establishing a calm and comfortable study space.

Having a safe and clean space to study will allow you to get into the right headspace and concentrate on your revision, minimising the stress that can come along with studying.

Remember, your first VCE SAC is an opportunity for you to embrace your hard work and stay up to date with how your learning is going!

You might like to light a candle or play some classical music when you sit down to begin your work. Whatever fits your fancy!

Tip #2: Create Cue-Cards

Further, creating cue-cards can be a great way to keep your study bubbling along.

Not only will you be actively revising while creating the cards, they are a great learning mechanism in which you can utilise in casual settings such as on your way to school or at recess with friends.

Tip #3: Prioritise your Mental Health

The biggest key to staying motivated when preparing for a SAC is prioritising your mental health!

By spending time with friends and family, playing sport or singing; taking the time to be mindful and do what makes you feel happy is a large aspect of ensuring your study is plentiful.

Keeping a pep in your step will only be aided by taking the much needed downtime in between school days and study sessions.

Through maintaining a balanced life, when you do sit down to study, you will have de-stressors in your life, ultimately fuelling your study motivation leading up to your first SAC. In essence, don’t forget to look after yourself first! 

Book - first VCE SAC

What to Do The Day Before Your First VCE SAC

It’s here! The day before your first VCE SAC has arrived and it’s time to check how much preparation you’ve achieved by completing some light revision tasks.

Depending on how much preparation you have completed, the revision can range from going over cue-cards, writing a practice paragraph or completing some practice questions with no notes.

Note: Your study depends on the subject and the structure of the SAC! Studying for Maths is vastly different from studying for English!

But, wait! Don’t just jump into your study. A helpful step for the day before is beginning with taking 5 minutes to complete some breathing exercises. By establishing a mindful environment, you will be guided by clarity when looking over the content.

It can then be helpful to take 20 minutes or so to look over the content, writing down a list of areas you would like to refresh in more detail and the concepts you feel confident in.

After that’s all done, complete some practice questions or a practice paragraph applying the concepts you feel the least confident in.

This way, when going into your first VCE SAC, you’ll feel more confident in knowing you are prepared for anything by looking at the content you are less comfortable with the day before.  

After completing the practical revision the day before, take a break. Go for a walk, hang out with your friends and family or listen to some music. 

Now, go ahead and correct your work. Actively take in the feedback. If you feel that completing a couple more questions will service you, go ahead. You are almost ready!

The night before your first VCE SAC, a light read over your notes or a last flash of your cue-cards will ensure you with a confidence about the assessment tomorrow.

That’s A Wrap!

Throughout the year, you will recognise which methods work best for you and this journey itself is a large part of completing your final year of school. We hope our tips are useful and wish you luck for your first VCE SAC endeavours!

On the hunt for more VCE SAC resources?



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Are you looking for some extra help with preparing for your VCE SACs?

We have an incredible team of VCE tutors and mentors!

We can help you master the VCE study design for your subjects and ace your upcoming VCE assessments with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or online!

Preparing for the SACs in the Footscray area? Or get some VCE tutoring support in Doncaster! Get in contact to get paired with an expert VCE tutor today!

We’ve supported over 8,000 students over the last 11 years, and on average our students score mark improvements of over 20%!

Check out our VCE Maths tutors located in Melbourne!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational VCE tutor and mentor, get in touch today or give us a ring on 1300 267 888!

Evie Warnes is a Content Writer for Art of Smart and a current undergraduate student, completing her final year at the University of Melbourne. She studies a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Criminology and minoring in Indigenous Studies. In her free time she loves to walk, create videos and hang out with friends. After graduating, Evie hopes to do a Post-Grad in Film and Television and travel overseas.

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