BlogStudyHow to Balance Rest and VCE Study over the School Holidays

How to Balance Rest and VCE Study over the School Holidays

So, it’s either the start of the Term 1 or 2 VCE holidays and you’re wondering if you need to study and if you can take some time off study to rest?

Here’s our advice: try and rest as much as you can. Study is important, but taking a break can be just as productive. Remember, if you aren’t well rested, it’s really difficult to study effectively.

To help you get the best of both worlds, we’ve got a 5 step guide to balancing study and rest over the School Holidays!

What are you waiting for? Let’s jump right in!

Step 1: Relax and recuperate
Step 2: Set specific goals for each subject
Step 3: Allocate your time
Step 4: Get started
Step 5: Keep things in perspective

Step 1: Relax and recuperate

Before doing any form of study, catch up on sleep and rest!

VCE requires you to wake up early for school and study late into the night. Which can take a serious toll on your health.

The average teenager only sleeps 6.5 – 7.5 hours a night when in reality, they actually need 8 – 10 hours of sleep daily!

For the first few days of the holidays, just relax, sleep in. Don’t do any work, focus on you with some self-care. Watch that movie you’ve wanted to watch for ages. Go get a massage from an actual masseuse. Binge on your favourite food.

First and foremost, you need to go have fun!

Want to work on your organisation? Read our Guide on How to Manage Multiple VCE SACs!

Step 2: Set specific goals for each subject

In order to be productive and actually get work done these holidays, you need to know exactly what work needs to be done.

The worst thing you could do is aimlessly study and get no value out of it!

After catching up on sleep and returning to maximum capacity, note down every task that needs to be completed.

Have your teachers assigned work over the holidays? Do you have an assessment task due first week back? If so, write it down.

Here are some planning techniques to help you get started!

#1: Weekly Study Planner

Study Planner - Weekly Holiday Planner

This Weekly Study Planner can simply display all the commitments you have for the week. I personally used this planning technique throughout VCE and found it to be extremely helpful!

Tip: Be sure to outline exactly what you’ll do during your allocated study sessions. Don’t just wait until the session begins to decide what you’ll cover.

Avoid allocating every single minute of the day to a particular task, you’ll just overwhelm yourself. There is no harm in giving yourself some free time.

Organise all your study and commitments with an Art of Smart Weekly Study Planner!

VCE SAC Planner

#2: The Eisenhower Priority Matrix

Study Planner - Priority Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix can help you prioritise all the commitments you have on during the holidays.

The school holidays can sometime require you to balance more tasks than during the school term. So, it is helpful to have a technique that visually allocates the importance of each task you have to do.

Keep in mind, that all school tasks are not necessarily ‘important’. Since it’s the holidays you may want to make the most of the opportunity to rest. That means ‘rest’ could be a task in the urgent and important box.

#3: Daily Timebox

Study Planner - Timebox

I’m sure we all waste time when moving from one task to another. It seems to happen even more often during the holidays, because there is so much time to spare.

The Daily Timebox technique is really good for helping you transition between one task to the next, while also identifying your most important tasks. It’s like a nice balance between the priority matrix and weekly planner!

Try out an Art of Smart Daily Timebox and see if it works for you!

Timebox Sample for Managing VCE SACs - AoS

Step 3: Allocate your time

Don’t overestimate your abilities and say you’re going to create notes for two entire modules in one day! Be reasonable, there is nothing wrong with that.

Give yourself a bit of a sleep in and start studying from 10am. Take a break at 12:30 for lunch, then work from 1:30 to 4pm.

You’d be surprised how much easier studying becomes when you split your time into 2 study sessions! If you need more help with managing your time in your study sessions, try these techniques:

Learn how to study for the GAT as well!

#1: Pomodoro Study Technique

Effective Study Techniques

This technique gets you to break up your study into blocks with breaks in between. You don’t have to study for 25 minutes, it could be 50 minutes, 20 minutes, whatever works best for you. The same goes for how long you break for!

This can help you to feel a lot more productive, as you’ll be giving yourself short breaks to rest between each study period. I also feel like knowing I’ll get a break after studying motivates me to get through the work.

Learn how to balance your time during the school term with our guide on how to manage multiple VCE SACs at once!

#2: Block Study Technique

If you’re someone who loses focus when you take short breaks in between study, then the focus block technique might work better for you! 

This technique requires you to study in two big blocks: one at the start of your day and one at the end. These blocks could be as long as you want, but I would suggest studying for an hour in each block. 

Need some material for your study? Here is The Comprehensive List of VCE Past Papers!

Step 4: Get started

It sucks, I know. You’re sick of school, you don’t care about what you’re revising anymore and you just want to watch Netflix all day, everyday, for the rest of your life (me too honestly).

However, it is important to keep in mind that starting is the hardest part! You’ll find that you’ll quickly fall into a study routine after a few days and you’ll be getting through writing those study notes in no time!.

The work is never as hard as it seems. Just do your best.

Step 5: Keep things in perspective

Lastly, please remember that it’s completely normal to fall behind on your course content. Sometimes, it can get overwhelming!

Work hard, but keep things in perspective. You got this!

Here are some tips to Managing the Overwhelmduring Years 11 and 12!

Need more VCE resources?

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

Boost your chances of acing VCE and check out our other resources!

Looking for some extra help with your studies?

We pride ourselves on our inspirational coaches and mentors!

We offer tutoring and mentoring for Years P-12 in a variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or online!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational tutor and mentor get in touch today! 

Give us a ring on 1300 267 888, email us at [email protected] or check us out on Facebook!


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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