Wondering what you can do in the summer holidays to get prepared for Year 12? 

In this article we’re going to share the 3-Step Summer Holiday Study Plan that will help you get ahead this year!

Step 1: Consolidate Your Knowledge
Step 2: Work Ahead
Step 3: Take a Break!

Let’s jump in! 

So, if you’re in Year 12 right now, you’ll be having your first set of assessments, the Half-Yearlies in roughly Week 6 of Term 2.

Right now that might seem like a long way away, but in reality, once the term starts Week 6 is going to come around VERY quickly.

That’s why getting ahead and doing some work in the holidays is absolutely critical.

We’re running workshops to help Year 11 and 12 students get ahead these summer holidays, check them out here!

Step 1: Consolidate Your Knowledge

The reality is, there’s a lot of new content you’re going to encounter in the coming terms, and it can get overwhelming pretty quickly.

If you’ve got gaps in your knowledge from the material you’ve already covered, this is going to make it even more challenging to stay up to date, prevent yourself from falling behind and help you prepare for your first lot of assessments.

First of all you need to make sure you don’t have any gaps in your knowledge, and we’ll start by looking at your study notes.

At the end of term, study notes tend to fall by the wayside and they don’t get completed or even started in the first place and if you don’t catch up, you’re going to have even more work to do at the wrong time – before your half-yearlies.

What you want to do over the summer holidays is to get ready and up to date with your study notes.

Action Point:

Complete all of your study notes for Year 12, Term 1 and make sure they are up to date

But we need to go one step further with this, and make sure that you understand all of the content you’ve put together into study notes.

To do this, we’re going to use the traffic light system.

Action Point:

Print out the syllabus for each of your subjects and grab out three coloured highlighter or pens.


Read every syllabus dot point and rate yourself on your knowledge.


If you would definitely get full marks on a question on that dot point, mark it with green. If you could answer a question on it but definitely not get full marks, mark it with yellow. And if you have NO idea and couldn’t answer a question about that dot point, mark it with red.

This helps you to quickly see where your knowledge gaps are, and show you how to prioritise your study over the summer holidays. Focus on the red dot-points first and make sure you’re nailing those, then move on to yellow, and then do a quick review of your green dot-points.

Step 2: Work Ahead on New Content

Over the past 8+ years interviewing students who scored 98+ ATARs, I would constantly hear that these top-performing students consistently work ahead of their class.

There’s a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, teaching themselves was a little more challenging and helped them memorise the content, and secondly, it meant they were simply revising in class and could ask better questions.

The most important reason for working ahead is because you’re often learning new content in class right up until the week before your exam period.

Want some help consolidating your knowledge over the summer holidays? Check out our summer holiday workshops, here!

This means you’re having to learn new content you’re learning before the exams and revising the old content you’ve already done in previous terms. This is not ideal.

Action Point:

Aim to work at least one week ahead of your class, by taking a look at the syllabus and having a look at what you’ve already covered and what’s coming up in the next term of Year 12.


Identify what you need to work on to get one week ahead of your class and start making study notes for this content.

Step 3: Take a Break and Chill Out!

It is SUPER important to actually take a break during your holidays! It’s the Christmas and New Year period and these are important times to spend relaxing, and with your family and friends.

A lot of students that work really hard during the summer holidays and don’t stop to take a decent break, get to the beginning of the new term and are burnt out. This means they don’t have the energy or motivation to do the work when it really matters.

But how do you actually schedule in time to study and time to take a break?

How to Create a Summer Holiday Study Plan:

Step 1: Take the first two weeks off!

First of all I recommend taking the first two weeks off entirely!

Let’s be honest, there are 6 weeks in total, so taking two weeks out of that isn’t a big deal. It also coincides with the Christmas/New Year period so enjoy it! Take the time to relax, recharge and bounce back into the last few weeks of holidays!

After these two weeks you’ll have roughly the month of January to get into some study and get ahead for Year 12.

Step 2: Spend 2 Hours Studying Per Weekday

By making sure you study for 2 hours each day of the week (with weekends off), this gives you 10 hours a week, or roughly 40 hours in the month of January to study!

You can do more than that if you’d like, and you can work on the weekends if you’d like to as well. But the reason for recommending 2 hours a day is that this is an easy target to stick to and achieve.

Step 3: Study in the Morning from 9am-11am

I’d also recommend completing your two hours in the mornings, ideally from 9am to 11am. This means the study is out of the way in the morning and you have the whole rest of the day to relax and chill out!

A good rule to implement here is to not allow yourself to relax, hang out or do the things you love to do on holidays before you’ve done your 2 hours of study.

In reality, if you start doing fun stuff in the morning, you’ll probably keep putting study off all day and of course, never actually get to it!

Looking for extra help to get ahead over the school holidays?

We’re running 15+ Summer Holiday Workshops at our Hornsby Campus this year!

Get a head start on the 2020 school year with our accelerated summer school holiday courses – covering English, Maths, Sciences, Economics, Study Skills and more!

To find out more and get a head start on the 2020 school year get in touch today! 

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

Isabella Hanley is the Digital Content Manager at Art of Smart. She is super passionate about sharing her knowledge on surviving the HSC since completing the Year 12 in 2014. In her downtime she enjoys Netflix binging like a pro, singing in the shower and hanging out with her awesome rescue dog, Ruby.