Feeling unprepared for your Year 11 exams?
They’re kind of a big deal. These are the first block of exams where you’ll be examined on every subject in a span of two weeks!
Now you might be thinking: “Year 11 Exams don’t matter, they don’t actually count for anything”.
HOWEVER, these exams are going to set your foundations for Year 12. If you do horribly here, you’re going into Year 12 lacking a strong foundation!
So, your Year 11 Exams are actually REALLY important. But HOW do you tackle the first proper exam block you’ve ever faced?
That’s exactly what I’m going to show you in this video! Let’s jump right in!
Step 1: Get Your Study Notes Up to Date
Your end of Year 11 exams is the first time where you’ll be examined on everything that you have covered in the year!
Now, this means that the construction of your notes is going to be really important from a memory retention standpoint.
When we interview Year 12 students, we ask them:
What’s the one thing that you wish that you did differently when you started Year 12?
One thing they all say unanimously is that they wish they had started their study notes early.
Starting your study notes early is crucially important in memorising content for your Year 11 exams, but it will also inadvertently affect your HSC!
This is because you want to end Year 11 in the way that you want to start Year 12. You want to be on top of everything, have notes ready and have positive study habits.
You want to be able to consolidate all of your Year 11 knowledge so that you’ve got a strong foundation moving forward into Year 12.
Step 2: Identify Your Weaknesses
When studying for your Year 11 Exams, don’t just stick with a linear approach!
Let’s be honest, your first tendency when you start studying for exams is to go back to topic one, and start revising through all of your topics in order.
Honestly, this can actually be a really poor approach.
This is because you might go back to topic one and actually discover that you know it really, really well, and yet because you’re doing this linear approach, you spend more time on it than necessary.
As a result, it’s really critical that you identify your weak areas, and essentially hone in on these within your study.
When you get your Year 11 Exams, you’ll be able to nail these difficult topics and you’ll also have built yourself a really strong foundation going into Year 12
So how do you this? It’s really simple. When you get that end of Year 11 exam notification, go through and examine what topics are going to be tested.
Once you’ve gone through that, I want you to identify within those topics that are being examined, which ones you are worst at. These should be your focus points
So ask yourself, if I got this in the exam next week, how would I go? Would I do really awesome, or would I really struggle?
If you’d find yourself struggling, you need to identify why and tackle those specific problems head on.
Step 3: Write Your Notes
When it comes to studying, whatever you do, always, always write.
Now, in the lead up to these end of Year 11 exams, there’s going to be a lot of content you’re going to want to cover, and honestly, the first thing you’ll want to do is pull out your notes and read them over and over again.
The reason for that is if you’ve got lots of information to cover, reading your notes is a fairly quick and efficient way to get coverage right?
Honestly though, this approach SUCKS.
It’s absolutely horrible in actually building memory retention. In fact, estimates reveal that you may only remember up to 10% of what you’ve studied via reading, two weeks later.
See, we take information in through our eyes and ears all the time.
I’m sure you’ve had it happen to you where you’ve been reading something, you’ve got to the bottom of the page and you can’t remember at all what you just read.
So how do we keep ourselves engaged?
You need to move from PASSIVE to ACTIVE study!
If we’re going to do this, what we need to do is put pen to paper.
Keep in mind, writing stuff down is ALWAYS active study. It’s still easy to go into autopilot. You need to find ways to keep yourself engages
Once you’ve got your notes organised and have identified the key areas of weakness that you’re going to focus on, particularly in those challenging areas, you need to write down the key ideas in your own words.
Don’t just repeat what’s written in your textbook word for word.
Other methods such as drawing flow charts and diagrams to show the relationships in these ideas can also really help with engagement.
So remember, the rule is always write, never read.
It’s going to be incredibly powerful for building your memory and your understanding, and it’s also going to improve your retention by the time you get into your Year 11 exams.
Step 4: Focus on Your Weak Areas
Now, I get with the new syllabus going around that Year 11 Exams past papers are hard to come by.
Hopefully your school has given you a couple that you can work through. If so, work through these.
When you make a mistake, you need to identify that mistake as a really powerful bit of information that you need to work on.
But when you make mistakes, that mistake is actually a powerful bit of information that you need to work on. This is because it’s going to tell you what you’re probably going to screw up in the exam.
Now, right now, when you make a mistake on a practice question or a past paper exam, what do you with it?
My bet is that you get it, you look at it, you go, oh okay, look at the answers, reverse engineer it, solve it, and then move on.
That’s the critical mistake! Moving on.
If you were playing soccer or netball and you got something wrong in the game, you’d practice it a couple of times in practice to make sure you get it right in the next game.
The same goes for your Year 11 exams, every time you make a mistake in the past papers that you’re working on, what I want you to do is find two similar questions and complete those.
This means that you double down on your mistakes, because in an exam, when you’ve got a timer going, that pressure is going to cause all of the weaknesses to unfold.
If you haven’t double down on your mistakes, you’re not going to have nailed your weaknesses enough to counteract this added pressure!
Looking for some extra help preparing for your end of Year 11 Exams?
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We offer tutoring and mentoring for Years K-12 in a variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at our state of the art campus in Hornsby!
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