ATAR Hacks: Part 2

You guys wanted more, so here goes…

Do the scary stuff

One of the things I’ve noticed with a lot of my students, and also with myself, is that even when we “study” for a long period of time, a lot of the time feel like we don’t know any more than when we started.

What the hell?

2 hours when I could have been watching netflix!?

How come I still don’t know anything about this book we’re learning about?!

The reality is that sitting down at the desk doesn’t mean you’re truly studying. Far too often I’ve found myself and my students doing things like organising folders, highlighting book quotes, setting up your desk to be the “perfect study location”.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with these things in themselves, in fact these are actually good things. The issue is that they usually aren’t the most important thing. We do these things to avoid the scary high yield activities which will get you 80–90% of the way to a great grade. Sure, highlighting quotes in the book might help you remember them to a certain extent, but is it more important than deeply understanding the core themes of the book? Or knowing how to nail an essay structure?

The reality is that it’s scary to do the important stuff like learning big ideas, or doing practise exams. I know the feeling of anxiety that comes when you face the hard work that actually matters. I’m not going to outline what things are important in each subject, but think about it logically. What ultimately are the things that matter in terms of your ATAR?

SACs and Exams.

Anything that helps you get better at these things matters far more than colour coding folders, using red pen to underline parts of books, or any other distractions we create for ourselves.

Get someone to test your knowledge. Do timed questions. Write essays under pressure. Do the scary stuff.