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Should you be studying during graduation week?

By Danielle Barakat on 9 September 2020Study tipsExam adviceNSWblog

The time has come, graduation is here and if you’re in year 12 then your main focus now is getting term 3 exam/assessment marks back and graduation. So as Term 3 starts to wind down and you begin what’s left of graduation festivities (thanks Covid), we must also remember to turn our minds to exams, with the biggest question being whether you should actually study during graduation week or whether you can afford to take some time off. After a quick survey of the Atomi crew, 87% of our team agree that you should be studying during graduation week.

So what’s important and what should you be doing to ensure you are well prepared for those exams in October?

Here are 6 tips and pieces of advice that made all the difference when we were doing our exams:

1. Follow a study timetable

Being organised and planning your time is going to go a long way with helping you study and enjoy graduation week all at the same time. Although we are still approx. 1.5 months out from exams, by the time you finish term 3 and settle into the pre-exam holidays you will only have a couple of weeks left till you’re sitting that first exam. So, put together a study timetable and arrange your time now so you can be productive when you need to be.

If you haven’t already had a chance to download the Atomi Study Timetables that our team have carefully put together then now is the time to do so. In these timetables and study plans, we have already mapped out the next 6 weeks of studying for you so you don’t have to worry about when to do what. We have all the important lessons hyperlinked to Atomi lessons for each of your subjects and we have even left a few days clear so you’re able to make the most of the holidays. We have also provided a blank study timetable template here so that you’re able to merge all your subjects onto one ultimate timetable that will be your saving grace from now till exams.

2. Focus on revision and recall

Now you may be wondering what exactly you should be focusing on when you sit down to study over the next couple of weeks. At this stage of the revision process, you should be focusing on revising content and recalling information, NOT putting your notes together. By now your notes should be done and it’s time to actually start learning what you’ve written down, reminding yourself about all the content you learnt at the beginning of the year and using recall skills to make sure the content is deeply ingrained into your brain. The goal here is to find gaps in your knowledge, so topics you’re not comfortable with or formulas you never learnt properly, and commit some time to learning them. We’ve gone into a bit more detail in our Atomi 2020 Study Timetables blog post so be sure to check that out too.

3. Work together as a year group

Now that your internal rankings have been secured, its time to start thinking about how you’re going to lift your year group as a whole. If you are a little unsure why this is important, then check this out, but for those of you who already know that lifting your year groups average will positively affect your final ATAR then continue reading. All the competitiveness from the year should now disappear and you should be willing to work together to help each other out. So that person in your class that really struggles with short answers, share your sample answers with them so they can see how to get a better mark. If there are a couple of people that aren’t too sure what a 20/20 essay looks like, share one with them. Having class discussions, FAQ sessions with your teachers or group study sessions can really help to lift everyone’s marks and can make a huge difference at the end of the day.

4. Your teachers know best

We’ve said it once and we will say it again: your teachers are one of your best resources you have, so use them! This is the last couple of weeks you will have in class with your teachers so now is the time to pick their brains, use their marking abilities and their knowledge to your advantage. There is no point having expert exam markers if you don’t use them. Send them as many draft essays or short answer questions as possible, ask for their help when you’re struggling to understand a topic, make sure that you get everything out of them that you need before you go on holidays. Yes, they will be available over email but it’s so much easier being able to sit with them in class and have a face-to-face conversation so don’t take that for granted.

5. Turn your attention to yourself

The short answer to whether you should study in graduation week is yes but that doesn’t mean that you should bury yourself in your study and never take some time to enjoy the last few weeks of school. It’s so important during this time that you look after your mental health because having a healthy mindset is what’s going to get you through the next 2 months of studying and exams.

Here a few things you can do to make sure your mental health stays on track:

  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Eat well
  • Keep up physical activity and exercise
  • Go outside and soak up some Vitamin D
  • Spend time with other humans (you are not alone)
  • Take breaks and reward yourself once you’ve completed a study goal
  • Put things in perspective: Your ATAR will not define you

6. Enjoy graduation!

Last but not least, enjoy your graduation. Make sure to soak up every minute of final classes, saying goodbye to your favourite teachers, last days in your regular classes with your regular classmates. Even though exams are stressful, in 1 year when you think back to year 12, this time will be one of your best memories so make the most of it.

Expert tip: Take a small break from studying and lock in a night with your friends where you can actually celebrate your graduation and everything that you have accomplished.

Congratulations and remember… don’t do anything we wouldn’t do!

Like what you read? There's more where that came from:

Explore more expert study tips & exam advice

Read: Making sure your notes are exam ready

Read: Create your personalised study timetable

Watch: How to make a study plan

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