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What to learn from your first term of year 12

By Lauren Condon on 13 November 2017GeneralStudy tipsNSWblog

So, how was that first term? 😬 We’re all pretty keen to forget everything about school once the summer holidays roll around but before you completely check out, let’s look at a few of the big takeaways from your first term of year 12.

1. That you can survive it

A term. You just survived a whole term of year 12. Seriously, you are a quarter of the way through and now you have a really good sense of what it actually feels like to be in your HSC year. There will still be times when you might not think you can get through this but you’ve already come pretty far and you know, take every little win you can 👍 .

2. How good you are at studying (not how smart you are)

The bottom line is that some of us just aren’t very good at all kinds of study. We are going to have strengths and weaknesses just like in anything else and now is a really good time to reflect on your first block of year 12 assessments to work out where you need to improve on your study skills or study strategy.

  • If you felt like you didn’t have enough time to study everything, get a nice study timetable going to manage your time.
  • If you came across things in the exam you didn’t expect to be there, then spend some time making sure your study is more syllabus based. Have notes and a solid understanding for each syllabus point!
  • If you couldn’t remember any of your study in the exam, then you probably weren’t engaging with your study. Ditch reading the same textbook over and over again and switch it up with some creative study methods like watching our killer videos or playing with flashcards.
  • If you got poor marks for not answering the question right, you probably know your content but not how to apply it properly. Start visiting those past papers and make sure they get marked!
  • If you felt prepared beforehand and the pressure and stress of year 12 just threw you off, then learn how to manage nerves in an exam.

3. Which subjects need a bit of extra TLC

By the end of this term you probably have settled into the subject selection that you will take into the HSC and that means you can take a serious look at your subjects and pinpoint which ones need the extra attention.

The reality is that you are going to want to spend more time on your best subjects because 1) they’re probably your favourites and 2) it’s a lot more fun to work on something you’re really good at 😏 . But a quarter of the way into year 12 is time to suck it up, stop stressfully ignoring your worst subjects and pull together all the feedback from your assessments so far. That should become a little ‘to-do list’ of issues to tackle over the summer when you’re too sunburned to go to the beach again.

4. How to prioritise properly

If there’s one solid way to find out what you actually care about, it’s the feeling of regret when you don’t choose it.

Was there a party you missed this term because you left your assignment to the last minute? Did you binge watch Riverdale Season 2 instead of studying for one of your exams? Are you super mad at the past version of yourself for any decision you made last term? Well, there’s a solid learning experience for you to take into the rest of year 12 😒 .

Whether it’s more important than anything to get an ATAR of 90+ or whether you really want to soak up all the best parts of your last year of school, plan your time around your priorities so you can stay sane this year.


We want to keep this short and sweet because our attention span is never that great at the end of the year but basically, make sure you take away a few lessons from this term beyond just the obvious “study the things you got wrong in the exams”. Take note of where you’re study could have been improved, pay attention to your weaker subjects and remind yourself of your priorities so you can plan the rest of year 12. Either way, you’re a quarter of the way through so congrats and happy holidays 🎉🎉🎉.

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