Can you feel it? The countdown is on. In only a couple of months you will have completed Year 12. YAY!
Exam time is one of the most crucial and often stressful periods in the year. At The Cool Career we believe that is soooooo important to keep things in perspective, and remember that you are NOT your ATAR score. Your entire performance in Year 12 is only a measure of your ability in an exam at a specific point in time, not your future success.
Regardless, we want our babes to head into their exams feeling confident and armed with a weaponry of tips and advice. Who better to ask for these tips then those girls who have lived and breathed and SURVIVED! Over the next few weeks we interview the Class of 2015 and find out there top tips on how to nail your exams and finish the year on a high. Today’s interview is with Georgia Zulian, let’s dive straight in.
Hey Georgia, let’s start at the very beginning, where did you go to school?
I went to Mackillop Catholic Regional College Werribee, the local co-ed catholic school in my area.
How did you find Year 12 in general?
I felt like Year 12 went so slow compared to the pace of University. I didn’t particularly enjoy high school because of the work and homework, and the subjects I felt I had to choose because I needed to fill in spaces in my subject list. However, the social aspect of celebrating senior year with my friends and some close teachers, made the experience more memorable and enjoyable. Also, being able to do some subjects that I loved, made the year better for me.
What subjects did you select in Year 12?
The subjects I completed were English, Further Mathematics, Business Management, Product Design and Technology: Fibre, Visual Communication Design, and I completed Psychology as an early commencement subject in Years 10 and 11.
What was your favourite subject in VCE?
My favourite subjects were my folio based subjects, VisCom and Fibre. As I am a creative person, and have also loved art and sewing, these subjects consumed the majority of my effort and time. I was also most proud of my outcomes in these two subjects.
What about your teachers, did you get along with them?
In the subjects that required a lot of 1:1 interaction between student and teachers, like VisCom and Fibre, I found that I had a closer relationship with the teacher. I also remember my homeroom class being very close with our year level coordinator and also homeroom teacher, this definitely made the senior year experience pleasant and enjoyable.
I have gone back to my high school since starting University, and visited some of my favourite teachers. I have found that the closeness and bond is still there.
I also keep in contact with one teacher who helped my significantly through Year 12.
Tell us a bit about your Year 12 exams. How was the experience for you?
I can honestly say I don’t think I took my Year 12 exams as seriously as I should have. This could be because I was set on a course that didn’t require an ATAR, so I sort of took is easy. I did study for my exams a little, but nothing compared to some of my class mates who were really dedicated. I just wasn’t motivated or interested in studying for my exams.
Looking back now I realise that if I had set more goals, I would have aimed to achieve them. But the overall experience of sitting the exams didn’t terrify me.
There are so many girls around Australia who are about to head into their final exams, what are your top studying tips that these girls can implement?
I have two tips for exam revision that I used when studying for exams. The first being when trying to remember definitions for subjects that require word for word definitions, I would learn by ROTE learning. [Rote learning is a memorisation technique based on repetition. The idea is that one will be able to quickly recall the meaning of the material the more one repeats it.]
A teacher told me to use this technique and I found it very useful. Although it is time consuming, overall I found that it was effective for me.
My second tip for prepping and studying for exams is to make summaries and mind maps of all important concepts and chapters for each subject – this will help you revise information from the start of the year firstly. Once I had made these notes, I would stick them all over the bathroom walls and mirrors and even on the shower door – so that when you are getting ready, brushing your teeth, going to the toilet etc, you can always be revising your notes.
I relied on this study tip throughout VCE – my entire bathroom and bedroom was wall to wall covered with paper. (And once you’ve finished your exams, it’s really satisfying to tear all the pages off the wall.)
What was the hardest part of Year 12 exams?
The hardest part for me was staying motivated and focused on the task at hand. I procrastinated a lot when studying for exams, which led to minimising the time I had to study.
Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and or your future career?
My school did provide the service of a career councillor, however the services and advice were not every helpful to me. I think it came down to the individual deciding whether or not they were ready for tertiary education, and whether or not they knew deep down what they wanted to do with their life.
Are you in college, university, TAFE or another equivalent? Talk us through the course you are studying and why you chose it?
I am now at RMIT University in Brunswick, studying a Bachelor of Design Fashion Honours. The course runs for four years providing subjects from pattern-making, construction, CAD, business, science and history based subjects to, making the course all encompassing of the fashion industry which is very exciting for me.
I chose this course because of the wide range of skills I would learn and the opportunities that would be presented to me. This was the course on top of my preference list, and the one I really wanted to get into.
What advice would you give to girls who are about to finish Year 12?
My main piece of advice is to try your hardest so you have no regrets. It would be the worst feeling when you get your results back and being underwhelmed and realised you could have done more. However, at the same time, your ATAR or study scores don’t mean everything, a number doesn’t define you (I don’t even remember my ATAR and it hasn’t even been a year yet!)
It is important to know that there are so many pathways into a career, so if you don’t get into the one you want straight away, keep trying and there are other ways to get there. A piece of advice from my mum is that,
“As long as you are doing something you love and it makes you happy, that is all that matters”.
List your most valuable resources that you constantly turned to in Year 12?
I joined the VCE Discussion Space on Facebook, where thousand of other kids completing VCE post about their studies. It was entertaining and funny to see the struggles that are people were dealing with, but also reassuring because I too was going through the same struggles as everyone else in the state.
Now it’s over to you, what do you think of Georgia’s advice? Let us know in the comments section below.