7 deadly sins of a VCE student

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This is a segment out of the Academy Plus, VCE success manual. This book will be available for sale at the beginning of 2011 and is recommended to all VCE students that wish to improve their marks and achieve the best ATAR that they can!

1) Lack of consistency in your VCE;

Most VCE students find it difficult to keep constant motivation levels throughout the year. At the beginning of VCE in January/February – students are motivated and consistent. They feel energized and generally in a positive mind frame.
After all it is summer and the weather is great. Spirits are high and everybody want to get and ATAR of 99.95 in their VCE year. However as the year progresses many VCE students start losing focus. By August/September students lose belief in their abilities and some give up! We will work on this to make sure this will not happen in your VCE experience.

2) Inadequate amount of work in the VCE;
A large portion of VCE students have unrealistic expectations for the work that they put in. There are many students that underestimate the amount of time required to work and overestimate the marks they will receive. At VCE level you should really be putting in an additional 25 hours of effective home study (a week). In this time the student should be à tackling problem solving questions and understanding every step they are taking. Remember, even though you use the law of attraction – your good marks will simply not fall from the heavens … you do need to put in a lot of work to achieve success in VCE.

3) Too much work… not enough LIFE in VCE;
Yes this is the ‘anti-matter’ of 2… Schooling and the VCE  is an important part of everyone’s life however it is not the end of your life if your desire isn’t manifested. It is important that you care about your education – but it should not become compulsive obsessive. It has been shown in scientific experiments that a concept known as optimum stress occurs and it is important to achieve a healthy balance within your VCE journey. If you do not stress enough you will probably not do enough work and fail. If you do TOO MUCH – you will probably burn out and be grouchy all year. Understand that there is life past VCE and year 12 and if you don’t get into Medicine, Pharmacy, Law or whatever straight away there is always next year.

4) No time management in your VCE years
It is important to manage your time and break chunks of work into small manageable pieces that you can actually deal with. You wouldn’t stuff a whole slice of pizza into your mouth all at once (I guess some can but its not very common) – you bite of small fragment at a time. This is the same with studying. Leaving things to the last minute doesn’t work at VCE level. Your mind need time to form a bigger picture about the topics and to question the material. Cramming is stressful, ineffective and can deprive you of worthwhile sleep. You will probably perform poorly when cramming – remember your goal after VCE is to get top marks, not a stomach ulcer.

5) Lack of confidence;
This is a big one! When a person forms an idea that they are somehow inferior to another student or set of students they begin to ‘live their reality’. Remember your mind is a very powerful tool – and like all power if you use it wisely it will create greatness – however it can also lead to destruction. VCE students that consistently believe that they are ‘victims’ of maths tests and exams will give all their power to fate. It is important to realize that you are more powerful that any test and that you have enough of everything to get a top mark.  Building a healthy self image is important for VCE and the rest of your life.

6) Memorizing without understanding
There is a significant portion of VCE students that believe that if they memorize how to tackle a specific question they will be fine for a test exam. Of course they will be fine … until the question is slightly changed in the structure. Understanding of the theory is so much more important than knowing how to do a certain example by heart. When have you understood the topic? Maybe when you can clearly explain and teach the material back (in simple language)  to a group of 200 VCE students.

7) Running away from mistakes/procrastination in the VCE.
You know that you are procrastinating, when you would rather clean your room then think about doing Methods…. It is miraculous how effective some of us become when we procrastinate. Procrastination is nothing more than fear to do something that you should do.  If you want the results you should always figure out where you went wrong and the error in your thinking process.  Imagine what you could do if you took that energy of procrastination and turned it into something more efficient – like your VCE subjects! Another important thing to remember is to always have a good shot at the question so that when you arethe teacher – she/he doesn’t just spoon feed you the answer! This is important because your logical/analytical thinking only expands when you stretch it … can identify with them – do not despair … we will resolve procrastination in the next few sections.