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Top 5 lessons learned from VCE

Izabella Bratek

Management Team

I am an enthusiastic, friendly and patient tutor with 12 years of VCE tutoring experience. I have taught a number of VCE high achievers and also helped students significantly improve their marks... Read this tutor's blog

Latest from Izabella's blog: Introduction to Factorization Video

What are some common lessons that students learn after the VCE? How would they adjust their actions and plan if they were able to complete VCE again? Here you can read some of the common regrets that students have after completing the VCE. This can prevent you making the same mistakes during your own VCE.

LESSON 1: Didn't try or work hard enough

When students receive their ATAR score and it is not high enough to proceed into their preference, it causes regret. Students may feel like they do not have as many opportunities as during the VCE, since their ATAR is limiting them. Although this can be overcome, it causes students to be confused in their lives. To avoid the confusion and frustration take charge during your VCE! Try your best throughout the year and you will not regret your ATAR score.

There are not short cuts in VCE and no easy path, it is only through quality hard work that students accomplish top marks. There is no such thing as smart students – they are simply more committed and usually very hard working. This is what allows them to break through the competition and achieve a high ATAR score. Do you want success in the VCE? You need to have the absolute drive and unstoppable commitment throughout the year!

LESSON 2: Spent too much time and money on tutoring

At Academy Plus we do not recommend overdoing tutoring. There are many students that take up to 10 hours of tutoring outside of school. This is really too much because it does not allow students to think for themselves. Private study is an important way of becoming a better student. Using your own creativity to learn is a great way to begin to prepare for university. Independent learning is an important skill to develop to guide you through tertiary studies.

Another important factor is that tutoring costs money! If a student receives too much tutoring they may become lazy at school and not be as driven anymore. A student can begin to over rely on tutoring instead of listening in class or taking proactive steps to improve their marks. This is really unfair on parents that usually pay for good intentions.

LESSON 3: Didn't research their options carefully

Sometimes students don't research the prerequisites required to enter a particular university course. They do not make correct choices during year 10 and then realize in year 12 that they cannot apply for certain university courses. Or they don't know about UMAT and they forget to sit it in year 12. We really have seen it all!

Make sure you also investigate other options to your chosen career. It is important that you make back up plans to find alternative pathways to your course – especially if the ATAR score is high. This way, pressure and stress levels don't need to rise to high levels and you are relatively relaxed throughout the VCE. It also gives you an option to fall back on, which adds a bit of safety.

LESSON 4: Inefficiency with time

Students that waste too much time watching TV, playing computer games or simply procrastinating throughout the VCE usually regret it after the ATAR comes out. Since they know they didn't really do their best they usually feel guilty that they could have tried harder – or at the very least maximised their time effectively. Being efficient with time is a great skill to learn for your university years and also for being an overall highly effective individual.

Time is precious and it is also irreplaceable – even if you have all the money in the world you cannot get time back. So try to maximise the quality of your time and how you use this treasure. In you spend time procrastinating it is likely that you are not really enjoying your time because there is usually guilt associated with it.

LESSON 5: Not thinking about what YOU really want

Parental hopes and desires can become pushed onto students. This is not because they are "bad parents" it is usually because they want to protect their children. Parents are usually doing the best that they can, however as with any individual, they have their flaws and limitations. Even if your parents have the best intentions it is vital that you follow your heart. If you really want to be an architect or graphics designer but your parents "see you as a brilliant doctor" follow your heart. In this society we have doctors that would make brilliant musicians, musicians that would make great architects and architects that would make brilliant doctors! Sadly people don't make the right choices at a young age and ignore their heart's desire. So don't fall into the same trap!

Ultimately your parents will not be living your life – you are the individual that will have to study and work. It is better to be a fantastic graphics designer then an average doctor. Every known, successful person followed their heart and passion. Whether it be music, entertainment, comedy, art or even hair dressing – ultimately these people broke through the competition because they wholeheartedly loved what they were doing. They have both money and happiness in their life because their job is not a "job" but a creative extension of themselves.

Students often regret studying science if they love law simply because of parental pressure. When times get tough it's harder to persevere in a situation that doesn't resonate with who you are! These students often drop out, or they simply don't find enjoyment in their work. So avoid the university fees on courses you don't enjoy – place your money into something that you truly love. Follow your heart and passion.

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