How to obtain an ATAR of 99+
In VCE obtaining over an ATAR of 99, is a challenge! You have to be in the top 1% of students in Year 12. However it is not impossible to obtain an ATAR of above 99, you do not have to be “super-smart” either. Obtaining a 99+ in your VCE requires motivation, commitment, positive thinking and self belief. I have seen many exceptionally bright students not obtain an ATAR of 99 + because they had poor self-image and a lack of motivation. To have success in VCE you must follow some patterns which many high achievers “swear by”.
In VCE there is something that I always call the “motivation curve”. This is a graph of what happens to students throughout their year 12 study. It looks something like this;
This is the motivation curve of a VCE student – it generally doesn’t matter what the ATAR score is that they are striving for – there is generally a negative gradient in expectations. Why does this curve occur? The VCE year is a marathon not a sprint. A lot of VCE students simply work too hard, with too much passion at the beginning of the year and then cannot cope with the demands of their VCE. This causes the ATAR score to drop throughout the year.
In January and February, it is still warm and VCE students are “well-rested”. As a student you feel highly optimistic about your VCE experience. All your books are new and shiny, and yes – this year your writing and work will be as neat as possible. The idea of doing homework is exciting! You know you will do excellent in your VCE year, so you enjoy your homework. An ATAR of 99.95, here we come!
By late February, you have your first VCE SAC and the work begins to pile up. Perhaps you were not “the best” in the class in your SAC mark, and you start re-evaluating that ATAR score. You are still highly motivated and doing the set work, I mean VCE is tough isn’t it? And getting a 99+ is not easy (or so you have heard) – you are willing to go the lengths to ensure you have a top ATAR – well maybe not the “highest in the state” but close.
Along comes end of March – now you are well and truly in year 12. Work begins to pile up and there seems to be lots of SAC’s coming up. You are beginning to realise that you have to continue working hard. You books are less shiny and your notes are more messy. You begin to look forward to the Easter school holidays because you need to catch up with some of your subjects. Alternatively you may realise that you need a VCE tutor because you haven’t understood the topics well.
In late April and May the true colours of VCE unfold. It begins to get colder and darker at 5.30pm -getting up in the morning to go to school is more of a chore, and it is definitely more difficult to remain alert in free periods, let alone class. You are now getting bombarded with various VCE SAC’s and sometimes you even have 2 SAC’s in one day. If you are doing your VCE mid-semester exams the stress is beginning to pile up. Your exams are getting closer and you begin to panic! Normally schools are not finished the syllabus and you wish that they would hurry so that you can begin to prepare for you VCE mid-semester exams.
By June most students are tired and de-motivated. Now the weather is freezing and VCE and it seems that everyone around you has sniffles, a cold or the flu. It is getting dark very early and exams are just around the corner, or maybe just the GAT? Regardless, VCE students generally lower their expectations or pick different career pathways. During the Term 3 school holidays VCE students, rest after their stressful exam period. As a VCE student you may decide to perform better in Semester 2 – after all, it is a second chance. By the beginning of semester 2, motivation levels for VCE may increase slightly as you make a “self-promise” to do better next term.
However the Melbourne weather is now at its absolute worse, late July and August involve only one climate, COLD. The workload begins to bombard you again, your predicted ATAR drops even more. In late August your teacher alerts you that you have _ _ amount of days of school left, and the alarm bells go off. Along comes September, and you find yourself almost at the end of the VCE year, but just the beginning of all the exam sessions. Most students, by September are well and truly “over it”, they are fed up with being continuously under pressure throughout their VCE year and they just want the summer holidays (understandably). The ATAR prediction goes down even more because students are just so tired of the continuous pressure that they just cannot “take it” anymore.
So how will this rant help you achieve an ATAR of 99 and above? Now that we have considered the behaviour of most students, during the VCE – we can figure out what to do in order to obtain over 99. The key is in the motivational levels and attitude. This generally directly affects how much work you will be able to put into VCE. To get an ATAR of over 99, you need to follow a pattern that the majority of VCE students do not follow. That is, you must stay motivated consistently throughout the year. In the next few articles we will be discussing how to increase motivation in the VCE – so that you have the ultimate advantage over the majority of students. You will learn how to motivate yourself naturally – even if you are very, very de-motivated so definitely have a read of that articles.
Just remember VCE will be a whole lot easier and tolerable if you stay positive and empowered throughout your entire year… not just at the start of your VCE journey.
To achieve in VCE, you should put in the hard work!
I have personally taught hundreds of VCE students in the past 7 years, and I find that some students are “incredibly smart” and others just do not possess that ability of intrinsic talent for the academic field. Naturally you would expect the students that are “incredibly smart” to obtain the highest ATAR in their VCE. This is generally not the case though! In VCE commitment and dedication is what gets you the true results. I have had students that simply relied on their “smartness” and didn’t get a very good ATAR because it was simply not enough.
In the VCE to obtain results you must work hard! No matter what people say (the classic example is bragging about how little they spent studying) don’t believe it! Most high achievers in VCE did work, they did put in the hours, they were absolutely committed to their studies which opened up the gates of their VCE success.
During my VCE, I really did put in hours of work to obtain a very high ATAR. It was not easy – there was a lot of stress and uncertainty as well as my own inner pressure to succeed. I probably did overwork compared to my friends … but do I regret it now? No way… the skills I acquired in VCE helped me open Academy Plus, so it definitely paid off. I learned to appreciate the value of hard work. In life I don’t think it is important how naturally smart you are, I believe that it comes down to how committed you are towards achieving your goals (to get results). This attitude helps me to daily improve Academy Plus and hopefully turn it into a successful Australian wide business.
High achievers in the VCE work hard, stay committed and focused on the task at all times. They have a burning desire to reach success in VCE, even when times get tough.
Learn how to learn in VCE;
Developing the proper VCE study skills is essential in VCE. It is important to learn how to study effectively during the VCE because there are times when workload really builds up, and as a student you need to learn how to work quickly! To learn some excellent study habits you may want to attend an Academy Plus study skill seminar or simply read some free articles on the topic.
Essentially, as a VCE student you need to learn to eliminate distractions during studying as well as studying the right material which is most relevant. This takes practice to develop – since it is acquiring a new habit for many VCE students.
It is has been found by scientists that acquiring a new habit takes only about 28 days of conscious effort and then the skill will occur automatically. Therefore it is advisable that you develop a habit of acquiring proper VCE study skills before you enter VCE. If you find however that you did not do this before, it is not too late to make a positive impact beginning today! It should be never too late to develop positive study skills!
When teaching students that receive an ATAR of 99 and above a few things are always true these are;
(1) A high-achiever is up to date with their homework;
People that achieve 99 and above in their ATAR tend not to fall behind in their VCE subjects – if they do, they work hard to ensure that over a weekend, they have caught up.
(2) They do not over-rely on VCE tutoring;
High-achievers also get VCE tutoring – but they do not substitute tutoring with studying. High achieves understand that to achieve a high ATAR, they must also learn to apply the theory to the question, and this is a skill that no VCE tutoring company can provide. Applying the theory to the question is the ultimate link that will make you a top VCE student.
High achievers may attend VCE classes to get a better understanding of the theory, and to progress through the material at a faster rate than their peers. Or they may hire a VCE tutor to help them resolve questions, or to challenge them more. However they generally do not go overboard with tutoring, because they understand that it is important to be able to learn how obtain an answer on their own.
(3) They are responsible for their studying;
High achievers tend not to blame their teachers or school for their learning. They understand that there are many ways to study, and they do not only rely on one stream. High achievers are more independent learners that search for answers when they are unsure.
(4) They work to understand – not recite!
High achievers strive to understand topics, not simply memorising them. They know that understanding is the key to memorising, high achievers are always curious about their subject and enjoy knowing more as this helps them understand their VCE subject.
(5) They have well developed study skills.
High achievers have excellent study skills that are effective. They also know how to prioritize and manage their time. This allows them to maximise their time and help reduce stress during VCE.
To maximise your chance of receiving a 99 and above for your ATAR you should;
(1) Develop excellent study skills .
(2) Stay committed and know what you want and WHY.
(3) Persist, even when times get rough.
(4) Aim to understand topics, not memorise, this will cause you to remember!
(5) Work hard and effectively.
(6) Keep motivation levels high and consistent, throughout the year, not matter how tough.
(7) Do not “over-indulge” in VCE tutoring – learn how to apply the theory to the question