How to effectively study in Year 12

Are you at the point in year 12 where you just don’t know how to study, how to deal with the stress of all the things you need to do and balance your life so that you are taking care of yourself and achieving a good work life balance? Well, you have come to the right place to get some nifty tips to get you back on track! 

This article will cover the 7 top tips for maintaining a good work life balance in year 12, whilst effectively studying for all your subjects!


Tip1: Write out a checklist

This is the first, a probably most important step to getting yourself to study effectively in year 12. It uses the same principle where writing your goals allows you to solidify them as opposed to leaving them as abstract concepts in your mind, making it more likely for you to achieve them. In the same way, when you have a checklist of things to do for the day, for the week, or even for the specific study session you are having, you solidify the tasks you need to complete, and allow yourself to have a good idea of what you need to get done in the forefront of your mind, and hold yourself accountable if these things are not accomplished. Make sure that these tasks are highly specific, and or not things like ‘write english essay’, but rather, read through chapter one of my english texts and pick out 3 quotes. By breaking down big tasks into smaller tasks, you not only make the task easier for yourself to complete, but you help yourself with accountability. 

So, ideally, before each study session, write down all the things that you need to get down! Take a look below for an example: 


To do: 

  • Complete the 2021 HSC English advanced paper 1 under timed conditions 
  • Complete the last question of the maths ext1 HSC paper 


Tip 2: Use the pomodoro method 

Long, boring study sessions are never effective. Your attention span is only so long, and your brain needs time to rest and process the information you have given it. A good way to structure this process is the pomodoro method, where you study in increments of 30 minutes and take a break for about 5-10 minutes, and repeat. In this way, you are able to get bursts of focused study while giving your mind some time to process the information you gave it. The 5-10 minute break you give yourself would ideally be spent doing an activity that rests your mind like having a snack or taking a walk (as opposed to scrolling through social media:))


Tip 3: Keep distractions away!

Your phone is probably your worst enemy during study time. The best way to avoid distractions from your phone is to remove your phone from your study room, hide it in a draw, or tone notifications off! Checking your phone often during a study session can break up your flow, and make you lose concentration meaning that the information that you are trying to learn may not actually be going through your mind. 

On the other hand, if your distraction isn’t your phone but someone, (maybe your siblings) it’s always a good idea to effectively communicate, and let them know you will be studying, and ask them to not bother you unless it’s super urgent! 

Removing all such distractions makes sure that your study sessions are effective, allowing you to study ‘smart not hard’. 


Tip 4: Do a few subjects per day

In a similar way to the pomodoro technique in which you break up your study time, it is always a good idea to break up the subjects you study in a day, so that you don’t spend all your time focusing on one subject and tiring yourself out. Choose two subjects to work on per day, giving them equal study time, and make sure you write out your specific study goals that you want to achieve for that specific study session. 


Tip 5: Schedule in break time 

This almost links to the pomodoro tip, but can be extended! Make sure to schedule proper breaks that are not 5-10 minutes long. For example, if you feel as though you had a great study week, and that you pretty much accomplished everything you needed to do, give yourself an afternoon to watch a movie, to read a book or to just have a nice early sleep. Giving yourself these nice long breaks helps separate and differentiate your days, and allows you to rejuvenate, helping you avoid burnout. 


Tip 6: Do lots of practice questions and papers 

Doing practice questions and papers is probably the most effective way to study (once you’ve actually gone through the information of course). Practice papers not only help you see where your weaknesses lie, but give you an exam type of environment which effectively prepares you for the format of your final tasks – your HSC exams. Doing practice papers is also a really good way to reduce your stress before the HSC in that you have the mindset that you have completed so many practice papers before, that you would most certainly ace this one, which is a great mindset to have going into an exam!


Tip 7: Know the content until you can teach someone else 

I guess the final tip would be one to help you measure how much you know. I guess it is always a dilema knowing whether you know enough – the nitty gritty details of all the content that you must know, and a great way to actually know this is asking yourself the following question – would I be able to teach this concept to someone else. If the answer is yes, then great, you’ve got your content pretty much down pat. However, if your answer is no, then it might be a good idea to look at where the gaps in your knowledge are, and target your study accordingly. 


Well, that’s it for this article, I hope you’ve gained some useful tips to help you study more effectively!

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