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Thread: Did i screw up my preliminary year

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    Did i screw up my preliminary year

    I hate to verge on the side of complaining but I'm extremely worried for the rest of the year and for the HSC year. I really feel that I've stepped it up on my studying habits from previous years, I've studied almost non-stop as soon as I arrive home with a 2 or 1.5 hour break in between until 11 or 12am (including homework and studying) and my results from my half-yearly report really gets me down. I'm just so worried that if I placed all this effort into work and this is what I get, what's going to happen in year 12 because I don't know how to study more or anymore effectively.
    My school is ranked 300+ and my internal rank isn't great.
    5/15- Advanced english (A)
    9/25- Chemistry (B)
    5/58 Mathematics or 2 unit (B)
    4/22 Economics (B)
    1/50 Biology (A)
    another science subject that hasn't been assessed (A)
    The assessments haven't been tests per se but practicals, depth studies and assignments. My economic's mark worries me the most because in my cohort, I always hate to say anything bad about my class, but only about 4 people actually care about their schoolwork and I came fourth and I still haven't received my assignment mark back yet and I honestly don't know where I went wrong (my report says i got 80%). I thought I was doing better in that subject. I know what I did wrong in my chem assessment and I can improve on that hopefully.
    I've seen how much harder other students work at my tutor and I'm so scared to go up against them in HSC because i know they're better than me and if I can't even get relatively top marks at my school (top 10%) I don't think I have any hope for my ATAR, I'm aiming 90+ but I don't know anymore. I feel as though I've studied so much but I can't improve. I know I talk about school like I have a stress problem but I'm just being realistic because I know how much better other students are and I know how much harder they work to become smarter. This is the only year where I actually considered where my future will head because ,honestly, I had no motivation in previous years nor was I very proactive. I understand that my grades aren't horrible, I get that, but compared to the rest of the state, they are bad and I don't want to trick myself into thinking that they aren't. For the first time, this year I don't feel like doing anything and I've lost I think I lost my initially spark that has been driving me.
    I know this is a fairly long post but I felt like I just had to vent, hence why I'm typing instead of doing my work. Is there any tips on ways I can improve my studying or understanding, thus improving my marks and/or rank.

  2. #2
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    Did i screw up my preliminary year

    Hey!

    First off, I feel you. I'm going to give you the response I gave to someone else regarding a similar issue. Let me give you my rankings/marks for all my subjects in my year 11 yearly report -

    English Advanced - 30/67 - 73%
    English Extension 1 - 5/10 - 82%
    Mathematics - 49/93 - 51%
    Legal Studies - 3/54 - 88%
    Economics - 13/30 - 83%
    Biology - 49/60 - 40%
    Multimedia - 1/30 - 88%

    Not ideal, right? I was SO upset at how inconsistent my marks were at the end of year 11. I was mainly disappointed that I didn't exceed 90 in anything, despite trying SO hard and compromising SO much time for school. Keep in mind, I did try really hard in year 11 - probably just as hard as I do now - but my study techniques just weren't ideal. I really wanted a 90+ ATAR, but like you, I thought "if I can't ace year 11, how the fuck am I going to do well in year 12???" Well, let me explain. Btw, I go to a school ranked in the early 100s.

    My English improvement is the best comeback story in my experience though. In English Advanced for prelim, I felt as though I put in way more effort into the subject than my friends and STILL was ranking exponentially below them. What was even more embarrassing, was that while they were hating on how horrendous the subject was, I actually liked it. Yet, I managed to JUST make the cutoff for Advanced in year 12 - our school forces the bottom half of the prelim cohort into Standard. I remember after half-yearlies in my prelim year, I posted on an HSC forum panicking for advice after getting only 65% and 80% in my assessments at that point. Looking back, I should NOT have put myself in so much misery for that. But I know, it seriously sucks expending so much effort into something and your results not be reflective of it, I get it.

    The important thing though, is to focus on your weaknesses. For me, exam technique is always what compromises my marks (specifically time management in exam conditions) - but for you, it might be formulating a cohesive and sophisticated argument itself. I worked my ass off in year 11 despite my shortcomings, and now, I'm ranked 2nd out of 40 students for Advanced with consistent marks of 90 in all assessments thus far. For my half yearly assessment, I went out the night before for my birthday and still managed to achieve a 90+ mark. I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to hand in drafts BEFORE the assessment date. I'm quite fortunate in this regard as my school's English faculty is blessed with extremely competent teachers and my one happens to be the head and the best, but even if this is not the case for you, their feedback is absolutely invaluable!! There is no way I would've even imagined achieving marks this high back in year 11 - when I thought it was a lost cause - were it not for the support, expertise and mentorship of my English teacher. It is all literally hard work, and insurmountable levels of drafts, emails, questions etc. I got 60% for creative writing - my absolute weakness - in prelim, but I attained a mark of 93% in my AOS creative for discovery in year 12. That was, after a debilitating back and forth drafting process with my teacher, which involved probably 5-8 emails hahaha. I don't even exactly remember, but it was definitely a LOT more than usual.

    After dropping subjects that placed me in abject misery (bio lol), focusing on my weaknesses and expending so much time into refining exam technique, my results are stronger than they have ever been after half-yearlies (I'm in my HSC year rn).

    After 2 assessment periods, my current final marks/ranks are as follows -

    English Advanced - 2/36 - 90%
    English Extension 1 - 2/8 - 96%
    Mathematics - 1/84 - 90%
    Legal Studies - 3/35 - 95%
    Economics - 2/23 - 87%
    Multimedia - 1/20 - 88%

    As you can see, after shifting study habits to ones that are more effective in the long run (not cramming), my results overall improved EXPONENTIALLY. I went from bottom 10 in my cohort for some subjects in prelim, to top 3 in every single subject. Whereas I was getting marks as LOW as 20% in year 11, my lowest result in year 12 thus far has been 85% (which actually topped the class, believe it or not). I have never hired a tutor either. At parent teacher interviews, my teachers ALL said that they were expecting a Band 6 from me. This would have seemed impossible to me in year 11. Back then, I literally thought I was doomed. Funny thing is, I don't think the time I've spent studying have even changed, just my ways of studying have. I've found that doing millions of past HSC papers and mountains of practice essays before the exam helps me immensely.

    By no means do you have to sacrifice your social life for the HSC - I did not have a job in year 11 and did shit, but I've been working 25 hours per week for all of year 12 and my results have infact gone up! You do NOT have to be studying insane hours in year 11 - just develop good study habits. It's all about time management, really. I spend about 35 hours studying per week, if you want a rough idea - and up to 45 during assessment periods. I am in year 12 though, so you definitely don't need to do nearly this much. I still indulge in TV shows (Suits!!) and stuff, of course. You can't completely deprive yourself of entertainment - you'll go insane!

    I hope this helps you, even if it's a little bit!! In the case of English, it was easier for me to improve because I'm one of the rare people that actually enjoy it (absolutely hate maths though HAHA), but if you even have a glimmer of passion of subject - pursue it! It will motivate you to actually work hard on it. Year 11 doesn't mean shit anyway, just develop ideal study habits. Don't use your school as an excuse to slack off - if you do the best you can, then the system will work in your favour. Seek out your errors and work on them, it pays off.

    Actually, speaking of that, I was cleaning out my inbox and found an email from my year 11 English Adv teacher because it was sitting in my drawer. It made me feel like I'd come so far. I remember venting to her about how horrendous my marks were at the time (not sure if I mentioned this before but bear in mind that the bottom ranked half of the Advanced cohort would be forced to Standard for HSC and I obviously wanted to stay in Advanced). I was sitting on a mark in the low 70s, ranking 30th out of 67 people. She wrote: "Your mark places you in a competitive position for your HSC year. You work hard and will be rewarded for your dedications to your studies, Lumenoria." I remember reading it at the time and scoffing at how absurd that was. Looking back on that, now in my HSC year coming 2nd in English Advanced after being literally on the precipice of being dropped to Standard, made me feel all kinds of emotion. It is worth it.
    Last edited by Lumenoria; 8 Jun 2018 at 6:50 PM.
    pencilspanker and asher32 like this.
    Preliminary 2017; Advanced English | English Extension 1 | Mathematics | Legal Studies | Economics | Biology | Multimedia
    ATAR Aim; 95

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    Re: Did i screw up my preliminary year

    Your ranks are actually good. You're overthinking and stressing for no reason. Stress is the downfall of a lot of bright students, so don't let it get it you. Hard work is important, but it's not everything. If person A works harder than person B, it doesn't mean that person B is going to get a lower ATAR, it's all about how you study and your attitude towards your subjects.

    Here is what I recommend, speak to your tutor, ask him/her if he/she thinks you have issues in your studying techniques and ask them on how to improve it. I could give you a list of techniques to make your studying more effective, but it's better to ask your tutor or teachers as they know your level better than I do. Secondly, try forgetting about your marks, and just keep working hard and make sure you enjoy the process, If you're doing something you enjoy, your results will automatically improve. Worrying about what you can't control won't get you any results.

    There are heaps of stories of people who completely stuffed up their yr11 and even some assessments in year 12 and still managed to achieve top results, you're better off using this time that you spend over-analysing and putting it into your subjects and other aspects of your life.

    One more thing, make sure you have time for yourself, dont just study 24/7, take breaks, make sure youre sleeping well and take care of yourself as well . All the best!
    Bsc (Advanced Mathematics)/(Neuroscience)/ TSP

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    Re: Did i screw up my preliminary year

    Haha ok thanks to you both, I'll ask advice from my tutor on studying techniques and i'll just focus on the quality studying instead of quantity so I can have more free time to chill. Yeah, it is only year 11 but I'll still study just as hard and see where it goes. Urgh, it's definitely hard to not worry about marks but I mean I guess I can try.
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    Re: Did i screw up my preliminary year

    When you study for the sake of learning you’ll forget about the marks, obviously you should always have goals and aims and clearly marks are important to achieving theses goals but marks shouldn’t be what define who you are or what causes you to stress and worry. Use the time in year 11 to learn from your mistakes, establish good study habits and get rid of your bad habits. Again, best of luck!!
    Bsc (Advanced Mathematics)/(Neuroscience)/ TSP

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