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Thread: What can I do to get the best ATAR I can get?

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    New Member iwanttogotojamesruse's Avatar
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    What can I do to get the best ATAR I can get?

    I'm going to be starting my HSC courses next term and I already feel like I'm going to screw it up. I'm aiming for a 96+ ATAR. I'm doing pretty bad already in Year 11 and I'm not sure what steps I should take to do the best I can.
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    Re: What can I do to get the best ATAR I can get?

    In yr 11, you can consider it a trial mode really, so seeing what your workload will be in yr 12, how committed your classes are and what your strengths/weaknesses are.

    Now in yr 12, you will know what sort effort you need to put in, whether that be that you continue at your pace currently, or you seek more time to work on your subjects i.e. tutoring, completing extra work etc. Some steps that could possibly taken include
    - seeking extra feedback from your teachers
    - spending more time on work, either by yourself, in a study group or tutoring
    - finding the right type of study pattern and type. This could be that you are a visual learner and need to see the picture, or something else
    - this isnt for all subjects, but finding multiple textbooks for certain subjects. Especially for maths, it would be beneficial to use multiple books because each book explains certain bits better than other bits. The Maths in focus series lacks consistency in terms of difficulty and i found them to be too brief, so finding other brands like the Cambridge can be more beneficial.

    The last tip perhaps is to drop a subject and have 10 or 11 units. It wont work for everyone, but if you know what your best subjects are then it will reduce your workload, and increase the time that you can spend on these other subjects.
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    Re: What can I do to get the best ATAR I can get?

    Ok first of all, you should not start your HSC course with that mindset!!! A lot of things can change and will change between Year 11 and Year 12. Year 11 was just a trial period, for you to discover your study methods/tips/tricks and your weaknesses and strengths so that when you enter Year 12 you'll be a lot more informed and knowledgeable of your limitations and strengths. It's ok if you're doing bad in year 11, after all it doesn't count towards your ATAR but it may indicate that you need to study more or study more effectively and hopefully when you reach Year 12 soon, you'll know not to repeat the same mistakes as you did in Year 11. I would say the most effective study period is doing past papers but your cohort is lacking in them so ultimately do the best that you can, clarify with students/peers/teachers if you don't understand something and remember to revise particular content and things you're having difficulty with. Good luck buddy!
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    Re: What can I do to get the best ATAR I can get?

    Hand in practice essays for your teacher to mark for essay based subjects. Hand in past papers with your attempt at answers (short-answers) for subjects other then maths, and try to implement your teacher's feedback so you can learn how to approach different questions most effectivelly.
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    Re: What can I do to get the best ATAR I can get?

    Here's few tips.

    Year 11 is nothing to worry about now. It doesn't get counted in your ATAR, and is a dress rehearsal for year 12.

    1. Don't peak for trials or any internals. Trials are just a dress rehearsal for HSC. They're not the HSC. Internals get thrown away at the end of the day, rendered practically useless because of scaling. Do your best - and it doesn't matter if your marks are garbage. They get scaled. The big exams right at the end are the ones to really work hard for.

    2. Drop units. I do 12 because I'm afraid of volatility in my marks, but do whatever floats your boat. I'm one of about 2-3 people in my cohort of 80 that do 12 units, but I don't seem to not have enough time to do all of them. People either drop their worst subjects or subjects they don't like.

    Specifically for your subjects:

    Multi: With your major, make sure your project idea combines a few elements of multimedia (animation, audio, video, interactivity, and text), and think about your idea well and truly before you give it to your teacher. If you do a film, write a story treatment, and if you don't like it, write another one until you get it right (its rare you will get it the first time). In your folio, try to push for 60+ pages and integrate the theory into the folio, covering every aspect of production in it and all of the industrial processes you used. Make good use of multimedia terminology in the folio. Things you learn like vectors/bitmaps, File formats, WHS, and industrial processes should be in your folio in some regard. Also include a legend in your folio - so the marker can see where your analysis is.

    Eco: Send in heaps of practice essays and shorts. Watch the news and see what is going on in the real world. Watch the budget, and take notes on it. Watch the RBA monetary policy decisions even if they are uneventful. It sounds difficult, but it is helpful as you can integrate what goes on today into your essays and work. Eg: You'll learn protectionism in year 12, link it to what Trump is doing with the steel tariffs, or withdrawing from the TPP.

    I do feel bad for you to some degree, you don't have mid years because NESA want to spit in your face and make life difficult. But, still do practice papers, topic by topic, and sit down for 3 hour exams and do them uninterrupted before your trials.

    Good luck. You can do well if you study well.
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    Re: What can I do to get the best ATAR I can get?

    Dude, don't even worry. I'm in year 12 and just finished trials. These were my averages in year 11 -

    Assessment Mark - Subject - Rank

    73% - English Advanced - 30/67
    83% - English Ext - 5/10
    49% - Mathematics - 49/93
    88% - Legal - 3/30
    83% - Economics - 13/23
    88% - Multimedia - 1/30
    21% - Biology - 49/63

    Did well in some subjects, but horrible in others. My marks legit ranged from 20 to 88. I never got a mark over 90 the whole year for one assessment. I was worried, like you, at the end of prelims because while these marks make me out to be an absolute dropkick, I worked so hard the whole year. How the fuck was I going to achieve a 95+ ATAR if these were my marks at their finest?? I legit did so bad in English that my head of English almost forced me into English standard (I just made the cutoff for advanced but she advised me to go to standard anyway cos I did so shit) and it made me cry of stress for fucking days. What was even more embarrassing was the fact that I took Ext English. (Our school only lets top half of prelim cohort into HSC advanced course)

    Fast forward to year 12. Here are my overall assessment marks with my ranks after trials.

    90% - English Advanced - 2/36
    82% - Mathematics - 7/54
    97% - Legal Studies - 3/30
    85% - Economics - 3/30
    95% - Multimedia - 1/30

    Note the difference in my English marks/ranks. I literally went from the bottom to the top. In my prelim finals, I got 67% and in my HSC English Advanced trial, I got 92% with a raw mark of 96/105. I don't think my study habits changed that much - I was just a lot more consistent with it. I also got a job at the start of year 12 and have been working 15-30 hours/week, which is excessive for the average person but it helps me manage my time a lot. I persevered through all the hardships and it has been and will continue to be a grind towards the HSC. It's all uphill and you just gotta keep going. Always be quietly confident, but never complacent. There is always more that you can do. Seek out your errors and work on them, it will pay off.


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    Re: What can I do to get the best ATAR I can get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumenoria View Post
    Dude, don't even worry. I'm in year 12 and just finished trials. These were my averages in year 11 -

    Assessment Mark - Subject - Rank

    73% - English Advanced - 30/67
    83% - English Ext - 5/10
    49% - Mathematics - 49/93
    88% - Legal - 3/30
    83% - Economics - 13/23
    88% - Multimedia - 1/30
    21% - Biology - 49/63

    Did well in some subjects, but horrible in others. My marks legit ranged from 20 to 88. I never got a mark over 90 the whole year for one assessment. I was worried, like you, at the end of prelims because while these marks make me out to be an absolute dropkick, I worked so hard the whole year. How the fuck was I going to achieve a 95+ ATAR if these were my marks at their finest?? I legit did so bad in English that my head of English almost forced me into English standard (I just made the cutoff for advanced but she advised me to go to standard anyway cos I did so shit) and it made me cry of stress for fucking days. What was even more embarrassing was the fact that I took Ext English. (Our school only lets top half of prelim cohort into HSC advanced course)

    Fast forward to year 12. Here are my overall assessment marks with my ranks after trials.

    90% - English Advanced - 2/36
    82% - Mathematics - 7/54
    97% - Legal Studies - 3/30
    85% - Economics - 3/30
    95% - Multimedia - 1/30

    Note the difference in my English marks/ranks. I literally went from the bottom to the top. In my prelim finals, I got 67% and in my HSC English Advanced trial, I got 92% with a raw mark of 96/105. I don't think my study habits changed that much - I was just a lot more consistent with it. I also got a job at the start of year 12 and have been working 15-30 hours/week, which is excessive for the average person but it helps me manage my time a lot. I persevered through all the hardships and it has been and will continue to be a grind towards the HSC. It's all uphill and you just gotta keep going. Always be quietly confident, but never complacent. There is always more that you can do. Seek out your errors and work on them, it will pay off.


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    woah what an amazing improvement. what did you do (like study methods etc) from year 11 to twelve to improve so much ????

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    Re: What can I do to get the best ATAR I can get?

    Quote Originally Posted by iwanttogotojamesruse View Post
    I'm going to be starting my HSC courses next term and I already feel like I'm going to screw it up. I'm aiming for a 96+ ATAR. I'm doing pretty bad already in Year 11 and I'm not sure what steps I should take to do the best I can.
    Dw year 11 means nothing just reflect on your current methods and evaluate what is working and what isn't, then make changes and test stuff out.

    In yr 11 I think I was around 11th in physics at half yearly then 5th or 6th in yearly in yr 11 (forgot tbh), in bio i was 3rd then 2nd. Then in yr 12 I became first for physics (by quite a bit) and in bio as well. So dw about year 11 because literally people fall off by year 12 either because they burn out, or other people try harder and overtake them, or the content in yr 12 is more suited to some people (I loved yr 12 bio so I did much better).

    Also make sure you keep reflecting and evaluating study methods because in year 12 I got 11/20 in an english speech worth 15% and I was almost last so I was like RIP 99 atar and RIP dux. Then we did half yearly and I got 17/30 which was just below average so I was like 25th out of 34 or something. I was like how'd I get 8/15 for my memorised essay, memorising worked very well in year 11 and made me come 3rd overall, and realised the feedback kept saying to answer the question more.

    So in the first trial I memorised quotes only and made my essay on the spot and spammed the question everywhere and after 3 trials I ended up as 5th so make sure you keep improving your study methods!

    Also another example was for 4u, went from high 70s in trials to around 90-93 raw in HSC (made some silly mistakes).
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    Re: What can I do to get the best ATAR I can get?

    Quote Originally Posted by c8 View Post
    woah what an amazing improvement. what did you do (like study methods etc) from year 11 to twelve to improve so much ????
    Aw thankyou! The most obvious difference, was the amount of practice I did. In year 11, I memorised essays verbatim but did not consider the possibility of the exam question being different to my prepared response ever. This is what I mean by don't be "too complacent" - this was probably my biggest downfall honestly. While I did study consistently throughout year 11, I did not fully apply myself until the 2-3 days before the exam. In year 12 however, I completely deviated away from this strategy and instead developed a multiplicity of essay plans. I do atleast 1 practice essay per day for English to the hardest possible questions I can find, and only memorise quotes. I got 18/20, 18/20 and 19/20 respectively for the modules in Paper 2 for trials, but am in the process of writing out practice essays to the same questions in order to push myself to a 20, which I will send to my teacher tonight for criticism. I am very conscious that my raw trial marks would've moderated to a high Band 6 in HSC, but I want to do the absolute best I can. And that doesn't involve sitting around on marks that could be improved - it means working your ass off. By no means do you have to be this nitpicky - I'm not this strict with myself for my other subjects, but I love English and know I have the potential to do better than this, so why the fuck not? I literally have hundreds of practice essays in my drawer right now lol - they are so imperative to success and over time you will develop a finesse to tackle even the hardest of questions easily. It's the biggest grind but so important imo. Lots of students do well through memorisation, but I truly believe doing so limits your ability to provide the marker with the nuance demanded by each respective question. Actually knowing your shit will trump memorisation every time. Once you get into this habit of pumping out essays, you will see what I mean.

    Particularly for English, have a constant dialogue with your teacher in terms of drafting. I've sent mine god knows how many drafts this year. Although the feedback can be demoralising sometimes, it is pivotal to doing well because even if you think your essay is good enough, your teacher knows exactly what the marker is looking for. And it will help you improve I promise. For example, my teacher told me that my first ever draft was a C range response for discovery and it ruined my day. In trials, I got full marks in that section I kid you not. If you have a shitty teacher, send to someone online or a friend. I've given feedback on so many of my friends' drafts for English, and would be more than happy to do so for you if need be (after my hsc tho ahah).

    I'm all for notes, but don't be one of those people that spends all of their study time up to the exam just on making them look pretty!! Spending 2 hours making 2 pages look pretty has the same value as writing it out basic bitch style in 20 minutes! Regardless, imo note making is useless and this was proven to me in year 11. Throughout year 12, I made pretty simple notes during the year (all my comprehensive shit was reserved for my practise essays), but I was never too fussed about them really. Hell HSC is in 30 or so days and I've like 2 topics behind in my notes for economics but I'm indifferent because it's already in my brain. Ideally, two or so weeks before the exam (for me I wasn't too well managed time wise so I typically did this 3 days or so before lol), you should not be doing any study - in fact you should already be well and truly done with it. At this point you should focus on refining your exam technique through past papers and all that. DO NOT GO INTO THE EXAM JUST IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR STUDY NOTES WITHOUT DOING ANY PRACTICE! Seriously.

    Develop a study routine early. All my peers say I study heaps, but I've grown so accustomed to my stringent study regime that it's become second nature. I usually do 35 hours per week, with up to 50 during exam periods. Use an app like Forest!! The first few days are the worst when getting into this habit - I used to find it impossible to reach 5 hours in a day, but now it's pretty easy. Quality over quantity though.

    Try to enjoy your subjects. I easily do well in legal because I get so passionate in my essays, and I truly immerse myself in the content. Naturally, this means the subjects I hate suffer lol (i.e. maths)

    Drop subjects you hate. Don't even argue with me on this one. Dropping biology was the best decision I ever made.

    Hope this helped!! Good luck



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    Re: What can I do to get the best ATAR I can get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumenoria View Post
    Drop subjects you hate. Don't even argue with me on this one. Dropping biology was the best decision I ever made.

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    ATAR: 99.75

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