Whenever I talk to young people about school and their potential results, I am horrified to hear some of the misconceptions and misunderstandings they have about the ATAR system.

This is a final school grade that most students believe to be important, and about which many are worried. Yet few of them actually take the time to learn what it is really all about.

Most of us know that we need to be better organised. We know that organisation can save us time and energy.
Many of us would write ‘get organised’ if asked to list our goals for the year.
But what does this actually mean and how do you actually do it?
I’ve lost count of the number of diaries I’ve bought over the years. Notice I said bought – not used.
If I look through any old ones I can see that at the start of the year I …

You’ve spent weeks studying and revising and have stuck to a rigid preparation system.
You’ve had a good night’s sleep and eaten a proper breakfast. You’re well hydrated, calm and focussed.
At least, you are while you’re outside of the exam room. But once you walk through that door quite often that’s when things start to fall apart.
Your mind goes blank, you panic, you rush through the paper hoping to get the ordeal over quickly and you

One way to improve your marks in the English exam is to use words that make you sound like a literary academic. But it’s not enough just to throw around some big words. It’s important to understand the meanings of these words (and learn how to spell them) so that you are able to use them appropriately and in context.
Here’s a list of 75 words that will instantly help you sound more sophisticated and knowledgeable.
Try to pick out some keywords for each of the key areas of focus and use them in your essay.

Have you ever received the feedback ‘You needed to answer the question more directly’?
Many students think that the solution to doing well in exams is to write a prepared essay, memorise it and then simply replicate it during the exam. But this is actually one of the most dangerous things you could do.
Let’s face it, you’re not going to be given the same question as the previous year. Or even in the last 5 years. Writing even a perfect essay that doesn’t address the question certainly won’t increase your marks.

Find your learning style
There are 4 main learning styles:

Auditory – these people learn by listening.

Verbal – verbal students learn best through reading and writing information

Visual – as the term suggests, visual students learn best through seeing

Kinaesthetic – these students learn through hands on activities

Take our Learning Styles Quiz and discover your personal style.

So what does this all mean and what are the implications for our study habits?