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  • Jo

Exam Preparation Week 1

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

Finishing SACs and How to Maintain Motivation

Hi there! My name is Jo, welcome to the PE blog where I will take you through, week by week, how I prepared for my PE exam. Hopefully this is a place where you can get some tips and tricks about how to prepare for the exam, how to study for PE and how to make the most of your last couple of months of Year 12 PE.

I also hope that this blog will give you a bit of an idea of what you could be doing each week so that you feel confident and ready going into the PE exam. Remember that everyone studies differently – take what you think will work for you.

Most importantly, I hope that this is helpful in giving you some inspiration and motivation, as well as some reassurance that everyone is as nervous as you are and that it’s okay to be a bit unsure about what you should be doing and how to study. That’s where I can help!

The focus of this week is on maintaining motivation and finishing up your SACs and starting to think a little bit more about exam preparation.

As Term 3 holidays are coming up, most of you will be on your way to finishing the content for PE and getting ready to sit your last SAC. I remember at this time I felt a bit stressed because my teachers and friends started talking about exam preparation, and I was busy just trying to keep on top of all of my SACs and also trying to fight off some September fatigue.

This time in Year 12 it’s really common to start feeling tired and be lacking in motivation. Some of the things that helped me to keep up my motivation with PE in particular was doing something active. Just getting away from my desk, out of my bedroom and moving for a little while. As well as being a nice break, this helped me to think about some of the PE content more physically and improved my understanding - especially with topics like energy systems, acute responses and chronic adaptations.

Talking about what you’re learning, with family members or friends, is also something I found really useful. My Dad loves bike riding, so I would talk to him about the biomechanics, energy systems, food fuels, training methods and chronic adaptations that apply to him. If you find something that they are already interested in, they are more likely to listen!

Talking in general to friends or family, even if it’s just complaining with friends about how much you have to do and how your feeling and how much homework you just got given always makes me feel a bit better and also reminds me that other people are feeling the same way I am. It’s healthy to vent and then get back to work.

For motivation, I also found it useful to write lists, really just because I loved crossing stuff off when I’d done it. At the start of the week I would write a list of the things I wanted to achieve and each day I would also have a smaller list (to maximise the number of items you get to cross off!). It’s also good to tell someone what you’re going to achieve that day (a sibling or a parent or a friend) because that keeps you a little bit more accountable.

What I found most important in keeping up my motivation was celebrating the little things that happened. Letting myself feel excited that I finished my last SAC for a subject or that my notes were finished or that I had written my last cue card and then having a break and letting that achievement sink in helped me to stay focused and feel like I was making progress.

Now that you’re sufficiently motivated to study, let’s talk last SACs. What I found was that the final few SACs that you sit are really good preparation for the exam.

With this in mind, I made it a priority as I was studying for my last SACs to think about connections between what I was learning and what we had already learned in PE. With the final topics of training programs and chronic adaptations, it’s useful to find connections with other areas like energy systems, acute responses, coaching and feedback and biomechanics. This helped me to very gently start the process of revision and to keep in mind that teachers and examiners often like to give questions that link multiple topics from the year.

Forcing myself to keep up with my notes and posters was also really important, and I was glad that I put in the effort to finish these properly so that I didn’t have to fix them later when it came to studying for exams. My best advice for notes is to do them properly once!

During your final SACs, what I would recommend based on my experience is to treat it like an exam so that you start to set up habits for your final exam. For me, this meant coming prepared with at least 2 pens and some pencils and highlighters (whatever you need), being on time, using key terminology and writing clearly and in full sentence responses, like the kind of responses I wanted to be writing in the exam in a couple of months. Building these practices in my final SACs helped me to get into the mindset of the exam and helped with the transition from thinking about SACs to thinking about the exam.

Good luck for your last few SACs, enjoy the final weeks of term and remember to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself. I’m looking forward to preparing for the PE exam together, you’ve got this, keep going!

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