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Exam Preparation Week 2

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

Welcome back to the Connect Psychology 3&4 Blog! I’ve been meeting all of you recently via my Psychology 3&4 Lectures, so hopefully this blog adds some extra depth to advice I’ve already given you.

Today’s focus is all about School Holidays! When I reached my September holidays, I was very overwhelmed by the revision I had to do and the daunting knowledge that the Psychology Exam was fast approaching.

If any of you are feeling the same, hopefully some of my tips will help!

1. It’s all about balance

VCE, especially the exam period, is a MARATHON not a sprint.

I was always mindful not to tire myself out too early, particularly during the school holidays. Some people thought that because of my high scores, I must have spent my whole holidays locked away in my room. This was absolutely NOT the case.

Taking time out was important for me because it:

• was the last chance to relax before the intensity of Term 4

• stopped me from procrastinating

• kept me energised and engaged

That being said, I would try to be strict on myself and only allocate certain times for relaxing (covered in point 4). I definitely wouldn’t have binge-watched an entire Netflix series over the 2 weeks, which a lot of my friends did!

2. Laying the foundations; revising the CONTENT is key

For me, the holidays were largely about laying the foundations for the intense exam period ahead.

Primarily, it was about revising all the Psychology content from the year, before diving into lots of practise questions and exams.

In particular, this was the time that I revisited Unit 3 and other areas of content, and fixed my notes. More about revision notes is discussed in my previous blog.

3. Gather your resources and plan your goals

Before creating a proper schedule for the holidays, I first gathered all my resources and materials. This enabled me to understand my entire workload and what kind of objectives I needed to set for the holidays.

For example, some the items on my Psychology checklist were:

• Revising content and fixing my notes

• holiday homework (e.g. a 20-page booklet)

• x3 compulsory practise exams

• additional revision questions (only if I had extra time)

I also had to factor in other work, such as studying for my other 3&4 subject (Latin), studying for my 1&2 subjects.

4. Create a schedule

At the beginning of my holidays, I created a schedule so that I felt organised and in control. A key aspect of this schedule was that it was REALISTIC. For example, I didn’t plan to do 3 practise exams a day, which would just lead to burn out.

Some key aspect of my revision plan:

Balancing my subjects: For me, my 3&4 subjects (Latin and Psych) took priority over my 1&2 subjects, so I dedicated the majority of my holiday revision to them.

Be specific in your goals: For example, broad terms like “Study Psychology” left me feeling lost. Instead, I’d set goals such as “complete pages 1-3 of the revision booklet”.

Setting short tasks: I kept my revision in 1 hour blocks to keep me engaged and stop me from going on my phone.

Using the most productive times of the day: I found that I was useless after 4 pm, so I’d always leave that time to relax and allocate most work to the morning.

Time for relaxing: As discussed above, I would dedicate quite a few hours a day to relaxing, as well as most of my weekend.

Being flexible: I always tried to leave empty blocks, to complete any unfinished work (e.g. due to unproductive days, being sick etc.)

5. Attempting your first practise exam?

Over the school holidays, I was assigned my first few Psychology practise exams. This was an extremely daunting task and made me feel extremely overwhelmed.

As mentioned before, the holidays were mainly about laying foundations and revising content.

Therefore, this is how I approached practise exams:

• I didn’t do many, as I didn’t feel ready

• I did practise exams slowly and in sections, rather than all at once

• I only attempted doing one practise exam in timed conditions, and it was a disaster! Wait until you’re ready and know the content.

Note: We will be covering the ways I approached and completed practise exams in the next blog!

Hopefully you all find some of these tips helpful during your School Holidays. If some of these strategies don’t work for you, don’t worry! Do whatever suits your learning style and helps you succeed.

Remember to take some time for yourselves, stay connected to your friends and family, and prioritise your mental and physical health.

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