Year 11 High School Survival Guide

In this guide, we will explore why Year 11 is the most important year in high school, discuss the expectations of Stage 6 English, Mathematics, and Science, and explain how to use Year 11 to get ahead.

The Matrix Year 11 High School Survival Guide will show you how to navigate the Preliminary HSC. Year 11 is a very important year in your schooling, so what can you do to make the most of it and hit the HSC year with confidence? In Y11 you begin preliminary study of the subjects you’ll sit for the final HSC exams. So you need to understand key concepts and stay on top of the workload!

In this guide, we will discuss the expectations of Stage 6 English, Mathematics, and Science; and explain how to use Year 11 to get ahead.

 

In this article we discuss:

An overview of Year 11

What’s expected of students in Year 11

Y11 is a big step up in terms of your responsibility as a student. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know. You must::

  • Understand the structure of Years 11 and 12 – Preliminary followed by the HSC
  • Be clear about which subjects they wish to study for Years 11 and 12
  • Know the syllabus
  • Be goal orientated
  • Expect an increase in workload
  • Undertake self-directed learning

Year 11 and Year 12 are both part of Stage 6. This means that the skills you develop in Year 11 will support your success in Year 12. Working hard in Year 11 is the foundation of HSC success. It is critical for students to stay on top of their subject material so they don’t fall behind.

In short:

  • Year 11 is the first year of the Stage 6 syllabus. Stage 6 is comprised of the preliminary year for the HSC and followed by Year 12 and the HSC.
  • Year 11 is only 3 terms!  Year 11 starts in February 2019 and ends in September 2019 to cater for the start of Year 12 in October 2019.
  • There is a new Stage 6 Syllabus beginning in 2018. The English and Science Stage 6 curriculum has been strengthened and streamlined. The Mathematics syllabus will change in 2019. Matrix courses are changing to reflect this.
  • Year 11 students at Matrix start in October 2018 to allow for all students to learn the Year 11 content over 4 school terms, rather than 3.

Common challenges faced by Year 11 students

Year 11 students often struggle to get on top of things. This can happen for a number of reasons:

  • Students are often unaware of the syllabus requirements – The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) provide students and parents with the Syllabus Outcomes and requirements for each unit of study. Many students don’t take the time to read through this information to learn what NESA expects of them.
  • They have poor time management skills – Students often don’t plan their time well. They hamper themselves by:
    1. not having a daily and weekly routine.
    2. being reactive to their schoolwork: they finish homework, and respond to assessment notifications when they receive them. Often students don’t think proactively and plan in advance.
    3. not planning for upcoming exams.
  • Students don’t set effective goals – Many students are unaware of the benefits of setting clear and well defined academic goals. Some students don’t set goals at all. Others may try to set goals, but don’t know what goals they should be setting.
  • Students aren’t prepared for the faster pace of learning – Students are presented with more information in a shorter period of time than they were in previous grades. As a result, students can see homework and study piling up, without the time or energy to get it all done in time. Things move fast, and students who are not prepared and diligent fall behind.
  • Students struggle with independent learning – Students will not get mastery of a subject from their class time. it is important that students practice and revise their skills at home when they study. Students who are not independent learners quickly fall behind.

Year 11 students receive a substantially higher workload. This means that students will need to do a significant amount of homework each night. Most students do at least 3 hours of study per day.

Conscientious students will do at least 3 hours study per evening.

This means that students will need to do between 15 and 18 hours of study each week!

Choosing the right subjects for the HSC

Before Year 11 begins, students need to make some very important choices about what subjects they will study. You can do this with greater confidence knowing the following details:

  • The minimum number of units in Year 11 is 12 units of study.
  • Some university courses have subject prerequisites that students must take into account for their Year 11 subject selection.
  • Students need to decide which subjects they wish to study for the HSC. These decisions will affect which university courses they can apply for.
  • English is a compulsory subject. Some university courses now require a minimum Band 5 in English Standard or Advanced. English will be available in five levels, of which 3 are choices students can make – English Advanced, English Standard, and English Studies. Students will be placed in EAL/D if they meet specific criteria.
  • Mathematics Advanced is now a prerequisite for some university courses.
  • Biology, Chemistry, and Physics are recommended for some health science courses.
  • Students are encouraged to discuss their HSC and university entrance goals their teachers, careers adviser, parents, and peers to make an informed decision regarding their academic goals and university course aspirations.

As you can see, Year 11 is the most important Year in High School! A poor academic performance in Year 11 can greatly handicap your opportunities in Year 12!

What is Stage 6?

NESA refers to the learning journey of students as Stages. Years 11 and 12 are known as Stage 6. Each subject has a specific set of Stage 6 Outcomes that students are expected to meet.

For some subjects, Stage 6 is divided into Preliminary and HSC. The subjects will have specific Outcomes for each year. You can find more information about Stage 6 here on the NESA website.

Understanding subjects in Year 11

To succeed in Years 11 and 12, students must have a thorough understanding of what their subjects involve and what the NESA outcomes are.

Let’s have a look at the requirements for English, Maths, and Science.

Year 11 English

The Year 11 and 12 English courses are divided up into:

  • English Standard
  • English Advanced
  • English Extension (3 Unit)
  • English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D)
  • English Studies (non-ATAR unit)
  • English Life Skills (non-ATAR unit).

Only certain students can take English Studies or EAL/D. Students who feel they should take this course must speak to their teacher and Year coordinator. If you would like to know more about the EAL/D course and entry requirements, they can be found here on the NESA website.

English Studies and English Life Skills are not eligible for an ATAR. Students studying these English courses will not receive an ATAR from UAC.

A minimum standard of Band 5 in English Advanced or Standard is becoming a common prerequisite for some university degrees. The percentage of students who achieved Band 5 or 6 in 2016 can be seen in the following table:

Table: comparing Standard and Advanced results
English AdvancedEnglish Standard
Percentage of Students Receiving Band 615.41%0.85%
Percentage of Students Receiving Band 546.59%12.62%

In 2016, 62% of English Advanced students received a Band 5 or higher, but only 13.47% of English Standard students achieved above a Band 5.

It is important that students take the appropriate level of English for their abilities and the requirements of their desired university courses. More information about the differences between English Advanced vs English Standard vs English Studies can be found here.

Year 11 English is divided into three Modules for English Advanced, English Standard and English Studies.

Let’s see what is involved in Year 11 English:

Table: Comparison of English Courses
English AdvancedEnglish StandardEnglish StudiesEAL/D
Common ModuleReading to WriteReading to Write(Mandatory Module) Achieving Through EnglishOptional teacher-developed module
Module ANarratives that Shape Our WorldContemporary possibilitiesChosen from a list of 14 electivesLanguage and Texts in Context
Module BCritical Study of LiteratureClose Study of literatureChosen from a list of 14 electivesClose Study of Text
Module CNo Module CNo Module CNo Module CTexts and Society

Year 11 students need to be aware that:

  • Module is the term used by NESA to describe the unit set for study. The modules prescribe the content studied by students, this includes the approach to the texts.
  • Students must always familiarise themselves with the Module outlines to be able to address their criteria. These can be found here on the NESA site.
  • The Common Module is used to standardise testing for the different levels of English.
  • All students for English Standard and English Advanced will need to take the Common Module in Year 11 and again in Year 12.
  • English Studies students do not do the Common Module in Year 11. In Year 11, English Studies students study the Achieving Through English Module. In Year 12, English Studies students will take the Common Module with English Advanced and English Standard.
  • English Studies students take elective modules chosen by their teachers from a list of 14 options. The list can be found here on the NESA website. The other modules that students take will differ in difficulty depending on which English course they study.
  • The English Advanced Modules are more complex and demanding than the English Standard Modules. English Advanced requires you to:
    • Analyse and evaluate texts and the ways in which they are valued in their contexts;
    • Compose and respond to more complex texts; and,
    • Develop higher-level critical thinking and reflection skills.
  • In Year 11, there is no prescribed text list. In Year 12, the texts will be chosen from a prescribed list.

You can find a comprehensive overview of Year 11 English Advanced and its Modules in Part 1 of our Beginner’s Guide to Acing HSC English.

We recommend students speak with their School English coordinator regarding the suitable level of English

Year 11 English Advanced

The new Stage 6 English syllabus began in 2018. The Year 11 English Advanced course is intended for students who have developed strong English skills and results throughout Stage 5.

In Year 12, English Advanced students need to satisfy the following outcomes in order to obtain an HSC mark in Band 5 or 6. Note that 15.41% of English Advanced students received band 6 compared to 0.85% of English Standard students. It is important that Year 11 students familiarise themselves with Stage 6 learning outcomes so that they are better prepared to achieve Band 5 or 6 results in Year 12.

The learning outcomes are:

Table: Stage 6 English Advanced Outcomes (Source: NESA Website)
Year 11 English Advanced
Outcome EA11-1responds to, composes and evaluates complex texts for understanding, interpretation, critical analysis, imaginative expression and pleasure
Outcome EA11-2uses and evaluates processes, skills and knowledge required to effectively respond to and compose texts in different modes, media and technologies
Objective B: use language to shape and make meaning according to purpose, audience and context
Outcome EA11-3analyses and uses language forms, features and structures of texts considering appropriateness for specific purposes, audiences and contexts and evaluates their effects on meaning
Outcome EA11-4strategically uses knowledge, skills and understanding of language concepts and literary devices in new and different contexts
Objective C: think in ways that are imaginative, creative, interpretive and critical
Outcome EA11-5thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically to respond to, evaluate and compose texts that synthesise complex information, ideas and arguments
Outcome EA11-6investigates and evaluates the relationships between texts
Objective D: express themselves and their relationships with others and their world
Outcome EA11-7evaluates the diverse ways texts can represent personal and public worlds and recognises how they are valued
Outcome EA11-8explains and evaluates cultural assumptions and values in texts and their effects on meaning
Objective E: learn and reflect on their learning through their study of English
Outcome EA11-9reflects on, evaluates and monitors own learning and adjusts individual and collaborative processes to develop as an independent learner

To achieve a Band 6 result, students need to demonstrate extensive knowledge of their texts and write insightful responses that demonstrate their insight into those texts. The best way for students to perform well in Year 11 English is to understand how their texts reflect the concerns of the Module and write responses that demonstrate an understanding of the English Advanced Year 11 course Outcomes.

Matrix Year 11 English Advanced Theory Books teach students how to address the outcomes for Stage 6, the Band 6 descriptors, and the specific Module requirements. Students who strive to address the Stage Outcomes and Band Descriptors always perform better than their peers.

The Matrix Year 11 English Advanced timetable is below:

Table: Matrix Year 11 English Advanced Program
2019 Year 11 English Advanced
Oct – DecHow to Be a Better Writer
Feb – AprCommon Module: Reading to Write
Apr – JunModule A: Narratives That Shape Our World
Jul – SepModule B: Critical Study of Literature

Year 11 students at Matrix gain an extensive knowledge and understanding of the key concepts of preliminary English. Matrix English courses run for a term and with 9 structured lessons. If you want help getting started with Stage 6 English, read our Beginner’s Guide to Acing HSC English!

Year 11 Mathematics Advanced (Preliminary)

The Year 11 and 12 Mathematics Advanced course is intended for students who have demonstrated general competence in all the skills in the Year 10 Mathematics Advanced Course.

Students who require substantial Mathematics at a tertiary level supporting the Physical Sciences, Computer Science, or Engineering should undertake the Extension 1 or Extension 2 course.

The content and depth of treatment of the Mathematics Advanced course is intended to give students an understanding of and competence in some further aspects of Mathematics which are applicable to the real world.

The Year 11 and 12 Mathematics Advanced topics are listed below:

Year 11 Mathematics Advanced

Main TopicsSubtopics
Table: Year 11 Mathematics Advanced Syllabus
FunctionsMA-F1 – Working with Functions
Trigonometric FunctionsMA-T1 – Trigonometry and Measure of Angles
MA-T2 – Trigonometric Functions and Identities
CalculusMA-C1 – Introduction to Differentiation
Exponential and Logarithmic FunctionsMA-E1 – Logarithmic and Exponentials
Statistical AnalysisMA-S1 – Probability and Discrete Probability Distributions

 

Year 12 Mathematics Advanced

Main TopicsSubtopics
Table: Year 12 Mathematics Advanced Syllabus
FunctionsMA-F2 – Graphing Techniques
Trigonometric FunctionsMA-T3 – Trigonometric Functions and Graphs
CalculusMA-C2 – Differential Calculus
MA-C3 – Applications of Differentiation
MA-C4 – Integral Calculus
Financial MathematicsMA-M1 – Modelling Financial Situations
Statistical AnalysisMA-S2 – Descriptive Statistics and Bivariate Data Analysis
MA-S3 – Random Variables

Year 11 Mathematics Extension 1 (3 Unit)

The new Stage 6 Mathematics syllabus starts in 2019, not in 2018. This means that the 2017 Year 10 students will study the current Stage 6 Mathematics syllabus in 2018.

The Year 11 & 12 Mathematics Extension 1 course is intended for students who have demonstrated a mastery of the skills in the Year 10 Mathematics Advanced course.

The content of the Mathematics Extension 1 course includes the whole of the Mathematics Advanced (2 unit) course. Therefore students sit two HSC exams for this course:

  • The Year 12 Mathematics Advanced Exam.
  • The Year 12 Mathematics Extension 1 Exam.

For this reason, the Year 12 Mathematics Advanced course is assigned 2 units of HSC marks and the Year 12 Mathematics Extension 1 course is assigned 1 unit of HSC marks. Hence the total number of units for this course is 3 units.

3 Unit Maths chart
Image: Breakdown of Mathematics Extension 1 (3 Unit)

 

The Year 11 and 12 Mathematics Extension 1 topics are listed below:

Year 11 Mathematics Extension 1

Main TopicsSubtopics
Table: Year 11 Mathematics Extension 1 Syllabus
FunctionsME-F1 – Further Works with Functions
ME-F2 – Polynomials
Trigonomtric FunctionsME-T1 – Inverse Trigonometric Functions
ME-T2 – Further Trigonometric Functions
CalculusME-C1 – Rates of Change
CombinatoricsME-E1 – Working with Combinatorics

Year 12 Mathematics Extension 1

Main TopicsSubtopics
Table: Year 12 Mathematics Extension 1 Syllabus
ProofME-P1 – Proof by Mathematical Induction
VectorsME-V1 – Introduction to Vectors
Trigonometric FunctionsME-T3 – Trigonometric Equations
CalculusME-C2 – Further Calculus Skills
ME-C3 – Applications of Calculus
Statistical AnalysisME-S1 – The Binomial Distributions

At Matrix, students gain extensive knowledge and skills of all the topics indicated in the syllabus. The Matrix Year 11 Mathematics Advanced and Extension 1 course programs are shown below:

Table: Matrix Year 11 Mathematics Program
PeriodYear 11 Maths AdvancedYear 11 Maths Extension 1
Sep- DecAlgebraic Techniques
Linear Functions
Absolute Values
Functions and Relations
Non-Linear Functions
Absolute Values and Inequalities
Polynomials
Jan – AprFunctions and Relations
Quadratics and Polynomials
Non-Linear Functions
Trigonometry
Trigonometry and Inverse Trigonometry
Introductory Calculus
Apr – JunFurther Trigonometry
Introductory Calculus
Applications of Differentiation
Graphical Relationships
Applications of Differentiation
Exponential and Logarithms
Jul – SepExponential and Logarithms
Probability and Statistics
Yearly Exam Revision
Parametric Forms
Probability and Statistics
Combinatorics

Year 11 students at Matrix gain an extensive knowledge and understanding of the key concepts of preliminary mathematics through its structured 9 lesson courses.

Students can choose to undertake:

Year 11 Science: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

The new Stage 6 Science syllabus started in 2018. These science courses build upon the Year 10 sciences course.

The Year 11 Science course structure is outlined in the table below:

Table: Year 11 Science Program
Year 11 BiologyYear 11 ChemistryYear 11 Physics
Skills Working scientifically Working scientifically Working scientifically
Module 1Cells as the Basis of Life Properties and Structure of Matter Kinematics
Module 2Organisation of Living Things Introduction to Quantitative Chemistry Dynamics
Module 3Biological DiversityReactive ChemistryWaves and Thermodynamics
Module 4Ecosystem Dynamics Drivers of Reactions Electricity and Magnetism

In the Year 11 Biology course, students develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • the structure and function of organisms
  • the Earth’s biodiversity and the effect of evolution.

In the Year 11 Chemistry course, students develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • the fundamentals of chemistry
  • the trends and driving forces in chemical interactions.

In the Year 11 Physics course, students develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • fundamental mechanics, waves, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism
  • energy and power.

Year 11 students at Matrix gain an extensive knowledge and understanding of the key concepts through its structured courses. Students can choose to undertake:

The Matrix Year 11 Science Term and Holiday Course Programs for  are tabulated below:

Table: Matrix Year 11 Science Program
PeriodYear 11 BiologyYear 11 ChemistryYear 11 Physics
Sep- Dec
  • Cells as the Basis of Life
  • Properties and Structure of Matter
  • Kinematics
Jan – Apr
  • Organisation of Living Things
  • Properties and Structure of Matter, or
  • Introduction to Quantitative Chemistry
  • Kinematics, or
  • Dynamics
Apr – Jun
  • Biological Diversity
  • Introduction to Quantitative Chemistry, or
  • Reactive Chemistry
  • Dynamics, or
  • Waves and Thermodynamics
Jul – Sep
  • Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Reactive Chemistry, or
  • Drivers of Reactions
  • Waves and Thermodynamics, or
  • Electricity and Magnetism

HSC Success Secrets?

Every year, a large number of Year 11 & 12 students ask the question “How did that student get such a high ATAR?”  When we analysed the hundreds of academically successful Matrix graduates, we noticed they had a few things in common.

Let’s look at what they are:

Successful students have a clear understanding of what’s expected of them

Successful students have an explicit understanding of what’s required to attain a Band 6 performance. This requires students to have a clear understanding of the syllabus requirements and the Band 6 performance band descriptor for their subjects.

You can view the syllabuses here:

Band 6 and Band E4 Performance Descriptors are outlined below. Band 6 is the highest Band for a 2 Unit course (90 – 100 marks), and Band E4 (45 – 50 marks or 90 – 100 marks) is the highest Band for an Extension 1 and 2 courses such as English Extension 1 and 2, or Mathematics Extension 1 and 2. For the full list of band descriptors, visit the NESA website

English Advanced (15.41%)

In 2016 HSC, 15.41% of the Year 12 English Advanced students attained Band 6.

  • Demonstrates extensive, detailed knowledge, insightful understanding and sophisticated evaluation of the ways meanings are shaped and changed by context, medium of production and the influences that produce different responses to texts.
  • Displays a highly developed ability to describe and analyse a broad range of language forms, features and structures of texts and explain the ways these shape meaning and influence responses in a variety of texts and contexts.
  • Presents a critical, refined personal response showing highly developed skills in interpretation, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of texts and textual detail.
  • Composes imaginatively, interpretively and critically with sustained precision, flair, originality and sophistication for a variety of audiences, purposes and contexts in order to explore and communicate ideas, information and values.

English Standard (0.85%)

In 2016 HSC, 0.85% of the Year 12 English Standard students attained Band 6.

  • Demonstrates extensive, detailed knowledge, insightful understanding and sophisticated evaluation of the ways meanings are shaped and changed by context, medium of production and the influences that produce different responses to texts.
  • Displays a highly developed ability to describe and analyse a broad range of language forms, features and structures of texts and explain the ways these shape meaning and influence responses in a variety of texts and contexts.
  • Presents a critical, refined personal response showing highly developed skills in interpretation, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of texts and textual detail.
  • Composes imaginatively, interpretively and critically with sustained precision, flair, originality and sophistication for a variety of audiences, purposes and contexts in order to explore and communicate ideas, information and values.

Mathematics Advanced (23.2%)

In 2016 HSC, 23.2% of the Year 12 Mathematics Advanced students attained Band 6.

  • Exhibits extensive knowledge and skills appropriate to the Mathematics course.
  • Uses sophisticated multi-step reasoning.
  • Integrates ideas of calculus with strong algebraic, deductive and modelling skills to successfully solve difficult problems.
  • Exhibits excellent problem solving skills.
  • Communicates effectively using appropriate mathematical language, notation, diagrams and graphs.

Mathematics Extension 1 (33.12%)

In 2016 HSC, 33.012% of the Year 12 Mathematics Extension 1 students attained Band E4.

  • Exhibits extensive knowledge and skills appropriate to the Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1 courses.
  • Synthesises mathematical techniques, results and ideas creatively across the Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1 courses to solve difficult problems.
  • Uses sophisticated multi-step mathematical reasoning. Interprets, explains, justifies and evaluates solutions to problems.
  • Translates efficiently between practical problems and their mathematical model.
  • Communicates complex ideas and arguments effectively using appropriate mathematical language, notation, diagrams and graphs.

Mathematics Extension 2 (32.05%)

In 2016 HSC, 32.05% of the Year 12 Mathematics Extension 2 students attained Band E4.

  • Exhibits mastery of most aspects of the Mathematics, Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2 courses.
  • Synthesises mathematical techniques, results, and ideas creatively across the Mathematics, Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2 courses to solve problems.
  • Combines excellent algebraic and modelling skills, multi-step logic and mathematical insight to solve difficult problems.
  • Constructs proofs in an abstract setting.
  • Communicates sophisticated mathematical ideas and relationships using the algebraic, diagrammatic and graphical techniques of mathematics, concise notation and clear logical argument.

Biology Band 6 Performance Descriptor

In 2016 HSC, 8.76% of the Year 12 Biology students attained Band 6.

  • Demonstrates an extensive knowledge and understanding of biological concepts, including those based on contexts and prescribed focus areas.
  • Communicates succinctly, logically and sequentially using a variety of scientific formats, including diagrams, graphs, tables, flowcharts and equations relating to biology.
  • Analyses and evaluates data effectively, identifies biological relationships, quantifies explanations and descriptions, and synthesises information to draw conclusions.
  • Uses precise biological terms extensively and correctly in a wide range of contexts.
  • Designs valid experimental processes involving appropriate technologies and incorporates thorough knowledge of scientific methodology to solve problems.
  • Applies knowledge and understanding to unfamiliar situations and designs original solutions to biological problems.

Chemistry Band 6 Performance Descriptor

In 2016 HSC, 9.7% of the Year 12 Chemistry students attained Band 6.

  • Demonstrates an extensive knowledge and understanding of the concepts of the chemistry course content including context, prescribed focus areas and domain.
  • Displays an outstanding ability to describe and explain chemistry concepts, including abstract ideas, clearly and accurately, and to apply the concepts to unfamiliar situations.
  • Applies a high level of critical thinking skills in developing appropriate solutions to problems involving a long sequence of related tasks.
  • Analyses, evaluates and extrapolates chemical data effectively, identifies complex relationships, quantifies explanations and descriptions, and synthesises information to draw conclusions.
  • Communicates succinctly, logically and sequentially using a variety of scientific formats.
  • Demonstrates a high level ability to design an experimental procedure.

Physics Band 6 Performance Descriptor

In 2016 HSC, 8.37% of the Year 12 Physics students attained Band 6.

  • Demonstrates an extensive knowledge and understanding of the concepts of the physics course content including context, prescribed focus areas and domain.
  • Displays an outstanding ability to describe and explain physics concepts, including abstract ideas, clearly and accurately, and to apply the concepts to unfamiliar situations.
  • Applies a high level of critical thinking skills in developing appropriate solutions to problems involving a long sequence of related tasks.
  • Analyses, evaluates and extrapolates data effectively, identifies complex relationships, quantifies explanations and descriptions, and synthesises information to draw conclusions.
  • Communicates succinctly, logically and sequentially using a variety of scientific formats.
  • Demonstrates a high level ability to design an experimental procedure.

Successful students are goal oriented

They always start with the end in mind. Year 11 students should have an ATAR goal and a university course that they are working towards.

The student shown in the picture below set an ATAR goal of 99 at the beginning of Year 12. She displayed her ATAR goal on her desk as a daily reminder and to help her maintain motivated.

Goal Setting

Image: Alana achieved her ATAR goals

At the end of Year 12, she attained an ATAR of 98.95! Although she didn’t achieve her exact ATAR, she says “Without a clear goal in mind, I probably wouldn’t have been as determined. I think I would have gotten a lower ATAR”.

Read the blog post on ‘How to set goals to enter your university course of choice.’

Successful students are disciplined

They always get things done on time. Every time. By consistently completing their tasks by the due date, these students gain an advantage over their peers. We find that whilst discipline is a hurdle for many students, Matrix students make it a priority in order to achieve their best results.

If you lack motivation and determination, watch Sally Kim share her story of success.

 

Successful students manage time for effectiveness rather than efficiency

Successful students are very self-conscious about how they spend their time. They don’t like wasting time and they dislike others who waste their time. Here are four things that they practise to manage their time effectively.

Step 1: They create a Daily To-Do-List using a journal.

Image: Sample Student To-Do List

Step 2: They prioritise the tasks based on importance and urgency.

 

Priority Matrix

Image: How to prioritise

 

 

Step 3: They get ahead of school during the school holidays.

All the past successful students have used their school holidays for advanced completion of content through Matrix Holiday Accelerated Course. This creates blocks of time that students can use for sharpening their skills through exam paper practice.

For example, a student studying Year 12 Chemistry and Year 12 Maths Extension 1 courses would have dedicated 6 hours of study each day for 9 days. This equates to 54 hours of additional study whilst others are doing very little. It also means that the student has saved 54 hours of study during the term.

Y12 Student Weekly Rhythm

Table: Sample Student Study Rhythm

Step 4: They establish a weekly rhythm to get ahead with exam preparation.

For a more detailed explanation on managing time effectively, read this blog post on ‘How to create a study plan that works.’

Assessment schedules and notifications

NESA mandates that schools must provide students with assessment schedules and notifications in advance.

Assessment schedules are documents that outline when you should have an assessment for a given subject. They will include important information such as:

  • the type of task
  • the modules being assessed
  • the outcomes the task assesses
  • the date (or week in term) that it will be due or the exam sat
  • the weighting of the assessments as a percentage of the students overall marks.

Assessment notifications are documents that provide important information about how to prepare for the assessment. For each task, students will be presented with an assessment notification.

These must be given to students at least two weeks prior to the assessment. They must contain:

  • An explanation of the type of task
  • An overview of the module being assessed
  • A list of the outcomes being assessed
  • The amount the assessment will be marked out of
  • The weighting of the task
  • A marking criteria

To do well in their assessments, students should pay careful attention to their assessment notifications. In particular, students should make an effort to understand the marking criteria, which will clarify what the markers will be expecting from them.

Below is an example of the first page of Year 11 Physics Assessment Notification. View the sample Y11 Physics Assessment Task.

Year 11 Physics Assessment Notification

Image: Year 11 Physics Assessment Notification

To do well in their assessments, students should pay careful attention to their assessment notifications. In particular, students should make an effort to understand the marking criteria, which will clarify what the markers will be expecting from them.

Sample marking criteria and assessment notifications and schedules can be found on the NESA website. Click the link below to download:

We hope this blog and the links provided are a useful resource in helping to prepare you for what’s to come in Year 11, and in achieving your academic ambitions.

 

Need help building your English skills?

Whether you’re doing Preliminary or the HSC, you need to have the right English skills because English has to count! Read our Beginner’s Guide to Acing HSC English to learn the Skills you need to conquer Year 11 and ACE the HSC!

 

© Matrix Education and www.matrix.edu.au, 2019. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matrix Education and www.matrix.edu.au with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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