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How To Get Ahead In Year 10 In 4 Steps

Sick of not keeping up? Don't let Year 10 be business as usual. Get ahead in 4 steps.

Year 10 is one of the most enjoyable years in your high school career as you are faced with the most flexibility and least academic pressure when it comes to how you spend your time both within and outside of school. But, you should also think about how you can get ahead in Year 10 to get a start on Year 11 and Stage 6.

In addition to enjoying your extracurriculars and the (guilt-free) free-time you will have during Year 10, it is a good idea to treat the year as the training wheel stage of cycling, a practice run before your senior years begin and your performance really counts. So, to help you out, here we have 4 steps to help you pull ahead.


How to get ahead in Year 10 in 4 steps

The main focus of the year should be developing the appropriate habits, study techniques and approaches, and mentality that will help you navigate the final years of high school with more clarity. How do you do that, let’s look


Step 1. Get motivated

It is more than likely that you will not have a clear vision for your post-high school life during Year 10. However, planting those seeds early on and figuring out the kinds of things that motivate you as a student will serve you well.

Throughout Year 10, you will be faced with both academic and personal situations which will challenge you – some you will be able to conquer, and others will feel like bumps in the road.

Throughout the year, reflect upon your greatest achievements and think about the amount and consistency of effort you invested in order to get that outcome. Even more importantly, reflect upon the moments where you struggled or did not perform as well as you would have liked.

Both your achievements and failures, no matter how big or small, are formative for understanding what motivates you. It may be intrinsic – wanting to achieve your personal best in a subject you used to find conceptually difficult – or extrinsic – wanting to achieve that Bronze Medal in Duke of Ed. Either way, think about how these goals may translate or change in your senior years.

Figure out whether you enjoy setting yourself goals at the start of each fortnight or week, or a daily set of goal tasks you want to carry out, or whether you are motivated more by big picture goals like subject bands or marks. A simple process to follow is:

  1. Note down your objective. For example, “Get at least 80%” in my next maths exam
  2. Break this goal down into a few key results you need to achieve. For example, “Do 10 practice Maths questions every two days” or “Spend 20 minutes revising Maths every weekday for two weeks.”
  3. Mark the key dates on a calendar to keep yourself accountable
  4. Hit your targets and meet your objectives.


Step 2. Learn your learning style

Every person learns differently, and even if we fit under the same category of “visual learners,” for example, in practice this manifests differently for everyone when it comes to studying.

Year 10 is a great year for you to experiment with study approaches and see what works best.

The marks you achieve in Year 10 ultimately have no influence on your senior years or ATAR, and therefore the stakes are lowest when it comes to experimentation.

Treating Year 10 as the training year may involve attempting multiple study approaches for an upcoming task. For example, you may only focus on past papers, or use flashcards, or use a study approach that is more collaborative and spend time studying for the subject with your peers. When you receive your results back for a task, determine how high yield each of the study approaches were as this will inform which methods you continue to adopt.

Working out your most effective study approach also involves determining where you study most effectively. For some people, if a quiet working environment is difficult to achieve at home, they often visit the school or local library for a quiet study spot. Often these facilities will have rooms that you can reserve to assure a quiet, productive environment.

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Step 3. Learn the foundations

For Mathematics and English courses, in particular, Year 10 is where you learn quite important foundational skills and topics. Mastering these foundations is very important for success in these subjects in your senior years of study.

If you are intending to pursue further Maths in Years 11 and 12, it is important you master basic topics like algebraic manipulation and factorisation as these will likely not be covered very rigorously and are the building blocks for all further topics. Daily practise of these skills, around 30 minutes, in Year 10, will allow you to build both speed and accuracy when tackling these topics which will serve you well in your senior years of Maths.

For English, familiarising yourself with a standard assortment of literary techniques, mastering the essay writing structure and learning to respond quickly to unseen texts by engaging with literature outside of your classroom lessons, will set you up well for your senior years of English.

The same can be said of the science subjects wherein Year 10 you learn the basic skills of scientific thinking and methods. Familiarising yourself with ideas like accuracy, reliability and validity is a high yield form of preparation, as assessments of the scientific method for various investigations will form a key component of all senior year science courses and will be particularly helpful when it comes to the depth study component of the syllabus.


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Step 4. Balance your life

On the flip side of spending your time in Year 10 mastering study techniques, this year should also be the time where you figure out what a healthy schedule looks like for you.

Be sure to allocate time in your schedule for social events, your extracurriculars and exercise alongside study.


Keep a study timetable to be your essential guide

Figure out whether a strict or more flexible schedule works with your lifestyle, and what tends to help you unwind from the long school day in preparation for more work at home. Year 10 is relatively low stakes in the great scheme of the HSC, so be sure to enjoy the guilt-free leisure time as well as figuring out how you will best prepare yourself to tackle the senior years of studying to come.


Written by Guest Author

We have regular contributions to our blog from our Tutor Team and high performing Matrix Students. Come back regularly for these guest posts to learn their study hacks and insights!


© Matrix Education and, 2018. 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 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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