In this post, Kia Collins shares her hints and tips for excelling at school!
Matrix Graduate Kia Collins scored an ATAR of 99.15. In this post, Kia shares her ATAR Hacks that helped her achieve an ATAR of 99.15
School: Hornsby Girls High School
Grade: Year 12 (2017)
A Little About Me:
I am a Prefect and have always been actively involved in extracurricular and school activities. These range from yoga to playing in the school band and being involved in the mock trial competition.
I have also found fulfilment in volunteering as a collector for the Red Shield Appeal for the past five years. This enables me to contribute to and interact with the wider community.
My ATAR Goal is 99+ as I aim to study a dual law/commerce degree.
In Year 11, I studied English Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 1, Physics, Chemistry and Legal Studies. For Year 12, I chose to pick up Mathematics Extension 2 and drop Chemistry, as it was not as relevant to my future aspirations.
I am performing well at physics, as I find it a logical and understanding based subject.
I hope to improve certain aspects of English, namely creative writing, as I find it requires constant redrafting and involves different writing skills to essays.
During the school holidays I take the Physics Holiday Accelerated Course at Matrix. This ensures I get ahead, so that during the term I consolidate my knowledge in class and do practice papers to refine my understanding and approach. I noticed that most students who were doing well at school were taking a couple of holiday accelerated courses such as Chemistry and Maths Extension 1 to learn the contents before it is taught at school. I also make notes for legal studies that I can add to from classes at school.
Focusing on content based subjects during the holidays, gives me time to consistently practice English and Maths during the term.
During the term, I attend Maths Extension 1 and Maths Extension 2 classes at Matrix. My Matrix teachers reinforce important theory and provide guidance to find methodical approaches to more difficult questions.
During the July school holidays, I attended the English Advanced Trial Exam Prep Course at Matrix to develop my creative writing skills and refine my understanding of the English Advanced HSC modules. With daily feedback, I was able to take my essays to the next level.
Often I can get distracted when I take study breaks. To prevent this, I have a timer app on my phone with allocated study and break intervals that keeps me accountable. For example, I work for one and a half hours, then take a 15 minute study break.
Transitioning from year 11 to year 12, I limited the amount of extra-curricular activities I participated in so that I could balance studying with my responsibilities as a Prefect. However, I was committed to maintaining physical health by going for 30 minute runs – usually once every two days.
I always make notes as early as possible then add to them throughout the term. This enables me to attempt as many practice papers as possible, refining my approach and time management during exams.
Ultimately, tests cannot cover all the content you learn in class, so it is important to become familiar with the types of questions that are usually asked.
I was honoured to be invited as a Matrix Scholarship student this year. The opportunities and mentoring under this program have allowed me to succeed in my academic endeavours.
It was also really exciting to be elected as a Prefect for 2017 and undertake a leadership role within the school. Working alongside other talented and dedicated peers to contribute to the school and wider community has been both enlightening and rewarding.
Winning the Grand Final of the Kirby Cup High School Mooting Competition was also memorable, as it allowed me to gain real insight into the legal profession.
My biggest regret in Year 12 was not implementing an effective study routine in Year 11.
I wish someone told me earlier to make the most of my teachers and approach them for help or feedback. They have knowledge and experience to give you advice if you ask for it.
If I could start the year again I would have greater confidence in my abilities and continue to maintain a positive outlook throughout the year. Although stressful, it has been the best year of my high school experience.