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Success Secrets

Rachel D’Cunha’s Year 9 High School Hacks For Pymble Ladies College

In this post, Matrix Scholarship student Rachel D'Cunha shares her success secrets for blitzing Year 9.

Rachel had an amazing 2017 in Year 9. In this post, we share her Year 9 High School Hacks for Pymble Ladies College. Read on to learn how one of our Matrix Scholarship students excels at school!

Me, Myself, and I

Name:

Rachel D’Cunha

School:

Pymble Ladies College

A Little About Me:

My name is Rachel and I attend Year 9 at Pymble Ladies College. Along with being an Upper School Leader and a Connect Captain, I am also involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities ranging from learning French and piano to contributing my time to community service for the Smith Family. I was born in Dubai, and am Indian but live in Australia!

 

My School Life

What is my ATAR goal?

I like to strive for the highest, so, my ATAR goal is 99.95.

 

I perform well at:

I am best at subjects involving logic and Mathematics, and find Maths to be my best subject at school. I’m currently studying the accelerated Maths. Along with Maths, Science is my second strongest subject.

 

I struggle with:

Although I’m proficient at essay writing, I find myself struggling with creative writing pieces including poetry, vignettes, and creative narratives. This is why I took the Matrix English Year 9 course. In addition, by exploring different writing structures and styles and by reading samples, I believe that I can significantly improve my writing ability.

 

My Routine

I like to balance my time during the holidays between studies, leisure, and exercise. The best way to avoid distractions and maintain my study goals is by organising my days in a weekly schedule. Though it is important to study, I have found that small changes to my lifestyle have drastically affected my performance at school.

Eating clean, reading, exercising, and playing instruments are just a few of the other things I like to do.

Since I am still in Year 9, my homework load is not as much as senior school, so, I can find time to include extra-curricular activities. I study French both in and out of school. I am also learning the piano, how to play golf, and am taking part in the Student2Student reading program.

Sometimes the workload from school and the many extra-curricular activities that I take part in can become overwhelming and stressful. During these times, I keep cool and work as efficiently as possible. In future years, I may cut down on my extra-curricular activities so that I can dedicate more of my time to my studies. However, I still believe that it is important to take part in activities that you are interested in and will commit to.

My biggest distraction is using my phone after-school. To fight this distraction, I time my use on my phone so that I do not cut into study time. If need be I give my phone to my mum.

I organise each specific PLC school day in a planner as seen below:

blog-hack-rachel-d-cunha-high-school-diary
Image: My Diary

 

Below is a general schedule that I follow during the holidays, as well as explanations below:

Every hour I study, I like to take 10 min breaks: I usually have a snack or play with my dog. During my holiday evening breaks, I watch a French movie, catch up on Netflix, or read.

My schedule for my holidays and school will vary depending on my week and the events I have on. Sometimes I can cut out time on school homework or may have to add more time.

Below are study rhythms for my average school and holiday weeks:

 

Holidays

My Holiday Timetable
Morning Afternoon Evening
Monday 6 – 7:30 Jog + Get ready

7:30 – 9:30 2u paper

9:30 – 11:30 Math- marking + revision of weakness

11:30-12:20 Piano

Lunch Break

2-3 English writing drafts

3-4 French

4-5 Matrix term revision

Break
Tuesday 6 – 7:30 Workout + Get ready

7:30 – 9:30 3u paper

9:30 – 11:30 Math- marking + revision of weakness

11:30-12:20 Piano

Lunch Break

2-3 Science Notes

3-4 French

4-5 Matrix term revision

Break
Wednesday 6 – 7:30 Workout + Get ready

7:30 – 9:30 2u paper

9:30 – 11:30 Math- marking + revision of weakness

11:30-12:20 Piano

Lunch Break

2-3 English writing drafts

3-4 French

4-5 Matrix term revision

Break
Thursday 6 – 7:30 Workout + Get ready

7:30 – 9:30 3u paper

9:30 – 11:30 Math- marking + revision of weakness

11:30-12:20 Piano

Lunch Break

Leisure Day

+ Matrix Revision

5-5:30 Community service

+ Break

Friday 6 – 7:30 Jog + Get ready

7:30 – 9:30 3u paper

9:30 – 11:30 Math- marking + revision of weakness

11:30-12:20 Piano

Lunch Break

2-3 Science Notes

3-4 French

4-5 Matrix term revision

5-5:30 Community service

+ Break

Saturday 6 – 7:30 Workout + Get ready

7:30 – 9:30 3u paper

9:30 – 11:30 Math- marking + revision of weakness

11:30-12:20 Piano

Lunch Break

Work Day

Break
Sunday 6 – 7:30 Yoga + Get ready

7:30 – 9:30 2u paper

9:30 – 11:30 Math- marking + revision of weakness

11:30-12:20 Piano

Lunch Break

Work Day

Break

During a PLC School Week

 Table: My Pymble Ladies College Term Timetable
Morning Afternoon

*Apart from math papers, I have 10 min breaks for every hour

Evening
Monday  School Dog walk

4:30 – 6:30 2u paper + check

6:30-8:30 School hw

Dinner

9-9:30 Matrix

Tuesday  School  4 – 6 3u paper + check 6-7 School hw

7-8 French

8-9 Matrix hw

Dinner

9:30 – 10:20 Piano

Workout +Read

Wednesday 6:45-7:45 Golf

School

 4-6 French classes 6:10- 7:40 Matrix English

Dinner

8:30-9:30 School hw

Thursday  School  3:30-4:30 Library Monitor shift 5-5:30 Community service

5:30- 6 School hw

6- 7:30 Exam style

Friday  School  4 – 6 3u paper + check 6-6:30 Community service

6:30-7:30 School hw

Saturday 6 – 7:30 Workout + Get ready

7:30 – 9:30 3u paper

9:30 – 11:30 Math- marking + revision of weakness

11:30-12:20 Piano

12:20 – 1:20 French

Lunch Break

2-2:30 Piano lesson

3- 4:30 Matrix Science

4:40 – 6:10 Matrix Maths

Dinner Break

7:30-8:30 School hw

Read + Workout

Sunday 6 – 7:30 Workout + Get ready

7:30 – 9:30 3u paper

9:30 – 11:30 Math- marking + revision of weakness

11:30-12:20 Piano

12:20-1:20 School hw

Lunch Break

2:30 – 3:45 Matrix hw

3:45-5:30 School hw

5:30-6 French

Dinner + Break + Read

Exam Preparation

The first step to prepare for an exam is to write up clear notes for each subject, not only does this make studying easier but can also help you recall topics that you have forgotten and to remember important information.

For Maths, I practice most of the content through past papers as the questions have a similar structure to the exam that I will be receiving. If I struggle with a topic, I will revise it through my Matrix Maths Advanced textbook and course notes and my school textbooks.

For English, I pick a few questions and write up a draft essay for each, I also read over my notes. This makes me feel more confident about sitting the exam.

For Science, I write up and practice learning my science notes and use my Matrix science textbook and notes from class to help me as well.

 

My Achievements

My proudest achievements this year have been to be elected as the Pymble Ladies College Upper School Leader and Connect Captain in my school. I am also very grateful to be nominated to be a part of the Matrix Scholarship program as it will help me excel in my academics at school. Participating in the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh and being a library monitor at school have also been achievements. Furthermore, participating in the Sir Robert Menzies reading competition has also been a great pleasure.

 

My Regrets

My biggest regret:

My biggest regret is not effectively prioritising my time on certain subjects and not allocating time slots for each subject at the start of the year. By being more organised now, I am able to distribute my study time more effectively and get more work done faster.

I wish someone told me to plan out my holidays as well. I only just created my holiday study schedule last term.

 

What would I do differently?

I would tell myself to stop stressing and to go through the year with a calmer attitude.

 

My Advice to future Year 9 Students

3 things you must do:

  • Allocate time blocks – it is okay to have 10 min study breaks every 1-2 hours. You need to relax and de-stress every hour you study.
  • Prioritise all your work so that you meet deadlines. This means organising your time for subjects and allocating time each day to finish it.
  • Write study notes. If writing notes does not help, determine what type of learner you are. Do flashcards or visuals help you learn better?

 

3 things you must not do:

  • Procrastinate – plan out your study time to avoid procrastination and unnecessary stress.
  • Have a messy work-space – a clean room and a clean work-space equates to a clean mind. Clean out your study space to clear your mind and to be more productive with any work you do.
  • Don’t let a bad mark influence your studying. It is okay to get a bad mark; failure is a part of success. A poor mark can help you understand and correct your mistakes to prevent them from happening in the future.

 

 

Want Your Child to Take Their Marks to the Next Level?

If your child is struggling with their marks in Year 9, now is the best time to help them get on top things. The study skills and practices that they learn now will stay with them through High School, university, and beyond. Actively working with your child now to help them improve their results will give them the best opportunity to get the ATAR and career they want. Why not see how Matrix can help your child succeed? Book a Free Trial Lesson now, and see why more than 4500 students attend Matrix each term.

 

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 www.matrix.edu.au, 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 www.matrix.edu.au with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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