The VCE English exam is all done for 2017.
Well done, year 12s! I hope you’re feeling proud of yourselves for completing your studies and relieved that the exam period has finally begun.
Getting the English exam out of the way is fantastic. It’s the one exam that all year 12s have to sit, and for that reason it creates a fair bit of stress and anxiety. Everyone is feeling that their efforts are pitched against that of their peers all over Victoria. This is the nature of the ranking system.
However, as I stressed in my interview earlier today, for Channel 9 News, my message to students and parents is that it is important to put the Exams, the VCE English exam included, into perspective. It is simply one step in their career paths, and not the most critical few hours of their entire lives.
My advice today as a career coach is to try really hard not to dwell upon this morning’s exam. If it went well for you, that’s great. But if you aren’t feeling entirely sure about how you responded to some of the questions, try not to worry. There is nothing to be gained in dwelling about how you answered the prompts and the best thing now is to give yourself a break: take a nice walk; play your favourite music; have a lovely nutritious dinner, and put your feet up for a while.
Parents can help by praising their young one, encouraging some down-time and ensuring that they have a good night’s sleep.
The remainder of the exams come along pretty fast, so year 12s will feel that they must go over their study notes for the other subjects. Therefore scheduling time for extra revision is wise. Hopefully a study routine is already established such that the student covers everything they need to do, but with breaks built in. Again, parents can support by ensuring that the student gets some snacks and meals and a few rewards along the way – an episode of their favourite show, a walk together at the beach or in the park.
Remember that for students in exam periods, balance is essential, just in the same way that breaks are important in any work day.
Also, be mindful that whatever your results may be, it is possible to pursue your dreams and not give up hope even if you are not offered your preferred first-round offer for 2018. Victorian students are lucky that there are many many tertiary pathways in higher education and that alternative routes into courses are available.
So do your best, get some rest and remember that, as my mother always used to say; “where there’s the will there’s a way!” If you are in need of more support at this time or later in the year, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org