How to level-up from Year 11 to Year 12
Whilst your focus this summer should be on recharging after a hectic year, it’s also a great time to start planning for your final year of high school. The end is in sight, but there’s a mountain to climb!
To help you start Year 12 strong, we wanted to share a few top tips:
Reflect on the year that was
Year 11 may be behind you, but that doesn't mean you can't learn from it. What worked for you in terms of study? What didn’t? What particular subjects need more work? What can be improved about your exam strategy?
The answers to these questions can be found in both your results and the experience you had over the year. So sit down and make a list of what worked or what you want to change—and get ready to put those into practice. You might be eager to move on from Year 11, but reflecting will really help you level up to Year 12.
Build good habits from day 1
If this year didn’t go exactly as you had planned, it may be down to some of your study habits. Working on these, starting now, will really help you next year.
How are your note-taking skills?
Making notes allows you to break things down and put them into your own terms—the Cornell method encourages you to think critically about the information, so explore this technique for simple and effective revision.
Do you struggle to stay focused alone?
Consider setting up a study group—having a discussion about a tricky topic will help you truly understand it, and can help identify gaps in your knowledge.
Do you have a healthy routine?
Eating well, getting a full night’s sleep and exercising regularly is advice you hear around exam time, but why wait? Getting into a routine now means staying on top of your work throughout the year will be easier—and you’ll find yourself being able to study more efficiently and stay focussed throughout the day!
You may or may not know this, but Atomi has a whole range of Study Skills resources that you can use to support your learning, including note-taking templates, lessons to improve your revision skills and ideas for setting up a study space—login and check it out.
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One thing you don’t want to learn the hard way is that once Year 12 exams roll around, it’s hard to revisit the content from Term 4 the year before. It can seem like a very distant memory, so go over the material covered this year to reinforce the knowledge in your mind and make it easier when the time comes to revise.
Use the summer to get on top of your English texts. This one might be the task that feels like the most work, particularly for those who struggle with reading, but by breaking up the texts into manageable chunks it will seem like so much less of a chore.
So ahead of the new year, get your notes up to date, do your reading and familiarise yourself with next term's syllabus for each subject. Give yourself a headstart by jumping onto your Atomi account and trying some practice questions, or exploring your new topics.
Creating a study timetable is probably not at the top of your to-do list this summer, but the year starts fast! So use the downtime to plan out your weeks.
The planner can help you to plot your non-negotiables (maybe dinner with your grandparents on a Wednesday or Saturday sport) and then you’ll know what time you have left. You can then think about which subjects you’d like to complete on certain days; consider grouping subjects based on your studying preferences. For example, you could choose English and Maths on the same day as they’re fairly opposite subjects and will give you a break from essay writing.
Placing your weakest subject at the beginning of the day when you are fresh and ready to learn is always a good idea. Then end the day with your favourite subject so you’re excited to continue studying and finish on a high! And don’t forget to plan your breaks—try to avoid doomscrolling and get outside for a walk or activity you enjoy.
Creating a timetable like this can help you shift your mindset from Year 11, where you may have said “I can leave this for next year” and help keep yourself accountable.
Year 12 is a marathon, not a sprint! That’s why it’s important to revise content consistently throughout the year to move all of that valuable information into our long-term memory.
To help, Atomi has a revision reminders feature—when you complete quizzes, either for classwork or your study, we collate that data and give you a strength score. This strength score is based on how well you have done, and also how long it has been since you have looked at the content.
When this strength score starts to decrease, we provide you with personalised revision reminders at the top of your course page and via email, letting you know where you may need to spend some extra effort. This means you can focus your study on the areas you need to spend more time!
The next year can be a bit scary, but if you take the time now to set yourself up for success, the process will go so much smoother and your results might also reflect your hard work.