Study tips for Year 11 and 12 subjects
The step from Year 10 to Year 11 is likely the steepest learning curve you’ve experienced so far in school. But with the right study tips and a little extra motivation, we know you can excel in your subjects and get the best possible ATAR.
In this series, we’ve compiled useful tips for popular senior school subjects* from a variety of sources – including some of our own UQ students who achieved ATARs of 99.90 and 99.95.
*We’re currently developing this series and will be adding more subjects over time. Make sure to bookmark this page and check back regularly if any of your selected subjects aren’t covered just yet.
The top study tips for Year 11 and 12 English include:
- Write about things you actually enjoy when possible (e.g. when choosing a secondary text to compare to the themes of your prescribed text).
- Explore modern adaptations and SparkNotes if you're struggling to keep up with Shakespeare or other classics.
- Memorise a couple of key quotes from the prescribed text before going into your exam, focusing on quotes that could be relevant to multiple themes and arguments.
Get more study tips for English
The top study tips for Year 11 and 12 Specialist Maths and Mathematical Methods include:
- Respect the difficulty of these subjects (especially Specialist) and prioritise them in your revision schedule.
- Chip away at practice questions throughout the year rather than waiting until exam time.
- Focus on understanding how and when formulas are used, as simply memorising the formulas won't be enough.
Get more study tips for Specialist Mathematics and Mathematical Methods
The top study tips for Year 11 and 12 Biology include:
- Create a weekly routine for notetaking and revision (bullet point summaries of your lessons are a good place to start).
- Always refer back to the assessment criteria to ensure you're focusing on the right information.
- Complete practice exams under timed conditions, then note the questions you got wrong or struggled with to revisit in your next study session.
Get more study tips for Biology
The top study tips for Year 11 and 12 Chemistry include:
- Create and keep updating a document with all the important chemical equations you'll need to remember.
- Don't get frustrated if a particular topic doesn't make sense to you straight away (e.g. organic chemistry is notoriously difficult at first). Chemistry is a subject where things will click into place after a while and with regular revision.
- Refer to diagrams while answering practice questions until you no longer need the diagrams.
Get more study tips for Chemistry
The top study tips for Year 11 and 12 Physics include:
- Try a combination of solo study and group study sessions to see which are most effective for you.
- Review past papers to see the types of questions you're likely to get, then work on understanding the steps needed to answer those questions.
- Use flashcards to help lock important definitions and explanations into your mind.
Get more study tips for Physics
The top study tips for Year 11 and 12 Psychology include:
- Work out a revision style and schedule that suits you (e.g. try a mixture of written and verbal revision techniques to see what sticks best).
- Whatever your approach to revision ends up being, make it consistent and regular. Psychology has heaps of content to cover, so cramming before exams won't work.
- Look for examples of Psychology concepts in the world around you and in movies, TV shows and other texts. This can help make the content memorable and relatable.
Get more study tips for Psychology
The top study tips for Year 11 and 12 Engineering include:
- Find connections between Engineering and your other subjects to make the content more meaningful.
- Space out your revision so you have plenty of time to discover any chapters that need extra attention.
- Try creating your own exam questions with other classmates and working through them as a group.
Get more study tips for Engineering
The top study tips for Year 11 and 12 Health and Physical Education include:
- Use a range of resources beyond your classes and textbook, such as YouTube videos, study guides and news articles.
- Swap your study notes with friends regularly to spot anything you've missed or misunderstood (and help them do the same).
- Health and PE is the perfect subject to learn by doing. If you're having trouble understanding a sport's rules or physical intricacies, go watch a professional match or even get a group together to play out a game.
Get more study tips for Health and Physical Education
The top study tips for Year 11 and 12 Legal Studies include:
- Getting good grades in Legal Studies takes significant work. Be prepared to put in the hours and persevere when the revision gets tough.
- Use post-it notes and/or flashcards to commit legal terms, definitions, acts, dates and articles to memory.
- Always start legal essays with a structure draft to ensure your arguments remain succinct and on topic.
Get more study tips for Legal Studies
Want some general study tips for Year 11 and 12 instead? Read our guide for getting your best ATAR.