Monday, 24 October 2011

How to maximise productivity in your study space

When it’s time to put your thinking caps on, choose a study spot where you are inspired to get work done.
 We wanted to share this great article with you all from the 99 percent website on increasing productivity as it can also apply to studying for WACE exams. It’s good to consider the environment where you choose to study and what distractions are nearby.

The article isn’t crazy long so if you can have a quick read do, but for the seriously time deprived amongst you, here are the key take-outs:

1. The places where you do study (or attempt to study) will naturally draw you into that ‘study’ state because your brain has learned that when you sit in that place you are in ‘study’ mode. For example a desk in your bedroom.

2. Associate places with activities and keep a consistent link between place and behaviour e.g. study at your desk but move to the lounge room to enjoy free time such as checking Facebook, talking on the phone or watching a movie.

3. Keep all the tools you need organised together and within arm’s reach - this means you won’t need to keep getting up to get something which distracts you from your task. For example if you are studying for Maths, have all your calculators, rulers, pencils, erasers and pens nearby and ready to go.

4. Be aware of what motivates you and what distracts you, for example do you work better with or without music playing? Are you less likely to distract yourself if you turn off your phone and disconnect from the internet?

5. Make the space you study in a place that you don’t mind being in and make sure you can be comfortable there. Keep the area free from clutter and perhaps add inspiring pictures or quotes on the wall nearby – these can help to motivate, but also add a sense of place to the area that you choose to study – which leads back to the first take-out above.

Where do you like to study? Share with your fellow students on our facebook page or in the comments below.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Top tips for your WACE Economics exam

“You can only achieve 10% in the exam with the text book”

Looking for more general advice on using past exam papers? Read our post on how you can use them to study effectively!

This is true for most subjects as expanding your general knowledge on the area will help you to provide real life examples and case studies in your essays. 

So for all you future economists out there you may find these online resources useful in broadening your understanding of economies and current market situations:
The Financial Review – we suspect you already are onto this one but here’s the link anyway. You could even get all old school about it and buy the paper version (yes it exists!) and read it over breakfast, it will make you appear super smart as you sip your morning OJ.

The Economist – to expand your general knowledge of the world and all its economical situations. Good for compiling some current case studies to use in your essays.

Greg Mankiw Blog – Although targeted toward students studying Economics at uni, this blog presents information often in a light hearted way. Greg describes his blog as “random observations for students of economics” and you might enjoy the various videos and cartoons that he uses to dissect information.

Try this video on the 10 principles of economics. It made us chuckle. Who knew economics could be such fun?

Have more fun practicing with the 2012 WACE Economics exam paper.

Next steps:

Monday, 17 October 2011

Top tips for your WACE Media and Production exam

Here are  the top tips that came out of our previous WACE seminars for Media and Production:

Let’s do a quick recap of Top tip #3 - what is narrative structure?

Narrative structure is the ordering of a story into a meaningful pattern and acts as the framework for the plot. A typical structure is divided into 3 stages:

1. Beginning – the Exposition or setup of characters, scene and situation
2. Middle – introduction of conflict and rising action to set the story in motion
3. End – the final act where the problems in the story erupt and characters are usually forced to confront issues so that all elements of the story come together resulting in a resolution.

For all you media students looking for some inspiration and additional film text examples (may help you with top tip #6) check out the Australian Centre for Moving Images (ACMI ) website for some handy education resources and study guides.

Some are free to download directly (an Education Kit on The Gothic Imagination of Tim Burton piqued our interests) or there are some study guides focusing on particular texts such as Lantana, Gattaca and Buffy the Vampire Slayer for purchase at the not so unfriendly price of $20.

For further practice download the 2012 WACE examination for Media Production and Analysis.

Looking for more general advice on using past exam papers? Read our post on how you can use them to study effectively!

Next steps: