To the Class of 2017: Exams

To help our current Year 12 students prepare for the intense period that is VCE examinations, there is a tradition of sharing information from the previous Year 12 class to the current group.

These communications have, as in past years, taken the form of a letter from the House Leader to each Year 12 member of their House. This year, the passing of the advice torches included a personal presentation from four high achievers from the Class of 2016.

Across the House Letters and the presentation, there were a number of recurring themes. We have assembled a bullet point list of the best advice.

Revision techniques

  • Diversify the way you study
  • Feeling uncertain or lost at times is normal
  • Choose who you surround yourself with wisely

Exam tips

  • No matter how much you study you’ll never know it all — that’s just the way the exam is designed
  • Leave questions you don’t know, move on, build up confidence and regain focus by doing questions you know first
  • There is no formula to exam success, your result will reflect your preparation


  • Don’t force yourself to study at school, if home works best for you stay with that
  • Take it easy — give your body a bit of rest before you get into exams
  • Surround yourself with people you know you can study with, who’s study methods are compatible with yours

 Time management

  • Plan out your days around what you feel you need to address
  • Balance your routine with hobbies, exercise and proper diet
  • Keep expectations of what you can achieve with your time realistic

2016 Alumni Presentation

On Monday 9 October the four alumni returned to the College to address our current Year 12 students. They shared their experiences in preparing for VCE exam, now almost 12 months on. The Class of 2017 were fortunate to receive practical advice, wise encouragement and clever tips to help them in their preparations for their upcoming examinations.

The Speakers

Our four guest speakers: Kyle Williams, Liam Manakis, Lachlan Bulman and Jonathan O’Connor (L to R).

Download the Freedom app. I was really bad at controlling my social media usage so I downloaded it to help me out.”

During the days before an exam it is completely normal to not know what to do. By that point, it is fairly likely that you would’ve done so much that you have prepared yourself to the best you can for a certain subject. When I got to this stage, I would take a break from a subject for a couple of days, and if I did any study for it at all, It would just be light reading.”

Lachlan Bulman


Wake up early, maintain a routine. Collaborate with friends who want the same as you and will push you.”

Correct other exams, get other teachers to correct yours, see teachers and talk to them.”

Jonathan O’Connor


I was a massive fan of having my family test me. Almost daily my family would do verbal tests, based on flash cards I had prepared, or I would speak to them about content.”

I broke down the day on a whiteboard, with specific hours allocated to subjects. If I sat there and procrastinated during the time I had scheduled for Further, for example, that was it, the study for that subject was done for the day and I moved on, this way I could be sure I was giving each subject an even spread.”

Liam Manakis


When there was a question that I didn’t know the answer to straight away, I would leave it, build up confidence by doing questions I knew. Chances are the answer will come to you.”

Diversify the way you study: Mix it up with practice question/exams, writing notes, explaining concepts to parents/friends, watching Youtube (Khan Academy, Crash Course), making mindmaps and FaceTiming study partners. Acronyms, sentences and stories.”

Create a study space where you enjoy being and won’t be distracted in.”

Kyle Williams

2016 House Captains’ Letters to the 2017 House Seniors

These letters are a De La Salle House tradition. They are delivered to the Year 12 students from the leader of their respective houses early in Term 4. The letters are a way to share personal experience and advice from someone the current student can be confident knows what they are going through at this time. The former students take the preparation of these letters very seriously, doing their best to share wisdom and provide guidance in language that will reach and inspire their younger fellows.

St Austin’s — Michael Canny

What I found really helpful was maintaining habits. As much as I wanted to treat this time as ‘holidays’, I couldn’t really afford to.”

Click here to read the letter from Michael Canny letter to St Austin’s House


St Edwin’s House — Sri Kumar

It may feel like you’re drowning and not confident about how you’ll manage exams, however, there is still time! It is clichéd, but you can still achieve your goals”.

Click here to read the letter from Sri Kumar to St Edwin’s House


St Leo’s — William Taylor

Stay organised, set out simple yet worthwhile tasks, get together to discuss, challenge and teacheach other in order to make the most of this upcoming revision period.”

Click here to read the letter from Will Taylor to St Leo’s House


St Mark’s House — Liam Murphy

The best piece of advice I received in all of Year 12 was that there are going to be times in your life where your ability to commit to something and give it your all will be tested. This is just a trial run. Test yourself.”

Click here to read the letter from Liam Murphy to St Mark’s House

We wish you all the very best in your exams, gentlemen. Now it is up to you!

Mrs Rose Connolly
Director of Learning and Development – Curricula Programs

Back to The Duce Issue 2017 16 - 26 October 2017