Director of Learning and Innovation
Mr Mark Richards

Athletes do it. Sports teams do it. Pilots do it. Professional speakers do it. Musicians do it. Event planners do it. All successful people do it.


It’s not always fun and hours spent preparing may seem long and arduous. In fact, it can often feel like you’re not making any progress at all. Yet success comes from preparation.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” 
Benjamin Franklin

Upcoming exam blocks – Year 9 and 10

To prepare students for the introduction of the new assessment system next year, the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE), we will run a formal exam block for Year 10 students next week. This exam experience will mirror those they will encounter at the end of Year 11 and 12.

While it may feel challenging – and at times exhausting with some students set to complete two to three exams in a day – it’s important we familiarise students with senior exam conditions to help prepare them for the future.

The same opportunity will be given to Year 9 students who will experience end of semester exams in week eight.

As with sport, work and indeed all aspects of life, beyond knowledge alone, success requires a positive attitude and above all else practice. Having the right mindset towards study is key and practice boosts our confidence and enables us to perform at our peak when it matters most.

For example, if we practise exam conditions – setting a time limit, working in silence and taking away text books and devices – our brain associates what we’re doing with the material we’re learning, making it easier to recall information when the behaviour is replicated on exam day.

Study tips for students


  • By marking and assessing their own work, students benefit from looking closely at ‘mistakes’ and seeing these as windows of opportunity for improvement.
  • Ask questions.
  • Mix up study sessions, don’t do the same thing or the same subject for long periods.
  • Work with others. Create a study group and explain the concepts you’re working on to strengthen your own
  • Avoid cramming, it is ineffective – little and often is much more productive.

Remove distractions

  • Remove mobile phones from your study area and switch off social media and gaming if working on a computer.

Take care of yourself

  • Ensure a good night’s sleep.
  • Do something physical
  • Don’t forget to include rest

And remember –

“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”
― Robert Schuller

Further information

If you have any concerns or would like to know more about the new system, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly via phone 07 4666 9802. The QTAC website is also a great resource and contains excellent information on ATAR in 2020 (for students in Year 9 and below).


End note

I recently read the Gonski 2 Review report, Through Growth to Achievement.

Some of its key recommendations focus on individual student achievement, learning growth and learning progressions. The report highlights the importance of ensuring each individual student can progress and improve by tailoring education to their needs and measuring achievement alongside individual goals. This is a fundamental philosophy at SCOTS PGC. It is highlighted in many areas of our curriculum and in particular our Maths Pathways program and focus on student growth in NAPLAN, not on the absolute scores. If you would like to know more or have any feedback on this program please don’t hesitate to contact myself or Head of Maths, Angela Brittain.