pls help with subject selection (1 Viewer)

AmalJ

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I really want to go into either med or the scientific field (because I love science) but I'm a little worried.

I want to do 3 science subjects but both chem and physics require a good level of math. I lack some foundational parts of mathematics (since I used to miss a lot of school due to family reasons) and I'm not sure if I could handle doing 3 science subjects while rebuilding my math foundation.

I am thinking of doing the following subjects:
Eng ADV (teacher agrees)
Math ADV (teacher is against it but I insisted on at least giving it a shot and that I could drop down if it's too hard)
Physics
Chem
Bio
Economics

I might see how well I do in eco and compare it to my lowest scoring science subject and then drop whichever is lower in year 12. Is this a good plan or do you guys have other subject recommendations that scale well I should consider?

Thank you!
 

may22

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Hi! I'm actually currently in Year 11, and I get questions like these from a lot of my friends in Year 10.

I think it's important that you stick with subjects that are your strengths, as well as what you enjoy. If you feel that 3 sciences may be tough to manage with math, but you really want to keep math, then maybe choose two of the three sciences that you feel you enjoy more/can do better in, giving you a bit of extra time/effort to spend on focusing on math.

I know people who've done 3 sciences, but I personally only do 2. Ultimately, it's what you feel most confident in taking, relative to the other subjects you choose as well.

And just a side note regarding your comment on trying out Advanced Math and dropping if it's too difficult; I had a couple of friends who have done this throughout term 2 after realising they couldn't keep up with the difficulty. I suggest if you want/need to drop, try and drop at maximum by the end of term 1/start of term 2, otherwise you will have a lot to catch up on. This not only regards content; the mind-set for standard is much different to that of advanced math.
 

Leadmen4y

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I insist trying your very best keeping up with ADV maths, standard scaling is really really bad, if you come 1st in the state you still scale down by about 3 aggregate points which is ridiculous. For reference, band 6 in STD maths scales to 39 while ADV scales to 45. Try preparing early, advanced should be appropriate for most students to handle, may I ask what level of maths ur doing rn? (5.3, 5.2?)

Your other subjects are great, all scale well and you have an option to drop in year 12 depending on how well you do.

I did chem and bio in prelim and in experience chem is a lot more concept based with some basic algebra substitution calculations and that was it for th maths part, though the theory and concepts was a lot more challenging. For bio, it's mostly whether you know it or not, a lot of rote learning is required though they all fit nicely together and link together once you get them down. I personally found bio really boring in prelim but a lot more fun in HSC, but prelim bio has nothing to do with HSC bio so if you do good or bad it doesn't matter much, but some knowledge do help, especially the fundamentals such as enzymes and structures of cells which do kinda carry over.

For maths though, in HSC, BOTH prelim and HSC knowledge are tested so make sure you consolidate everything from the beginning, you can't afford to fall behind. I suggest picking up a private tutor for maths if you're really not confident, a lot of ppl in my ADV cohort go to group tutor and they're doing fairly mediocore, hence I'm making the assumption that they're not that helpful. (I go to private eng tutor though and it's SUPER helpful as the lessons can be more catered towards you, something to consider)

And lastly, please keep in mind that medicine is EXTREMELY competitive, making it off HSC/ATAR is very very difficult, postgraduates is also really really difficult, it's not easy in anyway to get in. You should consider preparing for the UCAT soon, starting early gives you an advantage, a lot of unis take heavy consideration of this. Also for reference, for med, you should be aiming for a 99.5+ ATAR minimum for most unis, that is very daunting for almost everyone. A helpful site here, https://medstudentsonline.com.au/ look around the med forums for ur options.
 

AmalJ

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Hi! I'm actually currently in Year 11, and I get questions like these from a lot of my friends in Year 10.

I think it's important that you stick with subjects that are your strengths, as well as what you enjoy. If you feel that 3 sciences may be tough to manage with math, but you really want to keep math, then maybe choose two of the three sciences that you feel you enjoy more/can do better in, giving you a bit of extra time/effort to spend on focusing on math.

I know people who've done 3 sciences, but I personally only do 2. Ultimately, it's what you feel most confident in taking, relative to the other subjects you choose as well.

And just a side note regarding your comment on trying out Advanced Math and dropping if it's too difficult; I had a couple of friends who have done this throughout term 2 after realising they couldn't keep up with the difficulty. I suggest if you want/need to drop, try and drop at maximum by the end of term 1/start of term 2, otherwise you will have a lot to catch up on. This not only regards content; the mind-set for standard is much different to that of advanced math.
I'll keep that in mind! Thank you :))
 

AmalJ

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Yeah, I've heard math standard basically destroys your atar. That's why I'm fighting tooth and nail to be put into math adv. I feel like when I understand maths it becomes super easy for me but the lack of foundations basically destroyed my math grade (hence why I got like a 95% on one part of my test and the other like 7% lol) I'll discuss with my parents about getting a math tutor, and if it comes to it (which I hope it won't) I'll just use my own paycheck on it if they refuse (they're very stingy)

How do you think I should start preparing for the UCAT? and should I start now or beginning of next year? I've seen the prerequisites for med and they really do make me want to cry haha.

also thank you for the advice!! <3
 

may22

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How do you think I should start preparing for the UCAT? and should I start now or beginning of next year? I've seen the prerequisites for med and they really do make me want to cry haha.
I'm looking into going into med as well. @Leadmen4y just posted a link to Med Students Online. I literally just made an account, and I'm going through the posts/forums. Very helpful, a lot to gain from using it.

Also, the UCAT website has a bunch of practise tests/question banks that you can use :)

I've heard starting as early as possible is best. In the end, it's trying to get exposure to all the different types of questions, and figuring out the best way to tackle them. The time limit is quite tough, and there are 5 components to the test itself (verbal reasoning, decision making, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning and situational judgement). Some questions are math based, others you may have to read a passage/scenario and answer questions relating to it. Getting in as much practise as possible will help boost your confidence and ensure that you are prepared when you go in to it. Don't stress too much about it now, but definitely take a shot at looking at the sorts of questions that will be asked so you get an idea of what you're up against.
 
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Leadmen4y

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Yeah, I've heard math standard basically destroys your atar. That's why I'm fighting tooth and nail to be put into math adv. I feel like when I understand maths it becomes super easy for me but the lack of foundations basically destroyed my math grade (hence why I got like a 95% on one part of my test and the other like 7% lol) I'll discuss with my parents about getting a math tutor, and if it comes to it (which I hope it won't) I'll just use my own paycheck on it if they refuse (they're very stingy)

How do you think I should start preparing for the UCAT? and should I start now or beginning of next year? I've seen the prerequisites for med and they really do make me want to cry haha.

also thank you for the advice!! <3
No worries, happy to help.

Your parents have to support u for med, my parents made me quit my part time job and offered me however much money I need for tutor as they understand how important this year (HSC) is for me, your parents should too, perhaps try talk them into it, it'll help you heaps.

I'd suggest considering quitting your part-time job (I assume you have one?) in year 12, as someone who coped with working 20 hours in a week while having 6 assessments due on the rear end of the week, 3 being science depths studies, I can say that was not very pleasant at all.
I'm not too sure regarding UCAT preps, but many people uses https://www.medentry.edu.au/ , perhaps you could have a look.

Though to add on to my earlier comment regarding the scaling of STD maths, you can still get 99.5+ with maths STD, but it just means you have to pretty much get 95+ in all your other subjects, along with a state rank in STD maths probs, so if you really can't cope with it, it's not over but you should try your best.
 

may22

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I'd suggest considering quitting your part-time job (I assume you have one?) in year 12
I want to add to this: I suggest you DO keep a hobby, however. A part-time job may be a lot to handle, but maybe keeping up with a sport, drawing, baking...anything that just takes your mind off your studies. It's not healthy to be constantly stressed about everything; you'll have to time manage and prioritise, but you'll also have to accept when you have to take breaks and make sure you are not driving yourself into a mental roadblock.

It's also good to try and stay physically active; take a walk, go for a jog, whatever tickles your fancy. Helps to balance your overall health; again, by taking your mind off your studies for a short while.
 

AmalJ

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Our financial situation doesn't really give my parents much option, we're barely able to afford rent so I understand why they're so hard on it. I'm planning on doing really well with the rest of my subjects this year and show them I'm dedicated and hopefully, that'll be enough to convince them :').

@may22 @Leadmen4y Yeah I want to quit my job either end of this year or year 11, I might try finding some hobbies. Would learning a new language (casually of course) count as a hobby?

I know this is a lot to ask since you guys both helped me out so much already but by any chance do you guys have tips on dealing with procrastination? It's something I've always struggled with, right now I am managing to keep my grades up but I know in the long run I will suffer a lot in years 11 and 12 if I don't start fixing it now.
 

may22

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Our financial situation doesn't really give my parents much option, we're barely able to afford rent so I understand why they're so hard on it. I'm planning on doing really well with the rest of my subjects this year and show them I'm dedicated and hopefully, that'll be enough to convince them :').

@may22 Yeah I want to quit my job either end of this year or year 11, I might try finding some hobbies. Would learning a new language (casually of course) count as a hobby?

I know this is a lot to ask since you guys both helped me out so much already but by any chance do you guys have tips on dealing with procrastination? It's something I've always struggled with, right now I am managing to keep my grades up but I know in the long run I will suffer a lot in years 11 and 12 if I don't start fixing it now.
Anything can really be a hobby I guess, if you enjoy it. See how it goes for you, but always know that it's okay to experiment with other activities as well :)

And regarding procrastination...I'm a procrastinator myself...so I'll give you my personal tips (they may not work for you, but it's a starting place :))

Something I find that usually helps when I have to do HW/study is playing a soft tune, melody or song while I work. Keep the volume low, so you don't get distracted, but it sort of just grounds you. I'm also a big checklist person. I'll have sticky notes, to-do lists, a whiteboard, all filled with scribbles of what needs to be done. Putting a line through each task when it's finished is very satisfying lol

If you find yourself putting something off because you don't want to do it (it's too difficult/tedious/boring), maybe try starting with a smaller, simpler activity and easing your way into the bigger load. Alternatively, working a little on it everyday also works.

Some people also use the Pomodoro technique. I'm not sure if you've heard of it, but it's essentially splitting up your working time into 25-30min slots with 5mins breaks in between, and you do as many sets/rounds as you want. I tried it a few times and liked it, but then I found that the 'working time' was too short for me, as when I got deep into a task, I simply HAD to finish it; I knew if I stepped away from my desk while I was in that 'zone' I would just get distracted again.

A friend of mine said what works for her is having someone in the room with her while she works, just sitting quietly and watching her work, or reading/on their phone while she works. Rather than talking and getting distracted, she gets into the zone because someone is watching and can hold her accountable if she suddenly starts scrolling through Instagram for 2 hours. I asked my mum to start doing this with me every now and then, and it helps; especially when the person asks you what you are currently working on, what you have already completed, etc.

A tip for Advanced Math in year 11: try your best to not fall behind. One thing that made sure I kept working was constantly reminding myself of the marks I want to achieve. Falling behind in math makes it quite tough to catch up. I mean...I coped this in Term 1 when I was not expecting the workload coming my way (for all my subjects) and had I like 3-4 HW exercises not complete, and not much practise done either. Let's just say... Term 1 = my worst math marks. For Term 2, I put away anything I was distracting myself with (got rid of social media apps on my phone so I could only access them by my laptop, which is predominantly for productivity, deleted Netflix so the only place I could watch would be the family TV, etc). Getting rid of the distractions helps you to stay focused on the task at hand. It's okay to take a break, but you need to know when to go back to working.

One more thing: this didn't work for me, but it might for you. Have a study planner. Split your days hour by hour or so and identify what you'll be doing at each time. Don't forget to include breaks and such.

I hope this helps :)
 

jimmysmith560

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Would learning a new language (casually of course) count as a hobby?
Yes, particularly if you're interested in learning one. Technically, any activity you undertake that isn't related to school/study which results in enjoyment/personal satisfaction can be considered a hobby. I would've loved to learn a fourth language to break the trilingual barrier and finally call myself a polyglot, but due to the lack of time, I haven't been able to do so unfortunately.

I know this is a lot to ask since you guys both helped me out so much already but by any chance do you guys have tips on dealing with procrastination? It's something I've always struggled with, right now I am managing to keep my grades up but I know in the long run I will suffer a lot in years 11 and 12 if I don't start fixing it now.
Leadmen4y and may22 have provided extremely good tips! In relation to procrastination/burnout/daydreaming, I also suggest you have a look at the following threads, containing advice on managing your study plan/time and break time which I believe might help you in adopting the right mentality as you commence year 11:


I hope this helps! 😄
 

AmalJ

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Anything can really be a hobby I guess, if you enjoy it. See how it goes for you, but always know that it's okay to experiment with other activities as well :)

And regarding procrastination...I'm a procrastinator myself...so I'll give you my personal tips (they may not work for you, but it's a starting place :))

Something I find that usually helps when I have to do HW/study is playing a soft tune, melody or song while I work. Keep the volume low, so you don't get distracted, but it sort of just grounds you. I'm also a big checklist person. I'll have sticky notes, to-do lists, a whiteboard, all filled with scribbles of what needs to be done. Putting a line through each task when it's finished is very satisfying lol

If you find yourself putting something off because you don't want to do it (it's too difficult/tedious/boring), maybe try starting with a smaller, simpler activity and easing your way into the bigger load. Alternatively, working a little on it everyday also works.

Some people also use the Pomodoro technique. I'm not sure if you've heard of it, but it's essentially splitting up your working time into 25-30min slots with 5mins breaks in between, and you do as many sets/rounds as you want. I tried it a few times and liked it, but then I found that the 'working time' was too short for me, as when I got deep into a task, I simply HAD to finish it; I knew if I stepped away from my desk while I was in that 'zone' I would just get distracted again.

A friend of mine said what works for her is having someone in the room with her while she works, just sitting quietly and watching her work, or reading/on their phone while she works. Rather than talking and getting distracted, she gets into the zone because someone is watching and can hold her accountable if she suddenly starts scrolling through Instagram for 2 hours. I asked my mum to start doing this with me every now and then, and it helps; especially when the person asks you what you are currently working on, what you have already completed, etc.

A tip for Advanced Math in year 11: try your best to not fall behind. One thing that made sure I kept working was constantly reminding myself of the marks I want to achieve. Falling behind in math makes it quite tough to catch up. I mean...I coped this in Term 1 when I was not expecting the workload coming my way (for all my subjects) and had I like 3-4 HW exercises not complete, and not much practise done either. Let's just say... Term 1 = my worst math marks. For Term 2, I put away anything I was distracting myself with (got rid of social media apps on my phone so I could only access them by my laptop, which is predominantly for productivity, deleted Netflix so the only place I could watch would be the family TV, etc). Getting rid of the distractions helps you to stay focused on the task at hand. It's okay to take a break, but you need to know when to go back to working.

One more thing: this didn't work for me, but it might for you. Have a study planner. Split your days hour by hour or so and identify what you'll be doing at each time. Don't forget to include breaks and such.

I hope this helps :)
We have the same issue with the focus thing and how we just have to stay in the 'zone' lol. Thank you so much for the advice!!! I think I'm going to use a lot of these :) you're literally a life saver
 

AmalJ

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Yes, particularly if you're interested in learning one. Technically, any activity you undertake that isn't related to school/study which results in enjoyment/personal satisfaction can be considered a hobby. I would've loved to learn a fourth language to break the trilingual barrier and finally call myself a polyglot, but due to the lack of time, I haven't been able to do so unfortunately.



Leadmen4y and may22 have provided extremely good tips! In relation to procrastination/burnout/daydreaming, I also suggest you have a look at the following threads, containing advice on managing your study plan/time and break time which I believe might help you in adopting the right mentality as you commence year 11:



I hope this helps! 😄
Thank you!! I've only joined yesterday but the community here is so nice and helpful I feel a lot better now about my subject selection coming up 😁
 

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