Congratulations to Anisha Mannock, Padua College DUX of 2021, who received an ATAR score of 99.05 and a perfect study score of 50 for Media Studies. On Tuesday 15 February, Anisha shared her experiences and advice for succeeding in Year 12 at the 2022 College Opening Assembly.
DUX OF 2021 SPEECH
Good morning staff, students, parents, and fellow 2021 graduates. It is an honour to be standing before you today as the Dux of the 2021 class, sharing both my experience and the advice that helped me through my high school years.
When I began writing this speech, I reflected on how high school and particularly VCE were challenging, but rewarding and growth-filled time. I often questioned the path I was on and the subjects I was taking. It was this constant reassessment of where my passion and curiosity lay that I believe was a major contributor to my success in Year 12.
As junior school came to an end, I had thoroughly planned out what I thought was the perfect plan for VCE, including the subjects I felt would help me achieve the highest ATAR. Standing here over three years later, I can tell you that most of that changed. I quickly found that I was unmotivated and lost in the subjects that I thought would scale well and drawn towards those that peaked an unexplainable interest and curiosity.
My achievements in VCE came from a true desire to learn, and a passion for the subjects I was taking. It was easier to pick up books and study where I had a genuine interest in the content, and it pushed me to continually expand my knowledge.
Finding some essence of a routine helped me immensely throughout high school, however I didn’t create an hour-by-hour schedule and it changed many times throughout the year. It was never perfect but figuring out what study methods worked for me, where I studied best and at what times of the day, allowed me to find patterns in my working and try to combat procrastination. Putting the work in throughout the year eased the pressure come end-of-year exams. Because I had taken the time to thoroughly learn and understand content before SACs, my exam revision could be devoted to polishing answers. This experience showed me that it wasn’t about the number of hours I spent studying or amount of practice exams I did, but the quality of the time I spent actively learning and pushing myself.
Some of the best advice I was given going into VCE was to take advantage of and utilise every resource and opportunity offered; for me that was undertaking accelerated subjects, constantly asking my teachers questions, and finding my own resources online. In tandem with that, I took the time to learn and break down how best to approach end-of-year exams. This included what examiners were looking for in answers, how to structure my responses in line with VCAA standards and how to best allocate my time in the exam. This allowed me to feel confident and as relaxed as one can be going into a VCE exam.
Whilst studying, organisation and resources were important contributors to my success, so was my mindset going into Year 12. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t set myself a concrete ATAR or study score target that would make me happy at the end of the year. Instead, I told myself that if I left each subject feeling as though I had expanded my knowledge, tried my best, and merely survived the year then that would be my success.
Finally, I want to thank all the teachers who have helped me throughout VCE, both classroom teachers, Mrs Donnelly, Ms Mann, Mr Barnhoorn, Mrs Martin, and Mr Noonan, and those who offered me extra support and advice.
I wish everyone the best in the coming year.
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