5 common mistakes when preparing for ATAR exams (and how to fix them!)

Preparing for your ATAR exams is a pretty big deal, and avoiding common mistakes can make a world of difference to how confident you're going to feel.

As seasoned ATAR mentors we've seen it all and want to help you avoid those same mistakes.  

Five common mistakes students make when preparing for their ATAR exams (and how to fix them!).

Let's dive in!

1.     Procrastination: Don't Fall into the Time Trap Let's face it, we all struggle with procrastination at times. However, delaying your study sessions can leave you overwhelmed and ill-prepared. To overcome this hurdle, create a realistic study schedule and stick to it. Break your study sessions into manageable chunks, set achievable goals, and hold yourself accountable. Remember, every small step counts, and consistency is key.

2.     Neglecting a Balanced Approach It's tempting to focus on your favourite subjects while neglecting others, but this imbalance can negatively impact your overall ATAR. Each subject carries a specific weighting, so dedicate sufficient time to all subjects based on their importance and your strengths and weaknesses. Ensure you revise and practice regularly for each subject, allowing you to achieve a well-rounded performance.

3.     Relying Solely on Memorization Many students fall into the trap of rote memorization, thinking it's the best way to prepare. However, ATAR exams demand more than regurgitating facts. Strive for a deeper understanding of concepts and their applications. Summarize key ideas, explain them to peers, and practice solving past exam questions. By focusing on comprehension and critical thinking, you'll develop a solid foundation for success.

4.     Lack of Exam Preparation Strategies Knowing the subject matter is essential, but it's equally crucial to develop effective exam preparation strategies. Familiarize yourself with the exam format, including question types, time allocation, and marking criteria. Practice timed mock exams to simulate real exam conditions and improve your time management skills. Additionally, learn strategies such as skimming through the paper before answering, tackling easier questions first, and revising your answers at the end. These tactics can significantly boost your exam performance.

5.     Underestimating the Power of Peer Support Studying in isolation can be isolating and limit your growth. Don't underestimate the power of peer support and collaboration. Form study groups or join online forums where you can discuss challenging concepts, exchange ideas, and learn from your peers. Teaching others what you've learned is a powerful way to reinforce your understanding. By engaging with a community of like-minded students, you'll gain new perspectives, discover helpful resources, and feel motivated throughout your ATAR journey.



Every course will have its own nuances too, and it’s just as important to be across those. We’re talking questions or common mistakes that students always stumble over, marking key details that can help unlock extra marks, and knowing the question trends over the years. Examiners see it all, and knowing these common errors and pitfalls can be an easy way to boost your results.

Our digital revision seminars cover all these tips, and so much more (including live Q&A), and you’ll be guided through by exam-expert teachers. They’re now open for pre-registration (access courses at your own pace from July - December; lots of WACE subjects available!). Check it out! www.atarprep.reviseonline.com