Student Stories: Taking a Year 12 subject in Year 10

Doing a VCE subject two years early has lots of pros and cons but the real question is, is it really worth the risk?

When I found out I had been accepted to take Year 12 History in Year 10, I was shocked. I had never thought of myself as smart, so I thought they might have the wrong person. Of course, I was over the moon, but that high didn’t last long — soon after, I realised the amount of hard work that had to go into this class.

That night I went home and told my family; we had never really discussed doing any VCE subjects but decided together that it was a good idea to at least try it.

My school decided who would be accepted into this course by looking at history results only and asking the teachers which students they thought were ready. I was a bit hesitant to do the subject because VCE (Year 11 and 12 in Victoria) is one of the most important parts of school life, but I overlooked these hesitations — I had the option to drop the class any time I wanted, and I had enough time to retake it if I didn't do well.

Before my first class, I was really nervous as I had no idea what I was walking into, but as soon as we got into class the teacher went through the plan for the whole year and explained everything clearly to us.

While I was completing the class, I never asked questions because I thought that everyone else was smarter than me and that the teacher would get annoyed. But the teachers were really understanding because they knew this was our first time in this situation and I soon found out that some of my classmates felt the same way.

My first assessment in this class was a lot different from anything I’d ever done. My marks were a lot lower than any of my other classes, but the teacher explained that that was expected. Instead of dwelling on past mistakes, I focused on how I could improve myself for the future.

Now, my History subject just feels like one of my normal subjects. I believe that doing a subject early can really help when you get into Year 12, because having less subjects to focus on could overall improve results and reduce stress. Doing this subject early also meant that the next VCE subject I did was like second nature. It was easy to understand the structure for the year because I had already done it before.

If you find yourself in the same position as me, just remember that the choice is unique to you and you shouldn't just do it because friends or family want you to. Remember that you are not alone and that you can always ask someone if you need help. It is a big decision to make and has lots of pros and cons to it, but the choice is completely yours and only you can decide if you are ready for the challenges and responsibilities.

By Paige Blake

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