QCS tips from our bloggers!

We’ve compiled the advice of our bloggers to help you on QCS day. Good luck Year 12s!

“Fuel your brain before QCS with a nice big breakfast – you’ll stay focused longer and your tummy won’t be roaring all morning. #foodforthought”

“If you’ve read about it, write about it! Impress the markers with references to books you’v read. But, as always, keep it relevant!”

“Don’t stress, you won’t get questions like this at QCS.”
QCS Question Meme

“Don’t be afraid to apply for special provision before taking the test to suit you. Get a bigger paper if your eyes aren’t perfect… even if the paper is bigger than you! #stressless”

Imogen had to apply early for this, due to extenuating circumstances. There are specific cut-off dates, but you may still be able to apply. You won’t know unless you ask.

“Being dehydrated by as little as 2% can negatively affect your brain’s performance. Be smarter by remembering to drink water during the QCS test. Just remember, no labels!”

“Stressing that QCS is going to be a nightmare? Dreaming of a day when writing stimulus is a thing of the past? Treat yourself to a night in with your favourite pyjamas with your comfiest pillows. Even my teddy knows that getting enough sleep is crucial to a fresh and focused mind, especially the night before a big exam or test.  It is far better mental preparation in those remaining 24 hours to get enough rest than it is to stay up late hour cramming. And he doesn’t have a brain nearly as big as yours Good luck.”

“We believe that you can be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods … but ALWAYS have a plan! Show the QCS what you’re made of.”

“You can’t concentrate if you’re not relaxed and well-fed!!!”

Student blogger Maddie recommends taking the time to have a good feed in prep for QCS. A full stomach makes all the difference – and it’s a good excuse to take a break and eat some glorious pizza, too!
madie pizza

MelMelissa Cameron
“It’s a tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation and now, I’m passing it on to all of you. After QCS it is important—no, in fact, it is necessary—that you reward yourself with a Mars Bar. After all those months of stressing, it’s the ultimate sugar boost that everyone deserves for finally making it through QCS. But in all honesty, it really is important to set yourself rewards for completing QCS. It gives you something else to work hard for and look forward to, beyond a simple pat on the back for overcoming the inevitable QCS stress. Good luck, and may the Mars Bar get you through these times.”
Mel - QCS Instagram

Keep calm and stress less before the QCS test (rhyme intended).”Jason - keep calm

Read more QCS tips from our past bloggers.

The QCS Test, Oh No!

That’s right every body, it’s that magical time of year when the QCS test comes around to drain 2 days of your life. But that’s ok, because this is that step just before you reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Being a grade 12 student myself, my friends and I have been prepping for the 2 day marathon of tests so they’re slightly less painful. At our school a whole lesson is dedicated to learning how to answer various types of questions that could be on the test. I have compiled a list of tips I’ve learned through these lessons, and although I probably shouldn’t share them because the system says you need to do bad for me to do good (I know, I’m a pure genius), I will.


Austin's QCS Tips summarized!

Austin’s QCS Tips summarized!


The Writing Test

Personally this is my favorite part of the QCS, because it’s not all about abstract reasoning. For  the writing section of the QCS test, it’s important to remember the stimulus you chose, and always relate back to it through your story. To make this easy on yourself, when you first look at the different stimulus pieces you’re given choose the one that closely aligns with one of your passions. For example, if a piece of stimulus is heavily influenced by a subject you enjoy, use that to your advantage. Once you’ve chosen your stimulus piece, write up a draft. Sometimes it’s hard to begin, but just do it. This quote by Colleen Hoover  perfectly describes how you should write your draft. Plus, you have time and writing a draft will give you less time to sit there and do nothing. After your draft have a break, a drink, keep an eye on the time. After you’ve regathered your thoughts write your good copy. Writing test done!

The Short Response Test

This part of the QCS test is the most difficult, because it requires a lot more thinking than the others. I’ll use a simple process that I’ve been taught at school. The first step is read and highlight everything. The teachers at our school always drill this in when they are explaining the process we need to go through to answer a question on the QCS test. The very first step in this process is to actually understand what you are being asked. It helps if you highlight key words such as ‘contrast’ or ‘describe’, which will tell you how you should answer the question. The second step in this process is to write your answer. Yes, this is a very simple two step process and I promise it will serve you well, as long as you don’t miss step one.

The Multiple Choice

Of course the obvious technique for the two multiple choice questions you get after a writing test and a short response is the faithful  “A, B, A, B, wait, haven’t gone with C in a while”. Don’t do it. The multiple choice questions are not too challenging, and it should be an easy process of elimination. There’s always going to be two choices that seem obviously wrong, then there are the two that seem right. My strategy for making a choice is that if I can’t figure it out in a minute and a half, just circle the option that seems the most right. This will allow time for more questions to be completed and the possibility for more correct answers!

Now when September 1 and 2 come, we should all be set to go! It’s just 2 days that define your OP score, not your life. At the end of the day, it’s just a test, and you can always bounce back. Good luck to the class of 2015!

I’m starting university next year, how can I make it easier?

FiguresNow seems like a fantastic time to write to those of you in year 12 who are going to start university next year. I say “are” instead of “might” because the glass is always half full. You know you’re going to do well on the QCS test and you’re going to put the effort into your subjects to do the best you can. Why? Because you want to be successful in life. You have goals and dreams and only hard work and dedication are going to get you there.

Getting to university is only a small step in your bigger plan, however to set yourself up well for your first year and beyond, I have some tips to make life easier!

Read more

Why Do You Do This To Me, Uni?

Ah, exam block. A time of stress, freaking out, too much studying, the burning desire to procrastinate and even more stress. But it’ll all be over and done with before you know it. After your last exam, you’ll be on holidays and everything will be good again. That is, until you have the startling moment of realisation. You won’t be free as soon as you thought. You have an assignment due the day after your exam.

Read more

Kid Vs. QCS: Surviving Those Two Days

The QCS Test is only days away, and you’re fully aware of what you’re up against. It’s an exam to test not what you’ve learned, but how you learned it blah blah blah. But let’s be honest, we all know what it comes down to: those two days of where you’ll have to sit still for a really long time, stop stressing about your future, quit thinking about those four assignments due tomorrow and complete a test apparently designed to make you feel like an idiot. It’s an examination mountain you’ll have to climb and, by now, you’re probably worried that you may not be up to the challenge.

But never fear, Rhi is here! Before you take on one of the final stunts for Mission Impossible: Grade 12, here’s some practical tips to help you survive in the unforgiving QCS wilderness – from someone who sat the test last year. Read more