I know that competing against other students for an ATAR is stressful, but it probably isn’t quite as bad as you think and, in some ways, helps you out.

Not convinced? Keep reading.

You’re not really competing against your classmates as much as it appears. I know that the SAC marks are ranked, and this obviously helps determine your study score but your school is also ranked – and this has a big impact.

In fact, how well your school does on the exam as whole can help boost your mark – so rather than competing with them, you really want other classmates to do well, especially at the end of the year.

As an extreme example, you could be ranked #1 at your school but everyone scores 10% or below on the exam. That #1 SAC mark doesn’t mean all that much anymore and you’d be lucky to get a study score of 20.

In contrast, you could be ranked #23 at school where everyone scores above 50% in the exam – I haven’t done the Math, but this could equate to a study score of 30 (possibly even a 35 as a scaled study score).

The point is that how well your classmates perform is far less important than you think – your score has much more to do with how well YOU perform.

As a side note, competing against each other can help boost each other’s performance, but I know this isn’t for everyone – What you can do is compare yourself with yourself and aim to get a better score each time your have an assessment.

So many students aim for large improvements (such as going from 30% to 70% or 70% to 90%) and feel deflated when they only get a small increase. If you do better, that is a win. If you do worse, work out what habits you need to change and change them.

If you have any questions, send me an email at alex@mathsmethods.com.au.

Hope this helps 🙂

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