Most of my motivation stemmed from talking to previous students that had similar goals to me because then I could adopt the methods they used. I had a desired score for each subject and talking to past students that achieved those results or higher gives you a sense on how they operated and maintained consistent marks. Funnily, my motivation dipped at approximately July last year to study in general for anything and I ended up sticking about 90 or so quotes of people who inspired me on my wall to offset my laziness. It helped a lot for year 12 as well as for this year’s university exams. I also made sure I incorporated some form of leisure activities throughout the week to give my mind a break from continuously thinking about subject content.

Essentially, I performed 3 tasks that kept me motivated for my exams. They were:

1.     Set goals

2.     Seek external sources of motivation such as inspirational figures and quotes

3.     Indulged in leisure activities from time to time to as a break from studying

Most of my motivation stemmed from talking to previous students that had similar goals to me...

Most of my motivation stemmed from talking to previous students that had similar goals to me...


Now I’ll be honest, I’m not the most motivated of people. If you’ve been a long time reader of TQ, you’d know that I’m a horrific procrastinator and preparing for exams wasn’t an exception to my habit. However, there comes a time when the sudden realisation kicks in that these exams, these couple of flimsy pieces of paper, are the last hurdle before you’re done; before you’re free. And this is what motivated me.

Sure, I procrastinated a lot throughout VCE, but that didn’t mean I still didn’t work hard. And I figured if all it took to successfully get over this last obstacle was a couple more days of putting my head down and doing practice exams and revising the year’s worth of content, it wasn’t too much to ask. I wanted to make all the effort I’d put in over the years worth it, all the stress and late nights furiously typing away at an essay due the next morning count.

And the idea that after this, after the exams are over, I’ll be able to spend three months of the summer doing whatever I liked, completely stress-free with no assignments and deadlines looming constantly, that made me excited. A lot of students view the exams as the be all and end all of everything, the end point of their journey. But me, I saw the freedom afterwards as the end point, the reward that I could only get to by passing the penultimate step that was exams.

So if I was to give you my advice on how to stay motivated for exams, think about how much you’ve worked for this and make it count and don’t forget about the good things to come afterwards, and know that it will only come if you work for it. Best of luck! :>

Don't forget about the good things to come afterwards...

Don't forget about the good things to come afterwards...


Staying motivated was hard for me, my exams were all spaced out, and near the end of it I just worn out. I stayed motivated by setting goals every day, goals that were productive, yet also not too much to burden me and stress me out even more. After I finished, I relaxed and did no more study, giving me the evening off most of the time.

I didn't study every day either, I would take 1-2 days off every week to give me time to rest and respite from all the studying and what was to come.

I didn't know how I managed it all, but at the end of it all, I survived.

I would take 1-2 days off every week to give me time to rest...

I would take 1-2 days off every week to give me time to rest...


After the experience of Swotvac, I learnt that there is no secret recipe to motivation. During this time last year, I deactivated Facebook and began adjusting certain aspects of my timetable and study environment. Deactivating facebook was definitely one of the best decisions that I made for my studies. So, if you wish to make big changes on how you are going to study, it is best to begin now! 

All good things takes time. Scientifically, it takes two weeks for a habit to settle into your routine. 😉 After all, we are creatures of habit. 

Studying can be tiring and a little agonising so I mixed up my study spaces! I would migrate to the kitchen table where there is natural lighting in the mornings and afternoons. Sometimes, if I want to get away from the desk, I would sit on the floor and read my notes there! By mixing up how and where I studied, I immensely enjoyed the process of revising. 

I also ensured to separate the places I relaxed and studied in. So, if I was studying at the kitchen table for a few hours, I would unwind and watch a movie somewhere else! 

That way, I would only strictly associate the kitchen table with study. 

Before I sleep, I would also listen to new songs on Spotify and fun bops! It’s important to have that downtime to yourself. In those quiet moments, I was able to clarify and focus on what I truly wanted to achieve! And of course, daydreaming about gorgeous 30 degree weather and vanilla ice-cream. 

P.S I always had this fear that if I fell asleep with the headphones on, the cord would tangle around my neck. BUT ANYWAY, irrelevant. Just be careful, guys. 


You guys got this!

Best of luck.