The 8 best pieces of advice for people doing Year 12 exams in 2020.

Year 12 exams have officially begun for many students across the country today, with English and languages first up.

Of course, it hasn't been the year any of us had in mind. The class of 2020 had many of their formals, celebrations and graduation ceremonies either cancelled or dramatically reduced to fit with COVID-19 protocols. On top of that, their learning has been disrupted by the global pandemic, with students all over the country having to adapt to online learning, and students in Victoria having to spend the last few months barely able to leave their homes. 

Watch: Messages for Year 12. 

Video via Mamamia.

Let's get one thing straight: Year 12 exams are hard. They're even harder when you've got to do them in the midst of a global pandemic. 

So the Mamamia team, and a few familiar faces, have come up with some of their best advice to remember over the next few weeks.

1. Sleep enough, ask for help if you need it, and keep exercising. 

Okay let's get the boring but very true advice out of the way first (sorry Scott).

As Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Mamamia (in the video above), "Make sure you get enough sleep. It makes such a difference to your thinking. Exercise every day if you can, it really helps you deal with stress. And don't be afraid to ask for help, it will lighten your load."

We actually have....nothing else to add. He's on the money. 

2. If it does really matter to you, that's absolutely fine.

We can probably say for certain that you've been told by at least one person "not to worry too much" or "don't put too much pressure on yourself."

But just remember it's okay if the final exams and getting a good mark really does matter to you. 

"If it matters to you that's wonderful, caring about things is not a personality flaw and wanting to give it your best shot is GOOD. Everyone values this time differently, just don't let it come at a cost to your own wellbeing and don't let it matter to you because someone else told you it should," says Mamamia Podcast Producer Emma Gillespie. 

3. If you're a mediocre student, that doesn't mean you'll be a mediocre worker.

"There are people (like me) who are VERY MEDIOCRE students because we're on-the-job learners. If you're an average human who gets average marks, it could just be that you'll find your thing being practical out in the world rather than reading it out of a book," says The Quicky host Claire Murphy.

Claire barely got over 60 in her final exams, and now she informs Mamamia listeners about the biggest stories of the day every morning in an award-winning news podcast - so keep that in mind. 

4. No one will care about your mark in six months. No, seriously. 

You and your friends will most likely spend six months, tops, asking each other about what marks everyone got and then no one, not one person, will ever ask you again.


Employers don't care at all what your high school marks were. They care about experience. 

That doesn't mean you shouldn't try. It's just a reminder that if you don't do as well as hoped and have to take a different path to your chosen career - your future boss will have no idea. They don't expect you to spell that out on your CV. 

As Mamamia's Assistant Head of Content Jessie Stephens explains: "Your Year 12 results aren't the beginning. Or the end. There’s no such thing as ‘proving’ yourself. You just show up. And some days you’ll succeed and other days you’ll fail."

5. Your final mark is not your currency.

This is an extension of No.4, but we really need to get away from focusing on that final number. 

As Mamamia's Editor Clare Stephens explains, "The funny thing about other people’s approval or even adoration, is that it’s something you can’t feel. That’s their feeling. Not yours. And it’s because it’s just an impersonal, arbitrary metric. The moments that made you proud already happened. Like the moments you were tired and kept working, or were disappointed and persevered. They’re real regardless of whether or not there’s an award at the end of it."

"While you might not have enough to get into your first preference course, there are always other options... you might have to take a sideways step before you climb and that's okay," adds Mamamia's Daily Managing Producer of Podcasts Madeline Joannou. 

Or as Social Squad Account Manager Genevieve Maslin says; "run your own race...if that's getting into medicine then work your tush off, but if you have no clue what you want to do and want to take three gap years, do that."

You're more than the number at the end of all this. Remember that.

6. FYI, you're about to enter the best part of your life. 

"It's scary but you're about to enter into the literal best part of your life... and you can do anything you choose. Follow your gut and don't worry about other people's expectations - if you do what makes you happy then that's all that matters," says Mamamia's Audience Development Manager, Lily Allsep.

As model and entrepreneur Steph Claire Smith told Mamamia, "get ready for your twenties, they're the funnest years of your life."

She's right. They're messy, and fun, and confusing, but the best thing about leaving high school is you get to just focus on the stuff that makes you happy and not *cough* maths *cough*.

7. Make sure you celebrate... because it is still legal to celebrate. 

This is the advice of the great Lisa Wilkinson, former magazine editor and host of Channel Ten's The Project. 

Make sure you still take the time to enjoy the moment, celebrate with your friends, and close this 'chapter' of your life. It's a big chapter, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Or, if you'd prefer to focus on Mamamia's Editorial Assistant Emma Gillman's advice: "Just keep thinking about one month from now. Exams don't go forever... and then you can partay!" 

Also true. 

8. None of this... matters. 

As influencer, podcast host, and DJ Flex Mami will tell you: "None of this matters. We're floating on a rock, sentient sacks of flesh just doing stuff. Some stuff happens better than intended, other stuff doesn't. We keep pushing."

Shall we just leave it at that?

Feature image: Getty.