Get up to speed on QCS

As all year 12 students will be aware, QCS (otherwise known as the Queensland Core Skills Test) commences state-wide this Tuesday and Wednesday.  It is a standardised test that contributes to the calculation of Overall Positions (OPs) and Field Positions (FPs) which students receive upon graduating high school. These scores are used to select which students will be admitted into their applied field of higher education.

It is important to note that an individual’s test results don’t directly affect their OP – the results are collated and averaged amongst classmates, which is then applied across the state, from where a scaling process is applied.

While most year 12 students will have been building up to QCS for months, there are some last-minute things you can do to prepare to sit the test.

The calm before the storm

While an average two days at school might ordinarily register as a blip on the radar, the two QCS days will feel pretty big in comparison. You might feel nervous, anxious, and there might be  extra added pressure to perform well.

It’s important to do what you can to relax your mind and keep your body healthy in the lead-up. Get plenty of rest, eat well and maintain your social activities (possibly to a lesser degree), all while looking after yourself. You don’t want to put in the hard yards of preparation, only to find yourself unable to follow through to the best of your ability.

Know what you’re in for

You may feel sick to death of seeing practice QCS papers, but, they really do help you to prepare for what you are in for. There are plenty of resources available that will help lessen the fear of the unknown, including test guidelines available on the website for the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

While it helps to look to previous exams for guidance, remember that the topics do change from year to year. It’s most helpful to understand the general nature of the exam and example topics. Take this time to consider your previous assessment throughout the year. Do you perform better at multiple choice answers? Do your strengths lie in creative writing over analytical reports? This will all come in handy when designating your time and planning for the topics provided on the day.

Talk it out!

The QCS period is often seen as an intense time. Your friends at school will likely be feeling the pressure as much as you are. And while that might result in a collective feeling of unease among your peers. it’s also a joint experience that you can share with them. Talk to them about how they’re coping with their busy schedules, study, sport and socialising. 

Remember that year 12 is as busy as it is exciting. Apply for your most desired degrees on your QTAC application, and keep working towards your goals. Before you know it, school will be over, and your time at university will be about to begin!

Last updated:
29 August 2016