Study Advice

Self-Evaluation: Are you fulfilling your potential?

By Ellen O'Brien - 4 minute read

Self-evaluation is a really useful step that students should take when defining their study habits and schedule. This blog will focus on what it is and how you should use it to maximise your potential.

Throughout the VCE and QCE process, you are pushed to your limits physically and mentally, pushed by those around you to be the best student that you can be. But how do you know if you're fulfilling your potential? Sure, your teachers and parents may tell you that you're not working hard enough or that you need to study more. Deep down, you might know that they're right or maybe you're running on all cylinders already. At the end of the day, the answer lies with you, and you only.

How to Self Evaluate

First things first, you must get to know yourself as both a student and a person. Evaluate your study and personal habits:

  • Are you using your time effectively?

  • Are you retaining information or does your brain feel overloaded?

  • Are you procrastinating?

  • How can you change your habits for the better?

  • Are you prioritising your weaker subjects?

Self-evaluation is no place for ego, or indeed modesty! It will only work if you're completely honest with yourself. Exaggerating or even playing down your abilities will only add to the stress. By enlisting the help of an independent third party, perhaps a friend, teacher or parent, you ensure that your evaluation is not biased in any way. Your self-pride may take a hit, but I assure you, you'll thank them later!

Once you've been humbled by your bad habits, it's time to boost yourself up again. It's equally as important to know your strengths and have confidence in them.

Once you've been humbled by your bad habits, it's time to boost yourself up again. It's equally as important to know your strengths and have confidence in them.

SWOT Analysis: An In-Depth View of you 

SWOT analysis identifies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats within an organisation. I find these incredibly useful because similar to self-evaluation, a SWOT analysis can unearth hidden weaknesses as well as strengths. It will help in figuring out where you are right now and identify topics within a subject that you're struggling in. You can conduct a SWOT analysis for each subject, topic, or even just for studying in general.

Pro Tip: Keep your SWOT analysis short and to the point, don't get bogged down by unnecessary information!

Example SWOT Analysis of Study Habits:

Strengths
- Constantly taking tests/quizzes to monitor progress
- Detailed, neat notes for studying

Weaknesses
- Easily distracted by phone notifications 
- Procrastinates, resulting in very late nights and not enough sleep
- Prone to 'freezing' in an exam situation, resulting in loss of marks

Opportunities
- Join an after school study group that is supervised by teachers
- Make use of free classes to catch up on homework, allowing for more study in the evening
- Download the 'Forest' app or leave your phone with a parent
- Practise working in exam conditions; make yourself a list of things to do when you first open up the paper or ask your teacher for advice. 

Threats
- Information is not being retained in long term memory
- Lack of sleep affecting mood and ability to concentrate during the day
- Risk of falling behind
- Grades not reflecting all of the hours spent studying

Without a doubt, Instagram and TikTok are far more interesting than Physics, I can't argue with that one! You might convince yourself that you will only use your phone for looking up information or finding help, but unless you have some serious willpower, then I highly doubt that you will be able to resist the temptation. Instead, take it out of your own hands (literally!), give it to a parent or turn it off completely. The same goes for laptops and tablets. 

Give yourself ten or twenty minutes before you start your studying/homework to check the socials and then say goodbye. You'll feel better and it's an easy and effective way of preventing procrastination. 

Studyclix quizzes by topic are a useful tool in determining your strengths and weaknesses in a subject. 

Wishing you the best of luck with your self-evaluation to become the best version of yourself with your work and study. You've got this!