KEY PREPARATION: John Dalton has been getting his students prepared for the coming QCS test.
KEY PREPARATION: John Dalton has been getting his students prepared for the coming QCS test. Barclay White

Testing times ahead

THE stakes will be high next week for St Mary's student Thilini Ranasinghe.

She wants to study science or medicine next year, and how she goes in the Queensland Core Skills test could determine what she studies.

"I'm pretty well prepared, but I am still nervous," she said.

For thousands of Year 12 students across the state the tests could determine their future.

And across the South Burnett, students at Kingaroy State High School, St Mary's Catholic College, Nanango State High School and Murgon State High School will sit the dreaded QCS test.

But schools have been preparing students to make sure they make the most of the day, and don't let nerves overwhelm them.

At St Mary's Catholic College assistant principal John Dalton has been working for months to make sure the students do their best.

He has been getting students to sit mock exams under the same conditions to get them accustomed to the big day.

"We try and create the exact same environment as the day so kids know what to expect," he said.

And he has some advice for what not to do on the day.

Students should not fill up on coffee or energy drinks before the exam as this can cause them to crash before the test is over.

And getting a good night's sleep the day before is essential; do not stay up all night practising and turn up a zombie on the day.

As a "content free test" students can prepare, but they can't really study for it.

"Unlike other tests that assess knowledge, this assesses skill," Mr Dalton said.

"Any knowledge they need for the answers is supplied in the test, it's how they answer it that matters."

For student Cassandra Firman, the QCS test could determine if she makes it into her dream course of engineering at the University of Queensland.

"I really want to do well, but when it's over I'm going to celebrate by going to Macca's and eating some cake," she said.

But they can't unwind too much, according to Mr Dalton.

"We've got more big exams right after the QCS week," he said.

South Burnett

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