Completing practice exam questions is a tried and true method of preparation, going over content and preparing the student for the type, phrasing and language of the questions they’re likely to face in high stakes tests is invaluable.

There is a plethora of practice exams for most high school leaving certificates around the world available online and therein lies the problem, finding the right questions to practice requires some legwork, so what if everything was formalised and available in one place?

Irish teacher Luke Saunders wanted a thorough, collated practice exam resource and lacking one created Studyclix with software engineer Keith Wright, enlisting experts in each study area to put together the initial topic lists for the site.

It hit a note, Studyclix was launched in 2009 and has since become a staple for final year students in Ireland; it arrived in Australia this year for students of the VCE.

Studyclix gives students and teachers quick access to official VCE exam questions and learning resources, which have been secured with a licensing agreement from VCAA. But its real strength is in the community that has formed around it, that shared knowledge and support is unique.

“Every year there’s a new exam for the Year 12s, they’re always similar to each other but they have different questions and introduce new topics.

“We take all the past exams and we split them into each of their topics. For example in physics, we take the exams from 2013 to 2018 and we divide all the questions about light, for example, into one category or anything about motion is put into another category,” says Studyclix Regional Manager George Triafylos.

Past responses to the questions are also collated and each question comes with a breakdown of how past students have answered and performed on each question and how the highest scoring answers and the lowest were presented.

Users can also pick and choose questions to put together their own exams which can also be saved and shared with others.

“When we have created the whole list, a student will be learning a topic, they will then go to Studyclix, click on a topic and in that page you will have every single question that has come up about that topic.

“The reason it is so valuable is that you are studying the type of question that is going to be in the exam. Teachers can tell a student to go on Studyclix and find the practice questions as well as a curated list of Youtube videos and websites that explain the topic well,” he says.

Studyclix integrates with the flipped learning model, students learn what they can of the topic on their own and armed with that knowledge go to class the next day to clarify and crystalise any points they have struggled with.

The teacher can accelerate the teaching process and focus on comprehension of the content rather than introducing a topic and then waiting for it to be absorbed.

“The teacher can assign material to learn and questions to do all on one website and the students can do the learning and the revision with the practice questions on their own,” Triafylos says.

“Rather than the teachers spending all of their time creating content, the content is already there and they can focus on reflection and giving feedback to their students.”

The feedback Studyclix has had from teachers indicates that the site has met a pent-up demand.

“Teachers have told us that they have spent hours googling and finding questions on a topic that they wanted to give their students,” Triafylos says.

The service is for the VCE exclusively right now but Studyclix is planning to launch in different states and other countries. Australia is the first to see the service outside of Ireland as Victoria’s exam system is very similar to Ireland’s making it a natural choice for the Australian launch.

“We want to concentrate on Victoria, develop the product and work on the feedback that we receive to mold it into a form that customers want.

“What we’ve found in Ireland is that Studyclix is the most widely used system, it grew very quickly and pretty much every school has Studyclix.”

Studyclix has an intercom platform on the bottom right of the page, users can click on it and provide feedback, whether it’s about a question being in the wrong area or making suggestions about resources that should be included in Studyclix.

“It goes back to the economy of scale, as the service grows and you get more and more people involved there are more people telling you what they would like to see on the site. Some businesses wouldn’t take that positively, but we think that’s one of the best things we can hear because it means we can take their feedback and add things straight away,” Triafylos says.

Feedback is sent to one of the company’s experts who reviews it and if the idea is deemed useful, the amendment will be added to the site. Studyclix also has a forum where users can exchange ideas about their experiences.

“Our strength is that we adapt and build according to what our customers want, we don’t sit in a room and say, ‘oh yeah they will like this’, we actually take in everyone’s feedback and shape the site according what they have been saying. Every piece of information we are given from any source is written down and considered,” he says.

Another good thing about the site is that it’s free for teachers, students can access a free version of the site or select the Plus option for $49 which provides unlimited access to Studyclix’s resources.

“Teachers have full access to everything we’ve got, students have access to everything except for the full list of questions, they can access two questions free and then they have to pay the fee which you will find is much cheaper than other comparable services.”

VCE teacher Adina Wolters, Head of Psychology at a prominent Melbourne school, is currently using Studyclix to curate topics for student revision in VCE Psychology.

She said; “It’s a great resource as it allows me to set topic-specific revision questions that are of a VCAA standard as they come directly from past exams. Studyclix lets me provide exam revision questions to my students in digital form which cuts down on my administration time. All the questions are referenced, which means that I know, and the students know, where the question has come from and the solutions provided come from the Examiners’ Reports,” she said.

Brett Barber from St Peter’s College Cranbourne is also enthusiastic, saying that using Studyclix has been a gamechanger for how he runs his VCE Physics classes.

“Studyclix is fabulous for engaging students. In an instant I can jump to a VCE exam question and get the students to respond to it. It really helps them mentally prepare for exam questions,” he said.