Does Reading A Lot Automatically Make You A Good Writer?

There is a very common misconception that students who read a lot will automatically become good writers. On the surface level, it makes sense. After all, reading extensively allows students to develop a large vocabulary, appreciate different perspectives and gain an understanding of how different texts are structured. And, as with any skill, the first step towards becoming proficient is to watch a professional at work.

On the other hand, nobody learns to drive a car by watching their mum drive; nobody learns how to shoot baskets by watching basketball on television; and nobody learns how to bake a perfect souffle by just reading recipe books. In all these situations, practice is the key. And while that seems obvious, people often forget the importance of practicing writing. Like any skill, writing requires constant practice. Here are some skills that you can only get from practicing writing…

1. Practicing writing builds muscle memory

Students often forget that writing is not just a mental task; it is a physical one as well. When students sit their VCE exams, or if they sit a Selective Schools or Scholarship test, they are required to write long, well thought out essays or creative narratives under a strict time limit. Quite often, under these situations, students hands get tired before their brains do. Students who haven’t practiced writing essays or narratives on a regular basis will find it hard to write quickly enough, or for long enough, to get all of their great ideas on the page. On the other hand, students that recognise that writing (like all tasks) needs practice, are much more likely to have the physical and mental skills they need to succeed.

2. Practicing writing helps students tackle writer’s block

Reading is obviously a wonderful skill for building imagination in students; but it is, in the end, largely a passive activity. When you read a story, you get to sit back and let the author take you on a journey. But when it’s your turn to do the writing, suddenly your job becomes a lot more difficult. You’re given an empty page that you’re supposed to fill with ideas. This can be incredibly stressful, and many students face writer’s block as a result. Practicing writing is a good way to get better at generating your own ideas. The more you practice, the less intimidating the empty page will look, and they more techniques you will learn for generating ideas.

3. Practicing writing demystifies the art of writing

Have you ever read a great essay or a great story and though “how on earth did they do that?” It’s a common experience, and it’s part of the fun of reading. When we read good writing, we’re not necessarily trying to figure out how the author is doing what they’re doing, we’re just enjoying their work. This is one of the reasons why it’s not enough to just read extensively if you want to learn to write well. Put simply: reading good writing doesn’t teach you how to be a good writer yourself. On the other hand, when you practice writing regularly, you start to notice the patterns, the little tricks that you can use again and again to make your writing successful. Practicing writing allows you to look behind the curtain and seeing the mechanisms that make up a successful piece of writing.


Of course, practicing is hard. And it’s not the kind of thing you can just do without guidance. That’s where we come in. If you or your child wants more guidance on how to practice their writing, feel free to email us at or call us on 1800 668 177. If your child is preparing for a Scholarship or Selective Schools Exam, you might also want to check out our custom Writing Bundle. This bundle contains our best selling persuasive essay book and our newly released narrative book.  After reading these books your child will have the skills required to write a compelling and well structured narrative and persuasive essay!


What Does It Take To Gain Entry To A Selective School? The Results Might Surprise You!

One of the most common questions we receive from parents and students regarding the Victorian Selective Schools exam is:

“What marks do I need to gain entry?” or “How many superiors do I need?”

The answer to these types of questions is complex. In previous years, different combinations have resulted in students gaining entry to the selective school of their choice. In this video, we will discuss some of these results to give you an insight to what different students achieved when they received their offers. We also describe how these students used the results after sitting our mock exam to help them focus their study in the few short weeks leading up to the actual exam.

In the video, we’ll share a short case study of 3 students who attended classes at Spectrum Tuition, completed our annual mock exam and then subsequently gained entry into a selective school. If you would like to have a go at this mock exam and watch the accompanying workshop video which offers tips and outlines common mistakes, please click here. Full worked solutions for every question is also included with this mock exam package.

The important thing to note about the above video is that there is no set formula on how many ‘superiors’ you need to gain entry to a Selective School. Having said this, it is unlikely that you will be offered a place if you score a ‘low’ in any of the tests.

If you have any questions please feel free to add them below in the comments and we’ll endeavour to answer them.

Spectrum Tuition Victorian Selective Schools Mock Exam 2016: Open For Enrolments

Want to practice your exam taking skills under realistic test conditions before the actual selective schools exam? Then this is what you’ve been waiting for!

Our 2016 Victorian selective schools mock exam is now open for enrollments.

We will be holding our 2016 selective schools mock exam for students sitting the Victorian Selective Schools Exam on Sunday 15th May (mock exam) and Sunday 22nd May (workshop).

Why Sit Our Mock Exam?

Are you worried your child isn’t ‘exam ready?’ Do you want to know how they’ll perform under realistic time constraints and exam conditions? If so, you’ll want to enrol in our mock exam programme.

Our mock exam is aimed at helping students get a realistic sense of how they’ll perform under the intense pressure of a 3-hour exam. We then follow up with a 4-hour workshop that’ll go through the most common problems student had with the mock exam questions.

To ensure that students get the maximum value from the workshop we limit our intake to 45 students.  We don’t fill out the hall with hundreds of students and then run a generic workshop. We tailor our program based on the data generated from the actual mock exam.

How Does It Work?

The exam will begin at 9am and will be held at Footscray North Primary School (map). The exam will be held in the school hall.

We will then hold a 4 HOUR interactive workshop the very next Sunday outlining the most common errors and provide tips on how to improve your performance on exam day. We also encourage parents of students who have sat the mock exam to sit in on the workshop, so that they can fully understand what their child needs to do to prepare in the last few weeks before the exam.

Places are strictly limited to 45 places – so register today to secure your spot.

This is your only chance for your child to sit a full-length exam in a similar style and format as the actual test BEFORE the day AND get feedback on your performance!

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! Register by 11th April and get $50 off! 7 hours of test preparation normally $225, now just $175!