Whether you like it or not, doing an English subject is compulsory, and doing well in English is probably more important than doing well in any other subject, simply because it will hog a spot in your primary 4. A high score in English leads to a better chance of achieving a high ATAR. As VCE English is the most popular of all the English subjects, in order to impress the examiners as they monotonously read through 10,000 students' 3 essays, you have to be different. Id like me, you love reading and writing, then you have an advantage. And if not, you just need to adjust your perspective and find a way to enjoy the subject; it'll make your year that much easier and motivate you to study. Follow these few tips, and you'll be walking into the exam ready to show off your unique style and literacy interpretations.
Make sure you actually read your texts and don't just read a summery or use only class notes. You should read your books 5 times. If your text is also a movie, it may be useful to watch the movie after you read the book for the first time. Making your own summaries and mind maps in the summer holidays can be very helpful as well.
How to study for SACs
For the creative SAC, pretend you're the author and just have fun with it. To prepare, write short pieced centered around different parts of the book and different character's perspectives.
To prepare for the language analysis SAC, expose yourself to lots of different newspaper editorials and opinion pieces. Practice using correct terminilogy. At the start it may seem hard, however the more language analyses your do, the easier it will become.
For the single text response, focus on analysis of quotes and endure you have quotes that cover all themes within the text. You should practice different essay topics, relating to both character and theme.
For the oral SAC, ensure you practise delivering the speech and try not to simply read off your cue cards. Make sure you write your speech on something you are passionate about as you will appear more authentic and will be able to answer any questions teachers or peers may ask.
For the comparative SAC, make sure you discuss both texts. The way to prepare for the comparative is similar to the text response. The comparative will be less detailed and longer than the text response.
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How to study for the exam
Try to get through as many past VCAA exams as possible. Take advantage of your school's mock exam (if they run one) and if they do not have one, then create your own mock exam at home so you familiarise yourself with the exam environment.
I spent all 15 minutes of the reading time on the language analysis. For all 3 essays I spent:
- 5 minutes planning
- 50 minutes writing
- 5 minutes proofreading
I usually did the language analysis first, then I would do the easier essay second (whether that was text response or comparative) and do the other essay last.
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- If you are planning on memorising an essay, make sure you can confidently adapt it to different essay topics
- Make sure you're writing at least 800 words for each section
- 2-3 days before the exam just read over all the essays you have written
- Ensure you have your own voice and unique style
We hope you have learned a lot through this study guide and are ready to start applying these tips to your studies. If you have any queries, please contact us.
Liora & The Studyclix Team