WHAT YOU SHOULD DO OVER THE NEXT TWO DAYS
Skim through your Section A text and focus on key scenes to re-read or re-view. Learn your quotes. Design four essay topics and brainstorm each one for five minutes. Your topics should focus on: 1. Characters, 2. Themes. 3. The author’s values. 4. The setting or another feature, such as dialogue or mis-en-scene. Share those topics with your friends and brainstorm as many as you can.
Read over all the pieces – large and small – that you have written for Context.
Revise your notes on persuasive techniques. Look at the vcenglish app for a useful document on how to identify tone. Read the excellent sample analysis piece from the 2010 exam on the vcaa website -the one about the biodiversity conference.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO ON TUESDAY
Continue the above, focusing on the section of the exam that you feel LEAST confident with.
Go for a walk in the evening and get an early-ish night. Don’t stay up late cramming. Maybe read over your quotes for text response.
There is more information about the exam and all the sections of the VCE English course on the vcenglish app.
ON WEDNESDAY MORNING
Don’t sleep in. Have a good breakfast. If you are feeling anxious, spend five minutes writing about your feelings. Get to school well before 9 am. Stay positive. Be confident.
IN THE EXAM
Let the ‘cone of silence’ descend over you and the exam paper. Don’t be distracted by anything. Use the 15 minutes reading time wisely – think about Sections A and B for 3 – 5 minutes and then spend the rest of the time on Section C. Maybe start with Section C. Next, complete the piece that you feel least confident with, and sail home with the third piece. Spend ONE HOUR only on each section and be strict about that timing. Try to leave some time to proofread after you finish each section. Do your best. GOOD LUCK!
With only about ten days to go before the exam, Year 12 English and EAL students need to reflect on the preparation they have done so far and ask themselves: is it enough?
Answer the following questions and, if the answer to any of them is ‘no’, do something about it!
1. Have you re-read or viewed your Section A text?
2. Have you learnt some key quotes?
3. Have you practised brainstorming lots of text response topics?
4. Have you practised writing text response essays in one hour only?
5. Do you have some ideas for Section B: Writing in Context?
6. Have you chosen your text for this section and skimmed through it?
7. Have you brainstormed lots of prompts for Context writing?
8. Have you practised writing a Context piece in one hour only?
9. Have you practised writing language analysis essays in one hour only?
10. Have you sorted your notes and essays into exam sections, keeping only what you will read and study during the next 10 days and throwing out the rest?
ADVICE FOR EXAM SUCCESS IS COMING NEXT WEEK.
We can use the acronym ‘PIP’ to describe how Context writing is assessed and what you should think about when you are planning for it.
Piece (of writing)
- Your writing must use this statement as stimulus.
- Make sure you understand what the prompt means and implies; rewrite it twice in your words.
- Think about how the prompt is related to the text you have studied for the Context.
- You can challenge the prompt; you don’t have to agree with it.
- Think about the message you want to convey to the reader, in relation to the prompt.
- What ideas do you want to explore?
- You should get your ideas predominantly from the set text you have studied for this Context.
- Ideas can come from outside the set text too: from other texts, current affairs, history, your own life, etc.
- What message do you want to convey and how will you convey it?
Piece of writing
- What kind of writing do you like? What are you good at? Persuasive? Imaginative? Expository?
- How can you make your piece interesting and enjoyable to read?
- Above all, have a message for the reader: something to say in relation to the prompt.
If you have any questions, contact me at www.vcenglish.com.au
Now is not too early to be thinking about the end-of-year exam and preparing for it.
You probably studied your first text in Term 1, so why not skim through it again over the holidays?
If it was for the ‘Reading and Responding’ area of the course, you should be looking for key quotes. Try to find at least 50 and type them up on computer so that you can print them out in large font and display them on the walls of your bedroom before the exam.
If the text was for ‘Creating and Presenting’ you should be looking for key ideas to draw on as stimulus for your piece of Context writing. Do some research for more information connected to your Context during this holiday break and maybe you could write some short pieces on a given prompt.
Here is a sample prompt for each Context:
- The imaginative landscape
What we imagine about the landscape can have a more powerful impact on us than the landscape itself.
- Whose reality?
Nothing is true unless we believe it to be true.
- Encountering conflict
The perpetrators of conflict can suffer just as much as the victims.
- Exploring issues of identity and belonging
We are a product of those around us.
Finally, you should be practising writing essays in one hour only. Why not download a past exam paper and use the topics, prompt and Section C text?
It’s not too early to practise for the exam!
We’re very excited. The app is about to go off to Apple!