VCE ENGLISH: Learning How to Answer, Not What to Answer

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VCE ENGLISH: Learning How to Answer, Not What to Answer

This article has been written by Imogen Van der Meer, a VCE English tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Imogen then please check out her page here.


Throughout my own personal experience in VCE, as well as during my work as an English tutor, I have noticed an interesting divide between students when it comes to what they think of English as a subject. It seems a student will either love English, or utterly despise it; there’s no in between.

Understandably, those who love the subject tend to have a knack for writing, and genuinely enjoy (or at least can tolerate) reading and studying texts. Alternatively, students I have taught who prefer Math or Science subjects will have a strong hatred towards English, and any situation where an extended written response is required.

I know I am generalising here, but I’m just going off what I have seen over the past five years of studying and helping others study. You’re either a ‘words and theory’ person, or a ‘numbers and facts’ person.

But that’s not to say you can’t be good at both. You just have to know the difference between the two.

With Math and Science subjects, there is always a ‘correct’ answer for you to check your work with. Sure, there can be more than one way to get to that answer, but ultimately, you are either right or wrong. This can be frustrating, especially when you can’t see where you’ve made a mistake in your working out. I’ve thrown many a tantrum where I was convinced the textbook answers were wrong, rather than my own answers. I was always proven otherwise.

English isn’t like this. There isn’t one single perfect essay for you to memorise for each possible prompt. There isn’t only one ‘correct’ answer. In fact, there aren’t even any ‘incorrect’ answers. Because for English, it’s not necessarily about what your answer is, but rather, how you are answering it.

A timely example would be the first outcome of Unit 1 and Unit 3 in the VCE English study design, which involves you responding creatively to a text.

Now, the word ‘creative’ instantly removes any hope of having one single ‘correct’ response to memorise, for its asking specifically for the use of imagination and original ideas. That is, your own ideas, unheard ideas. You are quite literally imagining some sort of alteration to the text. Every single student’s answer, therefore, is going to be completely different. They’re supposed to be completely different.

The ‘correctness’, so to speak, is based on how well you show your understanding of the original text. You’re basically proving that you’ve read the text, have analysed its style and conventions, and have explored character development, themes and values which the text has presented.

And you can do this in whatever way you like, in whatever form you like; so long as you can justify how you’ve done it.

This part of the SAC is what is called the ‘Written Explanation’. Personally, I like to call it the ‘List of reasons why my response fits the criteria and thus why I should receive a good mark’. And that’s exactly what you do in the explanation. You explain your thought process. It’s almost like you’re showing how you came to your final answer, and you’re convincing the marker that all you’re working out is correct.

That is the key to doing well in English. It’s not about figuring out answers, it’s about figuring out ways to answer. And if you can properly explain why your way of answering is correct, then examiners will have no choice but to agree with you.

Once again, good luck everyone!

 


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

VCE ENGLISH: Learning How to Answer, Not What to Answer
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VCE ENGLISH LANGUAGE – Why do we use slang?

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VCE ENGLISH LANGUAGE – Why do we use slang?

This article has been written by Liam McAlary, a Years 7 – 12, VCE Legal Studies and VCE English Language Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Liam then please check out his page here.


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-25/why-aussie-slang-is-not-dying-out-the-conversation/9356974

This article is primarily written for Unit 3 AOS 1, although the ABC article sourced for this article can also be used for Unit 4.

As we continue to move through 2018 and start to get back into the swing of things, students of English language need to continue to find real life examples to help enrich their essays. Given that most of you are studying informal language, I thought that it would be a good idea to discuss some recent linguistic activity and discussion that relates to it.

On Tuesday when I was trying to find something to base this article around, I stumbled across this one from Kate Burridge and Howard Manns, who are both linguists working at Monash University.

Reading this article got me thinking, why do we use informal language such as slang? What is its purpose in society?

This article discusses how, “goon,” which is a colloquial term for cheap, low quality wine has been the source of significant linguistic innovation since before you and I were even born. Each generation likes to have their own slang, and although terms such as goon have become ingrained in Australian society, variations based off it such as, “goon bag,” which was prominent in the late 1990’s, and the more contemporary term, “goon sack.” The evolution of new slang terms promotes a strong sense of in-group membership among users of the terms as it is a term that, “belongs,” to that particular group, and also excludes people from outside the, “in-group,” as they are less likely to understand the term.

The ability of slang to promote in-group membership and to help show solidarity is also shown by this article’s observation that the use of slang is an important way of fitting in to society and not being an, “outsider.”

In summary, informal language such as slang serves a variety of purposes in modern society. Slang continues to change and is often paramount to a person’s ability to fit into an, “in-group,” and to be able to show solidarity with other members of society.

One more thing before you go do something else with your time, the terms that are bolded in the article are the key purposes of informal language that are on the current study design.

 


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

VCE ENGLISH LANGUAGE – Why do we use slang?
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Math Methods – Differentiation 3/5 – Exponential, logarithms and roots

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Math Methods – Differentiation 3/5 – Exponential, logarithms and roots

This article has been written by Stephane Biggs, a Years 7 – 12, VCE Physics, Further Maths, Math Methods and VCE Specialist Maths Tutor at Learnmate.If you’re interested in private tutoring from Stephane then please check out his page here.


Once you know basic differentiation and can use both the Product and Quotient Rules, you need to get the hang of differentiating more tricky expressions. This short course will help you do just that with tips and tricks, not to mention a few exercises to get the hang of it too! If you want to benefit from this, be sure to spend a good hour at making sure you understand every step in the worked examples. If it’s too tricky, ask a tutor or someone who knows!

Exponential

An exponential expression is when you elevate a number to the power of x, for example :

2x     ax     ex     and so on…

The derivatives are EASY, it’s just the same expression multiplied by loge of the number under the power. So for our 3 expressions in the preceding paragraph, the derivatives are :

2x loge(2)     ax loge(a)     ex loge(e) = ex 

The last case is a special one, because loge(e) = 1. You need to remember the very special case that the derivative of ex is ex ! It doesn’t change!

Tip : if a number is multiplying the exponential, it doesn’t influence the derivative. For example :

  • The derivative of 5ex is also 5ex.
  • The derivative of 3 . 2x is 3 . 2x loge(2)

Logarithms

The derivative of a log with any base “a” of x is : 1 / (x . loge(a))

In the special case where where the base is “e” the derivative is simply 1 / x

Notation : Sometimes loge(x) is written ln(x) (pronounced “natural log of x”)

Roots

The derivative of roots can be found the same way as the derivative of polynomials. You simply need to transform the root into an appropriate power of x. For example :

So using the usual method of differentiation for polynomials, bring the power to the front, then bring the power down by one unit. For example :

The derivative of

Exercises : Find the derivatives of the following expressions.

 


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

Math Methods – Differentiation 3/5 – Exponential, logarithms and roots
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Do you know the definitions of the following terms?

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Do you know the definitions of the following terms?

This article has been written by Lydia Henry Ja, a Year 10 – 12, VCE Chemistry & VCE Legal Studies Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Henry then please check out her page here.


Do you know the definitions of the following terms?

There are some terms in Chemistry that you should be familiar with. Understanding the meaning of these terms will help you understand the concepts. The terms listed in this article have been taken mainly from Units 1 and 2 Chemistry, but they are also important in Units 3 and 4 Chemistry as well.

The terms won’t be defined in this article, but rather it is up to you to go out and do research to come up with your own definitions for the terms. Writing out a definition in your own words will help you remember it.

  • Moles
  • Molar Mass
  • Avogadro’s Number
  • Intermolecular bonding
  • Intramolecular bonding
  • Electronegative
  • Ions
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Alkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alkynes
  • Alcohols
  • Carboxylic acids
  • Esters
  • Isomers
  • Specific heat capacity
  • Oxidation and reduction
  • Oxidant and reductant
  • Stoichiometry
  • Chromatography
  • Mobile and stationary phase
  • Adsorption
  • Acid and base
  • Volumetric analysis
  • Standard solution
  • Primary standard
  • Titre
  • Aliquot
  • Pipette
  • Burette

LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

Do you know the definitions of the following terms?
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“I went from below 50% in my practice exam to an A+ in the exam”: Interview with a High-Achieving Student

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“I went from below 50% in my practice exam to an A+ in the exam”: Interview with a High-Achieving Student

This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Lydia then please check out her page here.


Harry recently graduated with a 90+ ATAR. He enjoys basketball, programming and making things. Here’s a quick interview to find out a bit more about his experience of the final year of school! 

Which subjects did you study in VCE?
Maths Methods, Physics, Systems Engineering, Visual Communication, English and a Uni extension subject (Mobile App Development).

What was the most challenging part of VCE for you?
Keeping motivation throughout the year – everyone starts off very enthusiastically and then slowly declines.

How did you overcome obstacles?
I didn’t have many major obstacles. But to stay motivated, it is a good idea to maintain all aspects of your life – so I kept playing sport, and hanging out with friends – because without a break from study you would find it much harder.

I wasn’t very motivated for English especially, but I ended up going from below 50% in my English practice exam to an A+ in the final exam, mostly because of putting in heaps of effort later in the year. Leading up to the exam, I made a strong plan to help me succeed in areas I didn’t focus on earlier. But I’d probably recommend putting in the work earlier in the year…

What was your favourite part about Year 12?
Spending time with friends!

What was your proudest moment in VCE?
I made a 3D printer as my Systems Engineering project, and when it worked it was really satisfying knowing that the hard work I had put in had paid off.

What’s a tip you would give someone going into Year 12?
Don’t be too stressed by all the work, in the end it’s best to keep a level head: definitely quality over quantity in terms of study.  

What are you up to at the moment, and do you have future plans?
Currently I am working casually throughout the school holidays, and plan on studying Engineering at Monash this year.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic HSC, WACE, VCE & SACE tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

“I went from below 50% in my practice exam to an A+ in the exam”: Interview with a High-Achieving Student
read more