Managing Time For The 2016 VCE English Language Exam – LearnMate


VCE English Language Units 3/4 – Interactive Course
Learn the entire VCE English Language 3/4 course inside out, in a way that is interactive, fun and engaging! With over 600 students using my interactive online course for their English Language studies, you definitely can’t go wrong! This course is entirely comprehensive, meaning that you could be struggling at English Language OR are a pro and just need that extra bit of polishing! I have made this course so that caters to all levels! Part of my offering is a complete metalanguage list for all of the subsystems AND a complete quotations list for all topics in the course. I also provide you with tons of COMPLETE sample essays covering a wide range of topics, as well as analytical commentaries. Talk about value!

Download here today and get 25% off the full price now: https://www.udemy.com/vce-english-language-course/?couponCode=GET25OFF


Exam Maximisation Guide for VCE English Language Students

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To succeed in your upcoming VCE English Language exam, you need to make sure you appropriately use reading time and writing time. In this article, I will be delving into the complete management plan for your VCE English Language exam!

Always remember that TIME is of the essence in the exam – it is an asset, and like all assets, it must be used appropriately. You may have an amazing essay that you can do in 5 hours (can’t we all?), but if you can’t write an A+ essay in 45-50 minutes then you will be compromising other parts of the exam!

BEFORE THE EXAM

  • Before we begin, I’d like to make it clear that you MUST know your metalanguage to do well in the exam. Without knowledge of metalanguage and the ability to IDENTIFY it in a text will put you at a massive disadvantage. You can download a metalanguage definitions table here for you to fill out.
  • Make sure you have fully memorised your quotes list. You don’t have time to think about the quotes in the exam. You can find a quotes list table here to fill out.
    • On that topic, make sure you have an equal balance between linguist quotes and media/modern examples. If you are skewed too much to one side, you will not perform well.
  • Do not resort to pre-planned body paragraphs for your essays. You MUST MUST MUST contextualise the key ideas for the given essay topic. Many teachers complain that students simply regurgitate pre-planned responses in the exam or SAC and it simply shows laziness and a lack of linguistic awareness. Inquisitiveness is what will allow you to get ahead in the English Language; think for yourself and try your best to see what’s happening out in the world before your exam.
  • Complete as many practice exams as you can under timed conditions. No use taking your time.

DURING READING TIME

During reading time, you’ll be given 15 minutes to go over the entire exam, but you CANNOT write. This means you’ll need to become very good at memorisation.

  • Firstly, start off by going through the essay section and choosing your desired topic. This topic must be within your capabilities and also allows you to showcase your contemporary examples and linguist quotes.
  • Secondly, continue your reading time by reading the section B text. Try and make mental notes about what you see in the text regarding the register, social purpose, audience and contextual factors. Make sure you decide on the given structure for your response (you don’t have time during writing time to think about structure).
  • Finally, finish off by reading the section A text. The reason I advise students to do this is because, when you’re told to start writing this text will be ‘fresh in your mind’. Again, try to make mental notes about what you see in the section A text and try to answer the short answer questions in your mind, so that when you can commence writing, you don’t waste any time. Many students make the mistake of reading section A first and section C (essay) last in the exam, and then upon commencement of writing time, they have to go back to section A and refresh themselves on the text! What a waste of time.

Furthermore, when reading section A, look at the marking scheme to get an idea as to how much you need to write. Notice the keywords in the question and notice if there are any plural suffixes (e.g. language features, social purposes).

DURING WRITING TIME

  • Understand now that you will be writing for the entire time, and do not take extended breaks in the exam because your hand hurts. You need to push through.
  • PAY ATTENTION TO THE TIME! Most examination halls will have a big clock so you can pay attention to the time.
  • Start off by finishing the short answer section first (make sure you keep this to 20-25 minutes max). In short answer responses, make sure you are observant of the marks and don’t ‘waffle on’ in your response. Get straight to the point, but do not compromise your quality, which means that you do not write in dot-points or shorthand answers.
  • Write legibly! If the assessor can’t read your writing, then you have no hope of receiving the desired mark. When completing the analytical commentary, remember to put yourself in the shoes of the author/speaker and THINK. Think to yourself – “if I was this author, why would I write like this?”.
  • Do not forget the situational context, cultural context and other contextual factors such as age and gender, which all collectively affect the language choices in a text. For example, if a document is published on a government website (situational context), then it’s perfectly fine to state that formal language is used (Standard English) to uphold credibility and reputability of the website and government! Many students only link back to social purpose and register in their commentaries – you need to also link to contextual factors and audience too!
  • During the essay section, make sure you address the question relevantly and appropriately. DO NOT RESORT TO PRE-PLANNED RESPONSES. This will lead to a fail. You can go into the exam with ‘pre-planned ideas and themes’ but in the exam, you MUST address the question by contextualising your body paragraphs for the essay topic. This requires thinking and expending energy, which is why poor performing students resort to pre-planned responses. You must address the topic at hand. Also be sure not to go in with the mindset “I will only do a Unit 4 topic because that’s what I’m comfortable doing”. You need to be well-versed for all potential topics.

Short Answer Tips

  • Look at the marks! This will give you an indicator as to how much you need to write.
  • Look for plurals in the question (does it say ‘features’ or ‘choices’?).
  • Do not list or write dot-points. This is an English subject.
  • Try and knock this out ASAP when you get into the exam. More marks are allocated to the commentary and an essay section. However, this doesn’t mean you compromise on quality.

Analytical Commentary Tips

  • Don’t make generalisations. E.g. ‘Paragraphing is used to ensure the author’s ideas are interpreted appropriately’ – this can be applied to ANY text in the world!
  • Link back to social purpose, function, context and register – however, you don’t need to always link back to ALL of them. Just the most appropriate.
  • You can link to identity as the commentary section is not restricted to a particular Unit or AOS.
  • I’d recommend structuring by subsystem but some may recommend other structures.
  • Also be careful that you structure appropriately for the correct mode (e..g coherence/cohesion not so relevant in a spoken informal transcript).

VCE English Language Units 3/4 – Interactive Course
Learn the entire VCE English Language 3/4 course inside out, in a way that is interactive, fun and engaging! With over 600 students using my interactive online course for their English Language studies, you definitely can’t go wrong! This course is entirely comprehensive, meaning that you could be struggling at English Language OR are a pro and just need that extra bit of polishing! I have made this course so that caters to all levels! Part of my offering is a complete metalanguage list for all of the subsystems AND a complete quotations list for all topics in the course. I also provide you with tons of COMPLETE sample essays covering a wide range of topics, as well as analytical commentaries. Talk about value!

Download here today and get 25% off the full price now: https://www.udemy.com/vce-english-language-course/?couponCode=GET25OFF


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Managing Time For The 2016 VCE English Language Exam – LearnMate

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