Preparing for your first English Language SAC

Preparing for your first English Language SAC

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.

Hey guys, here is my article for March, which focuses on preparation for your first English Language SAC. A lot of this advice is pretty transferrable and will apply to your other SACs (for English Language and other subjects) as well. As most your first English Language SACs will be to do with informal language (Unit 3 Outcome 1), this article will contain some specific advice for this outcome.

One of the most important things to do when you are preparing for assessment tasks is to practise. In English Language, your SACs are likely to be either a short answer section (based on a text provided), an analytical commentary (also based on a text provided), or an essay (or a combination of the aforementioned tasks). These are also the three tasks that make up the end of year exam so schools want to make sure their students can do them well whilst under pressure.

Writing practice pieces in the lead up to the SAC is important because each practice piece is an opportunity to put your knowledge and skills into practice and improve them. Furthermore, practice pieces are also a golden opportunity to receive feedback from your teacher (who is the person that will mark your SAC so knowing how they want you to write is very worthwhile) and clarify concepts you find more challenging. Ultimately, no matter how strong of a student you are, you will make mistakes, especially in your earlier pieces so you are (obviously) better off making these mistakes in your practice pieces, rectifying them and then not making them when it comes time to do the assessed task.

Following on, many of you are probably wondering how many practice pieces you should do in preparation for a SAC. Ultimately, it depends on how many you need to do to feel comfortable. As a guide, aim to do at least 3 and ideally 4 or 5 pieces (maybe more if it is short answer as they are not very time consuming), in the lead up to the SAC. This will help you ensure that your knowledge and skills are were you want them to be.

Finally, have a good look at the study design (key knowledge and skills), for the outcome, as that is ultimately what you are assessed on. For informal language, ensure that you are across the various purposes that informal language features can serve and ensure that you have contemporary Australian examples that you can use in essays to help demonstrate your point and improve your marks. It is also important to be able to identify why features have been used in a text, speech, or conversation and what purpose they serve. Additionally, it is vitally important that you can use accurate (and correctly spelt) metalanguage to do your analysis as metalanguage is a key requirement in just about every assessment you will do.

Anyway, I hope you have found this useful and I will have another article for you next month.

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: What To Expect As A First-Year University StudentSocial Purpose and How it Relates to Informal Language and The Summer Holidays and Formal Language Examples.


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Preparing for your first English Language SAC