Increase Your Knowledge by Reverse Engineering Work

March 9, 2021grusha

VCE English Language - Reverse Engineer Your Work & Increase Your Knowledge!



In today's post, I want to express to you how you can reverse engineer your learning and BECOME the teacher/assessor for a brief moment. What I mean by this is that rather than be prescribed set questions by a teacher to say a text to analyse or provide short answer responses to, I would recommend that you come up with:

  1. Your own short answers to respond to;
  2. Your own text to analyse based on what you can find, and;
  3. Your own essay topics to respond to.

I had a tutoring lesson last night and I tried this new technique that I have been wanting to try for some time. And it seemed to have worked really well!


What this does is it forces you to THINK about the subject and not just be a receiver of a question. It forces you to be CREATIVE and not SUBMISSIVE.

Particularly for Unit 3 AOS 1 and AOS 2 (informal and formal language), just by analysing a text and coming up with your OWN short answer questions will do wonders for your linguistic awareness and perceptiveness. I've noticed that since I started tutoring, I have become increasingly aware of language use around me. In part, I believe this is because I create practice pieces for students, therefore forcing me to look for linguistic features to which I, therefore, craft questions.

This is also a GREAT WAY to test your awareness and usage of metalanguage. We can all create a great definitions list with terms, examples and elaboration. But how many of us can truly use metalanguage to describe what is happening in a text. It takes practice!

I have been doing this for quite some time - I always try to ask my students to come up with their own questions to a practice piece they've found online.


  1. Download past exam papers here:
  2. For Section A of 2012 exams and beyond, use this text as an analytical commentary response and draft an analysis accordingly.
  3. For Section B of 2012 exams and beyond, CREATE YOUR OWN SAMPLE SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS THAT YOU WILL SHORTLY PROVIDE A RESPONSE TO. See my video on what I mean about this above 🙂

Well, there you go! Give it a shot - trust me, you will not regret it. It may be difficult at first but once you do it, you will begin to master it.

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