Time Management in the English Language Exam

Time Management in the English Language Exam

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 second article for September. This focuses on the English Language exam, which is less than two months away. This article will focus on time management in the exam, as the English Language exam is not an easy one to finish. I will break down how I would suggest managing your reading and writing time. Ultimately though, how you use your time is your decision.

Reading time: (15 minutes)

These 15 minutes are crucial. A lot of people underestimate the importance of this time as you cannot mark the paper in any way, however using this time effectively makes an absolute world of difference.

In terms of how to use this time effectively, the first thing that I would recommend you do is choose your essay. As you would know, there are three essay topics to choose from in the exam and you can usually discard one of these quickly. By choosing your essay early, you maximise your time to think about what you are going to write. After that (which admittedly will take less than a minute), the insert should be detached (don’t worry, it is designed to be detached) and you should then read the texts for section A and B. Remember to read the background information too, it’s important. In addition, once you have read the texts for sections A and B, it is probably worth reading the section A questions as well. Further, the second half of your reading time should largely be devoted to section A (which I would recommend doing first). Using this time looking at the questions and text, you should start trying to prepare answers for the short answer questions. By doing this, you enable yourself to complete the short answer section quickly and thus help to give you more time to complete the other two sections. Of course, do ensure you are familiar with your essay and the commentary text.

Writing time: (120 minutes)

When writing time starts, I would recommend writing a quick plan for your essay first and memory dumping anything that is important that you are worried about forgetting (such as examples or metalanguage). After that, I would suggest doing the exam in the order it is given to you. So, section A first, then section B and finishing with the essay. In terms of time management, I would advise having 1 minute at the start of the exam to plan your essay, 20 minutes for section A (including annotation), 45 minutes for the commentary (including annotation), 50 minutes for the essay, and 4 minutes at the end to edit your exam. However, effective use of your reading time may help you to finish some sections quicker.

One final little trick to maximise your time (this goes for all exams), don’t write your student number in right away. Your supervisor will let you write that in after writing time finishes but you can’t write more in your exam.

If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: How To Take Notes To Maximise Success2U Maths Tips from a Past Student (98 in 2U Maths)! and Tips on Studying for Exams – LearnMate Tutoring.


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Time Management in the English Language Exam