Paper 2 PreparationsBy Jamon Windeyer in Easy Reading
13th of October 2016
Well, Paper 1 is done and dusted. How is your hand feeling? Do you think you did well or do you think it could have done better? Any regrets? You should go and celebrate your successes and vent about your frustrations in this thread here, then come back and forget about it all. Why? Because you are only halfway done. Paper 2 is tomorrow! Here are the things you must be doing as part of your Paper 2 prep.
1. Forget About Paper 1
So let’s stress this again; Paper 1 is done. This should be exciting! Your first HSC exam, behind you, and you survived!
A big mistake that lots of people make in Paper 2 is walking in still worrying about Paper 1. Worrying that they lost marks in their Creative, worried about missing a conclusion in their essay, all that sort of stuff.
Part of your Paper 2 prep should involve getting all of these sorts of thoughts out of your head. You need to head in with a fresh slate. Stressing about an exam that’s already done is not going to do you any favours!
Even if you think you royally screwed up Paper 1, it probably isn’t as bad as you think. I promise, it is all good. Just relax, put it aside, and focus on moving forward and smashing out Paper 2!
2. Plan a Whole Bunch of Essays
Paper 2 is a massively demanding exam. Your hand will get put through some punishment, so it is best to rest it as much as possible while doing your Paper 2 prep. So what’s the best way to work while still resting for the next day? Essay plans.
Yes, we talk about these heaps, but that’s because they work.
Planning out an essay involves just writing down your Thesis, your main ideas, and maybe even your quotes and techniques in dot points, in response to an essay question. This is all very relaxed; grab a past question and plan a response leisurely while you listen to music! Keep it chilled. The goal here isn’t speed, it’s about you considering how you would formulate a response to the question. How would you adapt your essay? How would you organise your ideas?
Paper 2 prep is all about making sure you are ready for as many curveballs as possible, because you’ll probably get at least one. Essay plans are the best way to prepare for these, without killing your hand and your brain in the process.
3. Memorise Your Quotes/Essays
I know there are people out there who won’t have memorised their quotes and essays by the night before Paper 2. I’m guilty of it too; I was still memorising quotes for Module B the night before my exam (and it’s bloody lucky I did, because they ended up specifying a speech…)
Don’t feel despair if you are still memorising. Heaps of people are in the same boat, just hop to it! Write your quotes out, read them from a summary sheet, whatever you need to do to make them stick. Same goes for essays; just do whatever you need to do to get them locked into your head.
Paper 2 prep can seem like trying to squeeze an elephant through the eye of a needle; there’s so much to do but not much time. But you’d be massively surprised just how much you can memorise in one night, if you work consistently and keep your brain fresh.
4. Have a Plan
Elyse talked about the importance of a plan for Paper 1 yesterday, and I’ll do the same for Paper 2. In fact, it is probably even more important here.
Take 15 minutes in your Paper 2 prep time to consider what order you want to do the exam in. Do you want to do it in order to keep it simple? Want to start with Module C because you know you will smash it! Want to start with Module C because you know you will hate it? No right or wrong answers to these questions, but head in with it set in your mind! You’ve spent all your time on Paper 2 prep, worked hard for so long; make sure you can put it into practice when it counts!
5. Prepare Early for Tomorrow
Don’t forget, even with all your Paper 2 prep, to do the essentials. Ditch the pen you used yesterday and replace it with a fresh one, or add another to your ‘exam pack.’ Make sure you’ve got breakfast ready for the morning. Bottle of water (with no label), phone on silent, wallet and keys. Mad mix tape of ‘get pumped’ songs for the car (no joke, I had a CD I burned specifically for this). Get it all ready tonight so you can keep it relaxed in the morning.
And on top of that, get your rest. Seriously, you are about to do something really tough. There’s no sugarcoating that. Treat your body right and get a good night sleep so that you go into that exam with your best foot forward. If you are a more math-inclined guy like me, the essays might be boring enough – Don’t make it worse by trusting your tired self to do your exam for you!
6. Be Happy, Be Confident
Let’s end with the best news you’ll hear all week:
This is the last English exam you will ever sit. Like, EVER.
That statement alone should make you super energised and ready to cheer for joy! Trust me, you will love the feeling of walking out of Paper 2, it is so incredibly liberating to be saying goodbye to high school English essays once and for all.
So this is it! Your retirement match, your lap of honour, your farewell address.
Given that it is your last one, be confident! Be happy! Be excited, be all sorts of good and wonderful things. Because you know what? You worked bloody hard to be sitting there right now, ready to finally end 13 years of English lessons. And do you really want this, the grand finale, everything you’ve worked for, to fizzle out in an anti-climax?
Hell no you don’t.
Let’s finish this guys. And let’s do it with a bang.