Done and dusted – English 2016

By Lauren White in Easy Reading
26th of October 2016



No more persuasive devices. No more quotes. And no more goddamn Context prompts – IT’S DONE!

For some of you, this might even have been the last time you write an essay EVER (unless you’ve still got a couple of essay-based subjects to come). And for many of you, this will be the longest exam you ever have to sit. And whether you did great, or badly, or just okay – you got through it!

Click here to check out the exam discussion!

But now that the celebrations are out of the way…

…you’ve probably got other exams to get through, right?

And the absolute worst thing you can do right now is spend so long obsessing over that English exam that you end up negatively impacting your performance in other subjects. The English exam is done. Dead. Buried. And there’s nothing you can do to change your study score now. But you can can still have a hugely positive affect on your ATAR if you work smart over the next few days.

If you did well…

CONGRATULATIONS x 2! I hope the prompts were everything you dreamed they’d be (in a good way!) Your performance will have set you in great stead for upcoming exams both numerically (since a high English SS will almost definitely count towards your ATAR) and psychologically (cause you’ll be riding that wave of “hell yeah, I just smashed my first exam!”) And once the dust settles, you can start looking ahead. Maybe you’ve got your Psych exam first thing tomorrow morning, in which case you should probably start some low-intensity revision now. Or maybe you’ve got a big break between now and Methods, in which case you can take some time out for yourself to just chill and de-English-ify your brain.

If you did badly…

Let’s be honest, some of those prompts were pretty tough. And no matter whether you were feeling fairly confident about English or were kind of slack in your study this year, sometimes you just get unlucky. Here are the two most common mistakes people make at this point:

1. “Oh dear god I’m a failure and I’m going to screw up all my subjects!”

You probably don’t need me to tell you that this mindset is utterly destructive.

2. “That exam was too hard and it was so unfair!”

Whilst I don’t doubt that there were parts of this exam that could’ve caught you off-guard, blaming it all on the exam is also not recommended. Why? Well, there may be lessons you can learn from this English experience that can help you in your other subjects. Did you run out of time and panic? Did you use your reading time poorly? Were you spending too long on one section at the expense of another? Did you waste time daydreaming? Did your lack of a hearty breakfast take its toll on your energy levels?

It is worth thinking about these sorts of things – not so you can beat yourself up about little slip-ups or errors, but so that you can LEARN FROM THESE MISTAKES! You’ve still got more exams to come, so don’t just fall at the first hurdle and refuse to get up again. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and sprint to the finish line!

If you have no idea what just happened…

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! I too had no real way of knowing how well or badly I’d done on any piece of assessment until I actually got the marks back. In fact, I wandered out of most of my exams thinking “…I guess that went okay…?” But as good ol’ Dumbledore once told us, “it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget about the next VCE exam breathing down your neck.” Umm-ing and ahh-ing about whether you answered each section to the best of your abilities isn’t a wholly useful way to spend your time. By all means come to the exam discussion board to share your thoughts or hear others’ opinions, but don’t waste the next week fixating on this exam. It’s all in the past now. And you should be looking ahead to the future no matter what that exam just did to your brain!

But serious congratulations to you Class of 2016ers! Let’s hope the rest of the exams go your way!