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Author Topic: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!  (Read 6529 times)  Share 

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werdna

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Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« on: October 29, 2013, 05:47:10 pm »
+12
Hey all,

You should now be doing some light study in preparation for tomorrow's exam. Things that you can do for the next few hours:
- Planning topics
- Writing intro's
- Writing topic sentences
- Assigning examples
- Reading over notes (out loud)
- Reading through resources on website
- Reading over corrected essays and writing down a list of common mistakes you need to avoid
- Getting your stationery sorted (have enough pens and highlighters, bring a dictionary that does NOT have a thesaurus - you will not be able to use it if it has one)
- Memorise quotes and sentence structures
- A quick note - Please make sure that there is absolutely NO writing in your dictionaries whatsoever, and your phones are switched OFF or preferably not on you tomorrow, as in the past I have seen many students get in trouble due to phones going off & there being some writing in dictionaries. Examiners will check everything.

Some last minute tips for each section of the exam:

LANGUAGE ANALYSIS
- Higher level analysis - try to do this every now and then. Specific effect on specific audience, connotations, word pairings, credibility, format/layout of piece etc.
- TEPE for every technique - technique, example, purpose and effect (think what ideas, feel what emotions).
- Vary sentence structures and starters, avoid sounding formulaic.
- Headline and visual analysis - link back to article where appropriate.
- Analyse tone and tonal shifts - tone, example, effect. Remember to state what the tone used to be as well, when talking about tonal shift. Eg. 'The writer shifts from a tone of concern to one of sympathy...'.
- Compare and contrast if there is more than 1 article.
- Up to you whether you want to discuss 'effectiveness' in the conclusion or not.
- ***IMPORTANT*** Bring at least 3 colour highlighters to the exam so that you can colour highlight the lines you want to analyse. Eg. BLUE = headline/visuals = 1st para. GREEN = first 3/4 techniques = 2nd para. YELLOW = next 3/4 techniques = 3rd para.  This will help you create a visual plan so you know what each paragraph focuses on.
 
CONTEXT
- Remember to THINK ABOUT the form, language, audience, purpose, ideas when writing your piece.
- BUT you DO NOT need to write a statement of intention.
- Quality ideas AND quality writing.
- Use your text either directly or indirectly - depends on your writing style/form
- If you are doing the original structure of an expository essay, that is, 1 real and 1 text example per para, then it would be a great idea for you to use both texts in the essay. Eg. Two text 1 examples & One text 2 example.
- Remember to use variety of real life examples and text examples for expository.
- Break down expository in terms of causes or types - you can have a 'however' argument if you want.
- Remember to develop a strong and complex plot for creative - show and don't tell.

TEXT RESPONSE
- Focus on how the author or director constructs meaning - keep referring back to Lahiri/the author, De Heer/the director etc..
- Your examples should be based on METALANGUAGE - is it a symbol, a camera shot, a linguistic feature, an example of setting? - Be specific!!!
- Attention to detail and expand on your ideas and points.
- Nominalise - eg don't say 'Mrs Sen is unable to...' but change this to 'Mrs Sen's inability to...' ---> will force you to analyse instead of retell the story.
- DO NOT retell the plot - you need to assume that the examiner KNOWS the text well. Only provide a brief overview of plot.
- Base your paragraphs on thematic ideas, characters or structures depending on the topic!!!
- Have a 'however' argument - you can disagree or agree with the topic, but your last point should be a 'however' where you look at the other side.
- Make links between the stories where appropriate. Refer to the context and values.
- Topic sentence and linking sentence need to be broad! Refer to author/director in them.

GENERAL EXAM ADVICE
In tomorrow's exam, do not stress - think logically and methodically, use reading time wisely and read the article at least twice, go over the text response and context prompts and also make sure that you watch timing. Remember all the criterias and all the little tips/tricks you chuck into every essay to make it stand out. Stick to a timeline for each essay. 3 body paragraphs for all essays is fine, don't write 4 body paragraphs.

Recommended timeline:
Intro - 5 MINS
Body Para - 15 MINS X 3
Conclusion - 5 MINS
Proofreading - 5 MINS

If you stick to this timeline, you will have 5 mins to proofread each essay. Eat into this time if you need to, but make it quick so that you don't delay your start on the next essay. Try to glance over your work and lightly proofread while you write. But do not spend 5 mins proofreading at the end of the essay. Do the proofreading AT THE END OF THE EXAM!!! Your priority is to get the essays done, THEN to check over grammar, spelling etc. When proofreading your essays, DO NOT write or mark in red pen. You MUST write in BLUE OR BLACK PEN on all pages.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not use whiteout/liquid paper. Do not do any note taking or plans on the lined paper, only do plans on the blank sides of the paper where it says 'rough work only', as anything on this page will not be assessed. However, if you write a plan on the lined paper, this can be taken into consideration by the assessor. Make sure that you PRINT/CAPITALISE your name on the front cover, and before the end of writing time, write down how many answer books you used on the cover. You must write down only ONE main text you drew upon for context. Use reading time wisely to read over the article and briefly plan out the context and text response in your head. You can use your dictionary during reading time.

Lastly, I strongly recommend that you bring in a small ANALOG watch to tomorrow's exam. This will be more convenient than reading off the clocks in the exam room. It is more difficult to read analog watches under pressure, so you need to get used to this. When you get into the exam, you should write down time deadlines. For example:

Start essay 1 9.15
Intro done  9.20
B1 9.35
B2 9.50
B 10.05
Conc 10.10

GOOD LUCK!!! ;D
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 05:48:41 pm by werdna »

werdna

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2013, 07:06:07 pm »
+3
Also for language analysis, try to find a unique spin on things. Find something 'different' that you can write about. Remember - 40,000 people are writing on the SAME thing... so you need to do something to really stand out. There's less people doing the same topics as you for Section A and B.

In these past VCAA exams, you could've written about:

2012 (Speech) - Discuss the fact that it's a speech, discuss the fact that it's at a reading forum and how this suits the audience, discuss the fact that the speaker is 'Mrs Eliot' and we don't have her first name, how does this relate to her credibility as a teacher-librarian, discuss how the effect on listeners is done in real-time given it's a 'live' thing.

2011 (Blog) - Discuss the fact that it's an online blog, discuss the digital platform, discuss the presence of comments and the 'post a comment' button, explain that the effect on readers is physically manifested in the comments (ie. Day intends to provoke debate and discussion, and has done so as shown in the blog comments), explain Day's authority/credibility.

2010 (Speech) - Similar to the 2012 speech. Discuss the fact that it's a speech, discuss how the effect on listeners is done in real-time, look at how listeners are persuaded then and there, look at what listeners are positioned to do once they leave the forum, explain that the visuals are a part of a visual powerpoint presentation and discuss how this works to persuade.

Hope this helps you out! As a general rule, ALWAYS discuss format/layout of the piece if relevant, discuss the specific audience AND the credibility of the writer/speaker.

Inhibition

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2013, 07:39:12 pm »
0
Hey all,

You should now be doing some light study in preparation for tomorrow's exam. Things that you can do for the next few hours:
- Planning topics
- Writing intro's
- Writing topic sentences
- Assigning examples
- Reading over notes (out loud)
- Reading through resources on website
- Reading over corrected essays and writing down a list of common mistakes you need to avoid
- Getting your stationery sorted (have enough pens and highlighters, bring a dictionary that does NOT have a thesaurus - you will not be able to use it if it has one)
- Memorise quotes and sentence structures
- A quick note - Please make sure that there is absolutely NO writing in your dictionaries whatsoever, and your phones are switched OFF or preferably not on you tomorrow, as in the past I have seen many students get in trouble due to phones going off & there being some writing in dictionaries. Examiners will check everything.

Some last minute tips for each section of the exam:

LANGUAGE ANALYSIS
- Higher level analysis - try to do this every now and then. Specific effect on specific audience, connotations, word pairings, credibility, format/layout of piece etc.
- TEPE for every technique - technique, example, purpose and effect (think what ideas, feel what emotions).
- Vary sentence structures and starters, avoid sounding formulaic.
- Headline and visual analysis - link back to article where appropriate.
- Analyse tone and tonal shifts - tone, example, effect. Remember to state what the tone used to be as well, when talking about tonal shift. Eg. 'The writer shifts from a tone of concern to one of sympathy...'.
- Compare and contrast if there is more than 1 article.
- Up to you whether you want to discuss 'effectiveness' in the conclusion or not.
- ***IMPORTANT*** Bring at least 3 colour highlighters to the exam so that you can colour highlight the lines you want to analyse. Eg. BLUE = headline/visuals = 1st para. GREEN = first 3/4 techniques = 2nd para. YELLOW = next 3/4 techniques = 3rd para.  This will help you create a visual plan so you know what each paragraph focuses on.
 
CONTEXT
- Remember to THINK ABOUT the form, language, audience, purpose, ideas when writing your piece.
- BUT you DO NOT need to write a statement of intention.
- Quality ideas AND quality writing.
- Use your text either directly or indirectly - depends on your writing style/form
- If you are doing the original structure of an expository essay, that is, 1 real and 1 text example per para, then it would be a great idea for you to use both texts in the essay. Eg. Two text 1 examples & One text 2 example.
- Remember to use variety of real life examples and text examples for expository.
- Break down expository in terms of causes or types - you can have a 'however' argument if you want.
- Remember to develop a strong and complex plot for creative - show and don't tell.

TEXT RESPONSE
- Focus on how the author or director constructs meaning - keep referring back to Lahiri/the author, De Heer/the director etc..
- Your examples should be based on METALANGUAGE - is it a symbol, a camera shot, a linguistic feature, an example of setting? - Be specific!!!
- Attention to detail and expand on your ideas and points.
- Nominalise - eg don't say 'Mrs Sen is unable to...' but change this to 'Mrs Sen's inability to...' ---> will force you to analyse instead of retell the story.
- DO NOT retell the plot - you need to assume that the examiner KNOWS the text well. Only provide a brief overview of plot.
- Base your paragraphs on thematic ideas, characters or structures depending on the topic!!!
- Have a 'however' argument - you can disagree or agree with the topic, but your last point should be a 'however' where you look at the other side.
- Make links between the stories where appropriate. Refer to the context and values.
- Topic sentence and linking sentence need to be broad! Refer to author/director in them.

GENERAL EXAM ADVICE
In tomorrow's exam, do not stress - think logically and methodically, use reading time wisely and read the article at least twice, go over the text response and context prompts and also make sure that you watch timing. Remember all the criterias and all the little tips/tricks you chuck into every essay to make it stand out. Stick to a timeline for each essay. 3 body paragraphs for all essays is fine, don't write 4 body paragraphs.

Recommended timeline:
Intro - 5 MINS
Body Para - 15 MINS X 3
Conclusion - 5 MINS
Proofreading - 5 MINS

If you stick to this timeline, you will have 5 mins to proofread each essay. Eat into this time if you need to, but make it quick so that you don't delay your start on the next essay. Try to glance over your work and lightly proofread while you write. But do not spend 5 mins proofreading at the end of the essay. Do the proofreading AT THE END OF THE EXAM!!! Your priority is to get the essays done, THEN to check over grammar, spelling etc. When proofreading your essays, DO NOT write or mark in red pen. You MUST write in BLUE OR BLACK PEN on all pages.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not use whiteout/liquid paper. Do not do any note taking or plans on the lined paper, only do plans on the blank sides of the paper where it says 'rough work only', as anything on this page will not be assessed. However, if you write a plan on the lined paper, this can be taken into consideration by the assessor. Make sure that you PRINT/CAPITALISE your name on the front cover, and before the end of writing time, write down how many answer books you used on the cover. You must write down only ONE main text you drew upon for context. Use reading time wisely to read over the article and briefly plan out the context and text response in your head. You can use your dictionary during reading time.

Lastly, I strongly recommend that you bring in a small ANALOG watch to tomorrow's exam. This will be more convenient than reading off the clocks in the exam room. It is more difficult to read analog watches under pressure, so you need to get used to this. When you get into the exam, you should write down time deadlines. For example:

Start essay 1 9.15
Intro done  9.20
B1 9.35
B2 9.50
B 10.05
Conc 10.10

GOOD LUCK!!! ;D

Wait... So we're not allowed to bring digital watches into the exam room? What if we just placed it on our desks? Does it have to be analog?
Veni, vidi, vici

English- 41
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Japanese-33
Chemistry-42
Biology-44
Physics-39
2013 ATAR: 97.10
Dux of KDC

2014: BSci at UoM

werdna

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2013, 07:41:05 pm »
+1
All watches have to be placed on the desk. 90% sure that you can only bring analog watches, since digital watches often beep at every hour and can be a distraction.

shadows

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2013, 07:44:10 pm »
0
Is this just for the English exam? How bout Methods exam, digital watch allowed?

werdna

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2013, 07:46:49 pm »
+1
Is this just for the English exam? How bout Methods exam, digital watch allowed?

Just saw Alondouek's post below. To clarify, it looks like you CAN bring in a digital watch, but to be on the safe side, bring an analog watch.

WATCHES
You will not be permitted to wear watches of any type during an examination. All watches must be removed and placed at the top of your table, where they can be seen clearly and easily by supervisors.

If there is any doubt about the functions of your watch, supervisors are authorised to direct you to remove the watch from the table for the duration of the examination.

Stopwatches or watches with special functions, such as an alarm or stopwatch, are not permitted in the examination room.

vashappenin

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2013, 07:47:00 pm »
0
We're allowed to actually look at the watch during the exam, right? Cos in psych last year I wasn't expecting them to make us take off our watches, so I was too scared to look at it in case they took away my paper!
2013: English, Maths Methods, Further Maths, Legal Studies, HHD, Psychology
2014-present: Bachelor of Laws @ Monash University

Tutoring VCE English, Psych, Legal Studies and HHD in 2016! Tutoring via Skype too. PM me if you're interested :)

werdna

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2013, 07:50:49 pm »
0
We're allowed to actually look at the watch during the exam, right? Cos in psych last year I wasn't expecting them to make us take off our watches, so I was too scared to look at it in case they took away my paper!

You need to take it off and put it on the desk. Yes, you can definitely look at the watch while you write!

Damoz.G

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 07:51:08 pm »
+1
We're allowed to actually look at the watch during the exam, right? Cos in psych last year I wasn't expecting them to make us take off our watches, so I was too scared to look at it in case they took away my paper!

LOL....You are allowed to look at it. :)

I think they ask you to take it off so that you're not playing around with it or may be hiding some notes under your watch when its on your wrist. There are a number of reasons, and VCAA don't state them because they don't want you to know what the "cheating" tips are so that you do them. Also, when its on the table, they can check if there is anything dodgy about it without disturbing you when its on your hand. :)

BigAl

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2013, 07:57:21 pm »
0
If you're really stuck...close your eyes..think about where you would rather be in 5 years, take a deep breath, adrenaline should be pumping through your veins by the time you open your eyes..good luck
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CossieG

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2013, 08:10:20 pm »
0
wrap an elastic band around your wrist. If you start to panic, flick it against your skin or pinch yourself to cause pain. The pain should snap you out of your panic.

Good luck everyone and make sure you get enough sleep tonight!
2013: English | Math Methods | Chemistry | Physics | Psychology |
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werdna

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2013, 10:03:55 pm »
+4
Good luck to you all!!! All the best & hope you all ace that exam tomorrow! ;D ;D Don't stress & make sure that you don't talk to people at school before AND after the exam.

It has been a pleasure to help you with this subject over the past 2 years - this was my last year of tutoring! :D

Inhibition

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2013, 10:43:37 pm »
0
Its been an honor =] Lets rape the exam tomorrow (metaphorically)
Veni, vidi, vici

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2013 ATAR: 97.10
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pi

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2013, 10:50:39 pm »
+1
Its been an honor =] Lets rape the exam tomorrow (metaphorically)

One would certainly hope so :o
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 10:53:59 pm by pi »

werdna

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Re: Last minute tips for 2013 English exam!
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2013, 10:54:02 pm »
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One would certainly hope so :o

Hahahah!!!