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jakesilove

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Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« on: October 10, 2016, 12:33:40 pm »
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Cramming for English, whilst an absolute last resort, is completely achievable if you've somehow failed to study up until now. That being said, no matter how confident you are in the subject, cramming for English in the last few days before the exam is a great way of solidifying your knowledge, ensuring that you're prepared for any question, and getting through the most boring exam of your HSC (in my opinion, anyway). So, what is the best method when you're cramming for English, and how do you ensure you get the best mark possible given the limited time-frame?




Learn Your Quotes


This might seem like a really obvious point, but when you're cramming for English, you need to make sure to learn your quotes. Quotes are essentially the proof of any essay; you're building up an argument, weaving a text into some sort of thesis, but you can't do that without evidence from the text itself. If you're reading this, you're probably extremely stressed about your English exam, and so I assume that you might not even have your quotes sorted by now. If you have, congratulations! You're already doing well :)

If you haven't got your quotes together by now, it's too late to skim through the text. Look them up on Shmoop, Sparknotes or any similar website. Use only quotes that are relevant to your themes, and that contain techniques. Make your quotes as short as physically possible. Don't go for two sentences at a time; it's too late to learn them all at this stage! A single word quote, or a three word quote, is just as good as a sentence long quote if it contains a technique. For you Hamlet lovers out there, the quote "quintessence of dust" is fantastic; easy to remember, short, and easily analysed. Remembering the entire soliloquy is an absolute waste of your time!

Get 4-7 quotes per theme (in my opinion), make them as short as possible, and write them out on palm-cards by theme. Write them out, again and again. Spend thirty minutes writing them out every three hours, and I promise you'll have a solid chance of memorising them all! This is seriously important though; get your family to test you, implement any techniques you can think of to make sure that, whilst cramming for English, you don't forget to learn your quotes.



Don't Use Past-Papers as your Main Form of Study


I don't believe that, with 48 hours to go, it is worth spending too much of your time on past papers. You need to go in confident no matter what question they throw at you, and if you spent time cramming for English writing 3-4 past papers, you'll only go in confident for 3-4 question types. If you had a week to go, even two, I would definitely recommend past papers. However, at this stage, you've probably missed the boat on that one.

So, if you're not supposed to do past papers at this point, but you still have some time to cram as much study in as physically possible, what should you be doing? Essay plans, my friends, essay plans.



Planning Responses: A Crammer's Best Friend


Personally, with 48 hours to go, if you want to make sure that you're cramming for English effectively, I would focus on essay plans. If you've planned out every type of question that can be thrown at you (and each plan only takes 10-20 minutes), then you'll be 100% more confident with that type of question when you walk in the room and open the paper. Essay plans, in my opinion, are even more important that practice essays, because you will rarely be able to emulate an essay perfectly from your study, but you will almost always be able to copy an essay plan you've created before hand!

Go through each module, and write out all past questions from the past 5 years. Put them into categories (it should be really obvious what 'categories' each question type fits into) until you've whittled down the potential question into a couple of distinct types. You might decide that the types of questions asked for a certain modules are 'Relationships', 'Context', 'Power' and 'Representation'. Put these as big titles at the top of blank pieces of paper, and move on to the tough part.

First, figure out what quotes you have that will help you answer the question best. Write them all briefly in the top right of the page (this will mainly help you memorise your quotes some more!). Then, write a thesis statement at the top of the page. This should be a complete statement, maybe two sentences, that encapsulates your thesis in all of it's nuance. This is the statement that you'll come back to throughout the actual essay (were you to write it out fully), and is seriously important in your study.

Now, write out each of your two/three themes as subheadings down the page. Write the quote that will go into the theme, and a very brief analysis. Finally, explain how the quote is relevant to your thesis. Describe how the overall theme affirms your thesis, briefly outline points to make in an introduction and conclusion, and there you have it! A colorful, neat, beautiful essay plan. Do that for the different types of essays, and you'll be golden :)



Using your Essay Plans



Basically, a lot of your study is just going to be reading over your notes, rewriting quotes, rewriting essay plans, and thinking about your thesis. Cramming for English definitely won't be fun, but sometimes it won't even feel like study. You just want to give yourself the best chance possible of being able to answer any questions thrown at you. So, read over your plans, talk about them to your family, explain your thesis to your dog; whatever you need to do, just keep going over everything. Don't waste time, because right now you don't have time to waste.



Cramming for English: Non-Essay Sections


For the other sections, you need to study slightly differently (although I wouldn't be spending much time on this). Read over some short stories you've written in the past, and highlight beautiful sentences, techniques, colors etc. that you used. Hopefully, you'll remember the stuff you've highlighted on the day, and be able to write it out again in your new story. For the comprehension section, just recall how important looking to the number of marks that a certain question is worth is. If it is 1 mark, identify one quote and one technique. Two marks; two quotes and two techniques. Even those of you who dropped Maths can figure out the rest.



Cramming for English: Let the Bullshit Flow


Now, I've tried to be extremely restrained so far, but let's be honest; a lot of English is just about writing as much believable bullshit onto a page as you have the time to do. There's something about sounding fancy, making points that seem fairly legit, of using big words, that get English teachers going. So, it's seriously important that you walk into the exam as confident as hell, like the cocky bastard you really are deep down inside. It doesn't matter how scared you are, it doesn't matter how stressed you are, and it definitely doesn't matter if the question caught you completely off-guard. Write CONFIDENTLY, write like you've already done three practice essays on the same question, write like you're giving the teacher the opportunity to mark what will inevitably be the most incredible essay of all time. When you put yourself in this mindset (as I did for every single assessment I ever sat), you will ooze so much confidence that it will be absolutely evident it your writing. Remember, confidence is sexy; even English teachers know that.

So, be confident.

You're going to do amazingly.

You're going to smash the exam out of the park.

Be confident, cram for English, and bullshit the rest.

But don't stress too much, because it isn't worth it.

Good luck :)



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studybuddy7777

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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2016, 12:40:36 pm »
+6
Thanks for this pep talk Jake I think 95% of us really needed it in my opinion. Just remember there are other exams after English, but there is also a weekend so you can use those 2 days to sleep study for your other subjects as well.

Remember black pens everyone!!
Also make sure you can write this much and this amount of time without your hand falling off! (It is fine to have a quick break to do a taylor swift in the exam and shake it off ;D but just remember esp for Paper 2 that you have to write 3 essays in 2 hours. Make sure you can do that.) Your hand might be needing ice afterwards but its okay because the next exam (hopefully) isn't until the next day or in a few days time.

Awesome guide to studying though, in my opinion.
Keep it up guys! Final sprint home :)

melprocrastinator

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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2016, 05:55:20 pm »
+7
"Be confident, cram for English, and bullshit the rest."
 "Remember, confidence is sexy; even English teachers know that."


AHAHAA, if i was in America one of these would be my yearbook quote. (you know, the one that goes under your picture lol)

Thanks Jake

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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2016, 06:07:51 pm »
+2
This was sorely needed haha, thank you! English is about the only subject that I struggle to study for, all my other subjects I know what works best for me, but 3 days before Paper 1 and I still don't know with English... :/ So this was really helpful thank you :)
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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2016, 06:12:06 pm »
0
trueeee, planning essay responses. it gives you good ideas and stuff.
But past papers get you used to doing it under pressure tho

jakesilove

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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2016, 06:15:30 pm »
+3
trueeee, planning essay responses. it gives you good ideas and stuff.
But past papers get you used to doing it under pressure tho

Don't get me wrong! If you're feeling comfortable with all of the above tips (quotes, essay plans, thesis' etc.) then you should just smash out as many past papers as you can. However, if you're in the very unfortunate predicament of not feeling so confident for english, and not knowing where to start, then follow the above to salvage a great mark :)
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studybuddy7777

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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2016, 06:16:23 pm »
+2
trueeee, planning essay responses. it gives you good ideas and stuff.
But past papers get you used to doing it under pressure tho

But by this time you should be used to doing past papers. Now in the last few days is not the time to start doing past papers. Nor is starting to find quotes or a related text. Quite simply, you dont have the time. Just try and plan for as many as you can (10 mins max) rather than actually do past papers (2hrs + a whole lot of mental exhaustion)

See what i mean? No use burning out a day or two before the HSC starts..

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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2016, 06:28:16 pm »
0
Worried about English? Have any question about the exam? Create a FREE ACCOUNT, hit reply, and join in the conversation!

Cramming for English, whilst an absolute last resort, is completely achievable if you've somehow failed to study up until now. That being said, no matter how confident you are in the subject, cramming for English in the last few days before the exam is a great way of solidifying your knowledge, ensuring that you're prepared for any question, and getting through the most boring exam of your HSC (in my opinion, anyway). So, what is the best method when you're cramming for English, and how do you ensure you get the best mark possible given the limited time-frame?




Learn Your Quotes


This might seem like a really obvious point, but when you're cramming for English, you need to make sure to learn your quotes. Quotes are essentially the proof of any essay; you're building up an argument, weaving a text into some sort of thesis, but you can't do that without evidence from the text itself. If you're reading this, you're probably extremely stressed about your English exam, and so I assume that you might not even have your quotes sorted by now. If you have, congratulations! You're already doing well :)

If you haven't got your quotes together by now, it's too late to skim through the text. Look them up on Shmoop, Sparknotes or any similar website. Use only quotes that are relevant to your themes, and that contain techniques. Make your quotes as short as physically possible. Don't go for two sentences at a time; it's too late to learn them all at this stage! A single word quote, or a three word quote, is just as good as a sentence long quote if it contains a technique. For you Hamlet lovers out there, the quote "quintessence of dust" is fantastic; easy to remember, short, and easily analysed. Remembering the entire soliloquy is an absolute waste of your time!

 matter how stressed you are, and it definitely doesn't matter if the question caught you completely off-guard. Write CONFIDENTLY, write like you've already done three practice essays on the same question, write like you're giving the teacher the opportunity to mark what will inevitably be the most incredible essay of all time. When you put yourself in this mindset (as I did for every single assessment I ever sat), you will ooze so much confidence that it will be absolutely evident it your writing. Remember, confidence is sexy; even English teachers know that.

So, be confident.

You're going to do amazingly.

You're going to smash the exam out of the park.

Be confident, cram for English, and bullshit the rest.

But don't stress too much, because it isn't worth it.

Good luck :)



thanks for that Jake
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 06:30:47 pm by jakesilove »

joey9911

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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2016, 08:23:21 pm »
+8
This is literally what I needed to read right now.

Thank you so f**king much.

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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2016, 08:46:22 pm »
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This is literally what I needed to read right now.

Thank you so f**king much.

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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2016, 09:47:59 pm »
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What about if you've got prepared essays for everything, you just havent fully memorised or practiced them - would you focus on memorising them, doing open book/closed book papers or stuff it and do essay plans?

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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2016, 09:53:50 pm »
+1
What about if you've got prepared essays for everything, you just havent fully memorised or practiced them - would you focus on memorising them, doing open book/closed book papers or stuff it and do essay plans?

Depends on the person I think! If you need to get them memorised, get it memorised, that's if you don't think you can produce something of quality on the day! If you think you can, then perhaps you look at doing more practice instead?

But if you need your essays memorised to do well, and you aren't there yet, then that's where your work should go. Just make sure to get at least a little bit of practice in, even on the day before!! :)

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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2016, 12:12:20 am »
0
Worried about English? Have any question about the exam? Create a FREE ACCOUNT, hit reply, and join in the conversation!

Cramming for English, whilst an absolute last resort, is completely achievable if you've somehow failed to study up until now. That being said, no matter how confident you are in the subject, cramming for English in the last few days before the exam is a great way of solidifying your knowledge, ensuring that you're prepared for any question, and getting through the most boring exam of your HSC (in my opinion, anyway). So, what is the best method when you're cramming for English, and how do you ensure you get the best mark possible given the limited time-frame?




Learn Your Quotes


This might seem like a really obvious point, but when you're cramming for English, you need to make sure to learn your quotes. Quotes are essentially the proof of any essay; you're building up an argument, weaving a text into some sort of thesis, but you can't do that without evidence from the text itself. If you're reading this, you're probably extremely stressed about your English exam, and so I assume that you might not even have your quotes sorted by now. If you have, congratulations! You're already doing well :)


So, be confident.

You're going to do amazingly.

You're going to smash the exam out of the park.

Be confident, cram for English, and bullshit the rest.

But don't stress too much, because it isn't worth it.

Good luck :)



Ah Jake how would you set out an essay plan,.... I have never made one before so..
« Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 11:08:21 am by jakesilove »
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jakesilove

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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2016, 11:08:41 am »
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Ah Jake how would you set out an essay plan,.... I have never made one before so..

It's all in the article :)
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Re: Cramming for English: Save your Mark in 48 Hours
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2016, 04:25:53 pm »
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Thank you very much for this info.
It is great advice and I feel it's really helpful to a lot of people : )

I was just wondering with the essay plans, what would you recommend for discovery (with there only being one previous paper on this AOS)? I saw the 2014 question was about identity so would it be a good idea to plan responses for random topics like conflict, relationships, consequences etc.?

Thanks