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February 17, 2019, 11:04:27 am

Author Topic: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings  (Read 15369 times)  Share 

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sarangiya

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2018, 10:32:55 pm »
+9
Subject Name: Japanese SL

Units: 3/4

Workload: Quite high.

Assessment:
Unit 3 (GA1, 25% overall)
Outcome 1: 500ji personal/imaginative written piece (40% of GA1, 10% overall)
Outcome 2: Listening test (20% of GA1, 5% overall)
Outcome 3: Role-play oral task (40% of GA1, 10% overall)

Unit 4 (GA2, 25% overall)
Outcome 1: Reading test (20% of GA2, 5% overall)
Outcome 2: 600ji informative/persuasive/evaluative written piece (40% of GA2, 10% overall)
Outcome 3: Interview/oral task (40% of GA2, 10% overall)

Examinations (GA3, 50% overall)
Oral examination (15 minutes, 32.5% of GA3, 12.5% overall)
Written examination (2 hours, 67.5% of GA3, 37.5% overall)

Exam Thoughts:
Oral examination
Conversation (7 minutes)
The conversation half of the oral examination involves two assessors asking you questions about yourself. The idea is that since it is about you and your life, you should be able to reply without any "prior knowledge". Of course, people usually do prepare for this section by creating 'topic areas' and thinking of possible questions. These might include your family and home life, your hobbies, your job, your school/studies, your interests, aspirations and anything else you give as fodder. It is important to have rote-learned responses because it allows you to show off your skills, but it is also necessary to have flexibility to respond to unfamiliar questions well.

Look, to be honest, it's relatively difficult. There's the whole Japanese ability aspect but there's also a performance ability aspect to it. For those who have confidence and perhaps experience in interviews, public speaking settings or other similar situations, it might not be too bad. But well, I guess it is how it sounds - speaking in a foreign language to scary-looking strangers is hard.
Discussion (8 minutes)
Throughout the term you are meant to research a specific topic related to modern or traditional Japanese culture/language with reference to texts/research. This is 'presented' as a discussion with the same two interviewers - the first minute is used to introduce your topic and restrict the domain of the discussion. This of course is also somewhat pre-prepared, and your examiners will expect more rote-learned responses. However, a key aspect of the discussion is evaluation (i.e your thoughts as a global citizen). This could be asked for in a more spontaneous way.

I did find the discussion harder than general conversation. Not only is there the same challenges that GC has, but there is also the importance of remembering what you have studied well and actually research deep enough to make a sophisticated case.
Overall, despite not contributing so much to the study score, the oral examination never fails to be a difficult and stress-invoking part of this subject. But I do think that if you can gain confidence and content in your progress, it can be lots of fun. (Also - make it fun!! The assessors will appreciate it and so will you).

Written examination
Listening and responding
PART A: Respond in English
This section will have two or three spoken texts. Each text is repeated twice. One text is likely easier but will have a small detail to trip people up. The other might be abruptly harder (sometimes in formal register, higher tempo, whatever) in which the key is to extract key phrases and accurately translate details and gist of the text. This section can be notoriously difficult for lower-performing students. All in all, the key is to translate accurately.
PART B: Respond in Japanese
There will be one or two texts, repeated twice. One might be shorter, and one longer. This section is difficult in general - speed and vocabulary knowledge are probably most important. The one mark I lost was in this section even though listening was my strength. The aim of this section is to notetake effectively, and to answer to questions as accurately as possible. Word-for-word dictation is no exaggeration.
Reading and responding
PART A: Respond in English
One or two texts. One is usually short, one longer. The point here is to translate accurately (even moreso than listening). Of course, identifying the correct part is necessary to so comprehension is important, obviously. This part isn't so difficult in my opinion. It will be difficult for people who have little experience in translation and do it sloppily (forgetting words, using ambiguous phrases, paraphrasing etc.).
PART B: Respond in Japanese
One or two texts, supposedly of a higher difficulty. The key here is to identify the correct things to use in the text (comprehension) and structure your responses correctly. I don't think this part is that hard either. Sometimes there are things to trip people up on, but I think it is easier than Part A purely because it can be a clever cut-and-paste job.
Writing in Japanese
Ah, the dreaded essay. You choose from 5 stimuli that are usually different text types and topics. It is obviously in Japanese, but does not have to be as long as what is provided on genkouyoushi. I do believe I used most of it though. I think this is one of the hardest sections but I'm not sure how lenient the marking is. Also, to debunk a myth: you do not have to do imaginative to get full marks. I only ever did evaluative, personal or informative and got 15/15 on the exam (for evaluative, I think it was).
Ironically, people don't seem to put as much work into the written exam even though it is weighted more than anything else. It's not easy and there are many skills that need to be improved - not just knowledge, skills. But once it clicks, I really think improvement can follow easily.

Textbook Recommendation:
I did not use any textbooks for Japanese in any of these years I did it. They work for some people. I think our school used "Kookoo Seikatsu" but I never bothered buying it.
I'd go to a library, give one a read and decide if it works for you.
Also, our school provided print outs and booklets so I don't even think we used the textbook in Year 12 unless it was homework (which I didn't do).

Recommended Other Resources:
People. It baffles me that people think you can learn a language without actually using it for what is was intended. Find a penpal online, host an overseas exchange student, go to language swaps, get a tutor - whatever. I can guarantee that your language ability will just skyrocket somehow.

Year of Completion: 2015, then 2016 (lol)

Rating:  4 out of 5
Look, any LOTE subject is pretty grim. Not many people enjoy them, and to be honest I didn't enjoy it much at the time either. But the more you decide to embrace it, the more you enjoy it. I think it is well worth the effort and hundreds of time more useful and fun than any other VCE subject (talk about biased!).

Your Mark/Grade: 42 (48.2 scaled) in 2015, followed by 50 (52 scaled) in 2016.

Comments:
LOTE subjects are difficult, arduous and the competition is fierce. Japanese isn't even the worst out of them. The oral examination is gross, listening is anxiety-inducing, and you will likely go red and pass out at some point because you just can't get the sentence out. But fear not, Japanese and many other LOTE subjects are super rewarding, super interesting, and an absolute asset to your life. If you have any sort of passion for Japanese, I say 'just do it'. The effort is worth it - and you might not even find it that bad. (Honestly, most people just exaggerate). And again, if you make it fun, it really, really is. Good luck!
Sometimes you make choices, and sometimes choices make you.

♡ Subjects ♡
2015: Japanese SL [42]
2016: Psychology [43] Philosophy [36] Japanese SL [50] [Premier's Award]
2017: UMEP Further Advanced Japanese [4.5]
2018: Methods [24] English Language [41] Chemistry [31] Psychology [41] Cert III in Allied Health Assistance [4.3]
ATAR: 97.45
2019-2024: Bachelor of Medical Science/Doctor of Medicine @ UNSW

Sarangiya's 사랑하는 VCE Journal
Is Repeating a VCE Subject Worth It?

TooLazy

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2018, 08:36:05 pm »
-1
Subject: Chemistry

Units: 3/4

Workload: decent

Assessment: exam and sacs

Exam Thoughts: too much theory in new SD

Textbook Recommendation: jac plus
Recommended Other Resources: khan academy

Year of Completion: last year

Rating: 0.5  out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 30

Comments: boring and painful subject. extremely depressing, would not recommend.
 the exam was more cooked than a sativa/indica hybrid.
- honest review
Future engineer

Elsa//768

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #32 on: August 12, 2018, 10:04:40 pm »
+5
Subject Name: Biology

Units:  Unit 1/2

Workload: Moderate

Assessment: For my class we changed teachers for three times so the tasks were quite unorganised... From my memory we did around four assessment tasks? Please refer to the study design for details

Exam Thoughts:  I didn't do a VCAA exam since I did unit1/2. I got 97% on my end of year exam last year. It was easier than I expected.

Textbook Recommendation:  We used Jacaranda Nature of Biology. I didn't rely on it too much since it contained quite a lot of fluff. Normally I just used it to create condensed notes for each chapter.

Recommended Other Resources: JacPLUS and Khan Academy

Year of Completion: 2017

Rating:   4.5 out of 5 (because I really LIKE this subject)

Your Mark/Grade: 97% for my end-of-year exam

Comments: Biology was very intimidating for me when I first started because it was extremely content heavy. However, it is actually very useful and I grew to like it a lot because it helps me to understand myself and the world around me better. After all, Biology is not just about memorising, it is the study of life.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 01:01:54 pm by Elsa//768 »

Elsa//768

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #33 on: August 12, 2018, 10:19:30 pm »
+5
Subject Name: Twentieth Century History

Units: Units 1/2

Workload: LOW

Assessment: We did two outcomes for each unit. There was also an internal exam and end-of-year exam.

Exam Thoughts: The exams my school held were quite fair. The final exam contained an essay, a source analysis and a short answer question.

Textbook Recommendation: For Unit1, we used Between the Wars. For Unit 2, our teacher prepared study materials for us and I can't really tell which textbook they were from... I didn't rely too much on them.

Recommended Other Resources: YouTube!

Year of Completion: 2017

Rating:  5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: I got full marks for my end-of-year exam. I received A for both units.

Comments: I did chose History by myself because I liked it, and honestly unit 1 and 2 had quite low workload (so much lower than I even expected). The content covered was very relevant (Civil Rights Movement, terrorism, etc) and interesting, and even though I do not remember all the dates now, the lessons I took from History are still valid and they helped me to develop critical thinking.

Lsjnzy13

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #34 on: November 26, 2018, 10:13:49 pm »
+4
Think it's time to revive this thread.

Subject Name: Ancient History

Units: 3/4

Workload: From personal experience, it was the subject with the highest workload for me. There is a lot of reading and essay writing involved.

Assessment:
Each school does SACs differently, however this is how they’re generally conducted (with Greece and Rome as examples):
Unit 3
AOS 1 – Features of Ancient Greece [SAC: Source analysis, worth 12.5%]
AOS 2 – The Peloponnesian War [SAC: Essay, worth 12.5%]
Unit 4
AOS 1 – Features of Ancient Rome [SAC: Source analysis, worth 12.5%]
AOS 2 – The Fall of the Roman Republic [SAC: Essay, worth 12.5%]

Exam Thoughts:
Total weighting: 50%
Number of Sections: 3 (choose 2 to complete)
Length: 2 hours + 15 minutes reading time

The exam is split into Egypt, Greece, and Rome – you choose the two you studied. Each civilisation has a source analysis (worth 4~5 + 5~6 + 10 marks) and an essay (worth 20 marks). The whole exam is out of 80 marks.

Textbook Recommendation:
HTAV has textbooks for Rome and Greece. I never bought them, but from a borrowed copy of the Rome textbook, I found it pretty useless. It went through some very important events in a couple of brief pages (All three Punic Wars were covered in one chapter). Would not recommend.

I recommend checking out the textbooks written by historian Pamela Bradley (she has textbooks for all three civilisations). They go way beyond the course and do not follow the study design, however content-wise they’re incredibly useful.

Recommended Other Resources:
HSC’s Ancient History resources and Pamela Bradley’s textbooks are a good place to start.
It’s also worth checking out the books by these historians:
Primary
Plutarch
Herodotus
Thucydides
Pericles
Xenophon
Livy
Appian
Caesar
Cicero
Secondary
Pamela Bradley
Thomas Martin
Paul Cartledge
Donald Kagan
Mary Beard
David Gwynn
Tom Holland No, he’s not the dude that played Spiderman
Richard Miles
Tim Cornell
Barry Staruss

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: raw 44 | scaled 45 | A+, A+, A+ |

Comments: History’s a really rewarding subject, however it’s also extremely content-heavy and the amount of extra reading and essay writing you have to do exceeds subjects like English and Lit. It was by far the subject I spent the most time and energy on, however I found it to be useful in improving my writing ability, not just for history but for other subjects as well.
So, if you’re planning to choose history. Well done, I see you’re an intellectual. Just be warned that the workload will be quite high, however in the long run it would be incredibly rewarding, both in VCE and beyond.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 01:03:24 am by Lsjnzy13 »
VCE
2017: Chinese [35]
2018: Literature [47]; Ancient History [44]; Chemistry [39]; Global Politics [39]; Methods [34]
ATAR: 98.35
University of Melbourne
2019 - 2021: Bachelor of Arts
2022 - 2023: Master of Teaching (Secondary)
History Prompts; Guide

PM for lit + history resources.

Lsjnzy13

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2018, 10:33:42 pm »
+4
Subject Name: Literature

Units: 3/4

Workload:
I think there’s a bit of a misconception about literature having an incredibly high workload. While it’s definitely not “chill”, I found the workload to be quite manageable – there’s little content to learn, as long as you grasp the requirements for essays then you’re pretty much set.

Assessment:
Literature has four Areas of Study and has five SACs. Assessments are worth 50% of your final study score.
Unit 3
SAC 1 – Adaptations and Transformations [worth 12.5%]
SAC 2 – Creative Response [worth 12.5%]
Unit 4
SAC 3 – Literary Perspectives [worth 12.5%]
SAC 4 – Close Passage Analysis [worth 6.25%]
SAC 5 – Close Passage Analysis [worth 6.25%]

Exam Thoughts:
Total worth: 50%
Number of Sections: 2
Length: 2 hours + 15 minutes reading time

SECTION A – Literary Perspectives
This section requires you to write an essay responding to a given prompt. You must use one lens or perspective in your response (eg. Feminist, Marxist, queer, psychoanalytic, postcolonial etc). It should roughly be around 1000 words.
Note that for this section, you only have ONE prompt, so that's the topic you HAVE to write on. There's no choice of prompts like you have in English.

SECTION B – Close Passage Analysis
You are given 3 excerpts from the same text or collection, and are required to closely analyse the texts, linking any connections you make. You're allowed to write in whatever format you wish, and talk about whatever you like (within reason). Roughly 1000 words.

Each essay is 20 marks each, and the entire exam is out of 40.

Textbook Recommendation:
My school used the textbook ‘Literature for Senior Students’. I did not use the textbook and survived the year fine without it.

To be honest, I would not recommend ANY textbook for literature. The only ‘content’ you need to learn is the plot and historical context of your texts, which can easily be found for free online, or through thoroughly analysing your texts.

Recommended Other Resources:
HIGH SCORING ESSAYS FROM PAST STUDENTS!!
Never, EVER, underestimate the power of sample essays. Print out as many as you can, staple them together, and BAM – that’s your Holy Bible for the rest of the year. Read them every day, more than once if possible. Analyse their structure, wording, and use them in your own essays.

Also, read critical work. In your final exam, only one text will actually require knowledge of critics, however it doesn’t hurt to read some for others too.

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: raw 47 | scaled 47 | A+, A+, A+ |

Comments:
Being absolutely honest here, lit is a relatively ‘chill’ subject if you know what is required of you. It does seem incredibly difficult (and dull) at first, and the temptation to drop out is pretty strong (our cohort dropped from 23 to 8.) The reason? Lit is quite different from year 7~10 English. Once I realised that, lit was a breeze.

Personally I found the essay-writing skills you learn in lit helpful for other hums subjects, so I would highly recommend choosing lit if you are also choosing other heavily writing-based subjects like history.

Also, VCE literature offers a much higher degree of freedom than English. You’re allowed to write in whatever structure you wished for essays, you can analyse from whatever perspective you feel comfortable with. I would definitely recommend lit to anyone who enjoys reading, writing, and thinking without being constrained by a strict criteria.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 01:01:42 am by Lsjnzy13 »
VCE
2017: Chinese [35]
2018: Literature [47]; Ancient History [44]; Chemistry [39]; Global Politics [39]; Methods [34]
ATAR: 98.35
University of Melbourne
2019 - 2021: Bachelor of Arts
2022 - 2023: Master of Teaching (Secondary)
History Prompts; Guide

PM for lit + history resources.

Lsjnzy13

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2018, 10:54:37 pm »
+5
Subject Name: Global Politics

Units: 3/4

Workload:
It really depends on what you’re aiming for. Global was my bludge, hence I found the workload to be relatively low. I would imagine that it would be a lot higher for someone aiming for a study score in the 40s.

Assessment:
Each school does SACs differently, however generally you have four SACs – one for each Area of Study. SACs are worth 50% of your final study score.

Unit 3
AOS 1 – Global Actors [SAC: 12.5%]
AOS 2 – Power in the Asia-Pacific [SAC: 12.5%]
Unit 4
AOS 1 – Ethical Issues and Debates [SAC: 12.5%]
AOS 2 – Global Crisis and Conflict [SAC: 12.5%]

Exam Thoughts:
Total worth: 50%
Number of Sections: 2
Length: 2 hours + 15 minutes reading time

SECTION A – Short Answer
In this section you will respond to short-answer questions that are worth anywhere from 2 to 8 marks. They are organised into areas of study (2 pages of questions per AOS).
Questions with 4 marks or less generally ask you to define and/or provide examples. The higher weighting questions would ask you to explain, evaluate, analyse, etc.
Section A is worth 60 marks.

SECTION B – Extended Response
You are given a choice of four prompts (one from each AOS) and you are to choose one to respond to. Worth 20 marks.

The whole exam is out of 80.

Textbook Recommendation:
My school used the textbook by SEV, written specifically to the study design. Personally I found the textbook to be incredibly useful, and I relied on it quite heavily throughout the year.

Recommended Other Resources:
Watch the news, or read the newspaper if you’re old fashioned (like me).
You never know what could pop up on the exam, so it’s best to have a wide knowledge of recent news stories just in case you need to use them in a case study.
If you ever need to quote from a source, try to use a relatively neutral source such as World Bank, UNICEF, etc. Try not to use a news source.

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: raw 39 | scaled 42 | A, A, A+ |

Comments: In my opinion, I think global is the perfect ‘bludge’ subject (unless you really love it, then don’t bludge it). Politics is something everyone has to learn about sooner or later, whether you like it or not. It’s arguably the most useful and applicable VCE subject of all. The content isn’t difficult as long as you keep up with the news, it’s not as content heavy nor is it as heavily writing-based as other hums subjects, and the scaling is pretty good (highest scaling hums subject ;))

In short: If you need a bludge subject that isn’t too difficult, scales well, and is useful post-VCE, global politics is the one to go for.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 01:00:06 am by Lsjnzy13 »
VCE
2017: Chinese [35]
2018: Literature [47]; Ancient History [44]; Chemistry [39]; Global Politics [39]; Methods [34]
ATAR: 98.35
University of Melbourne
2019 - 2021: Bachelor of Arts
2022 - 2023: Master of Teaching (Secondary)
History Prompts; Guide

PM for lit + history resources.

Elsa//768

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2018, 11:02:38 am »
+7
Subject Name:
History: Revolutions

Units: (Is it Units 1/2 or Units 3/4?)
Unit 3/4

Workload:
The workload of revolutions is definitely much more compared to unit1/2. but the actual amount of work you do really depends on whether you want to perform well. For me, I knew that Revolutions was one of the hardest humanities subject so I took it really seriously. With that being said, the workload was still manageable.

Assessment: (Outline the various assessments which make up the subject and how much each counts for)
The SACs makes up 50% of the study score, while the exam accounts for the other 50%.
For our school, there were 4 SACs, including an essay, two source analysis and a short answer question.

Exam Thoughts: (What's the structure? How hard was it?)
The exam is divided into two parts as we have studied two revolutions. Part 1 includes a source analysis and two short answer questions, while part 2 includes an essay and a source analysis.
I personally think it is an alright exam considering I did not feel surprised by any of the questions. That being said, it is possible that I am being overly confident here *cough cough*

Textbook Recommendation: (What did you use? How much did you use it?)
The textbooks we used included Malone's Russian Revolution and Tom Ryan's China Rising.

Recommended Other Resources:
Not really...

Year of Completion:
2018

Rating:  out of 5
4.5

Your Mark/Grade: (Optional)
SAC1: 100%
SAC2: 100%
SAC3: 90%
SAC4: 98%
Exam: unknown yet/ hoping that I didn't stuff up

Comments: Give your overall opinion of the subject, content, assessment etc. and a recommendation, plus anything else which you feel is relevant.
Revolutions is one of my favourite subjects because I believe that it is important to learn more about the past so we can reflect on current events in a more practical and logical way. What made the subject even greater was that I had an amazing teacher and my classmates were nice as well. Doing revolutions as a yr11 also meant that I was able to talk to the 'scary' yr 12s. I ended up befriending one yr12 and she is an amazing friend. All in all, the subject requires much passion and persistence, but if you are willing to work hard for it, you will be great!

PhoenixxFire

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2018, 04:04:46 pm »
+8
Subject Name: Environmental Science

Units: 1/2

Workload:
Moderate. There's a fair bit of content but not as much as some other sciences. It's a bit of a mix of understanding concepts as well as remembering things.

Assessment:
5 SACs (including an experiment) and an end of year exam.

Exam Thoughts:
It was a mix of multiple choice and short answer. I don't think it was particularly hard, but obviously it varies between schools. I don't think I studied for it at all.

Textbook Recommendation:
Monitoring Environmental Systems - Environment education Victoria. This is the only textbook available for the subject.

Recommended Other Resources:
There are no other resources available for this subject. Information on some topics can be found via google, but they often go into far more detail than the course requires.

Year of Completion: 2017

Rating: 3 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade:
SAC average 88%
Exam: 69%

Comments:
Enviro is fairly hard to cram for because of the amount of content, you're better off doing small amounts of revision regularly rather than leaving it to the last minute. Due to the lack of resources available, depending on the your teacher, you may have to find proper explanations for anything the confuses you yourself, which can be difficult. Whilst I loved the topics in this subject, I struggled to learn about them within the scope of VCE.
VCE
2016: Psychology [37]
2017: Biology [44], English Language
2018: Environmental Science [43], Further Math [44], Outdoor Ed [35], English [28]
ATAR: 90.80
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU

PhoenixxFire

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2018, 04:47:35 pm »
+8
Subject Name: Environmental Science

Units: 3/4

Workload: Fairly low workload if you just want to pass, if you want to do well then you have to put in a fair bit of work due to the lack of resources and ambiguity of some sections of the study design.

Assessment:
SAC 1: Mix of multiple choice and short answer. Test format. (U3 AOS 1)

SAC 2: Case study. We were given an environment case study and questions relating to sustainability principles. All questions had to be answered in context. (U3 AOS 2)

SAC 3: Multiple choice and short answer. Test format. (U4 AOS 1)

SAC 4: Essay format. We were given prompts and had to write a research report on climate change. (U4 AOS 2)

SAC 5: Scientific Investigation. For the test component we were given a multi page table with varying headings and asked to fill in the boxes, which served as a plan for an experimental report. We later wrote this information into a poster. (U4 AOS 3)

SACs are worth 10% each, the exam is worth 50% of your Study score.

Exam Thoughts:
30 marks multiple choice, 90 marks of short answer. There is generally one long question worth 6 marks where you are required to evaluate a proposal (that is described in the exam) with reference to sustainability principles.

It was not as hard as I was expecting, it was fairly straightforward and similar to the 2017 exam.

Textbook Recommendation:
Issues of sustainability - Environment Education Victoria. This is the only textbook available.

I did all of the questions in the book because this was set as homework. The questions were review questions and did not require understanding of concepts or evaluating as is required in the exam. Lots of the suggested answers in the book are written poorly and are seemingly just slaps of text copied from the textbook without answering the actual question.

Recommended Other Resources:
Environment Education Victoria runs a lecture. The lecture cost this year was $40, or you could buy a recording also for $40. I did neither. EEV also sells trial exams, but I think they have to be purchased by a school, I did not have access to any of them.
These are the only resources available for VCE Enviro.

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating:
Content: 4/5
Class: 2/5

I enjoyed the content but I did not at all enjoy the way we learnt it, it was very boring and tedious. This will vary depending on your school.

Your Mark/Grade:
SAC 1: 78%
SAC 2: 82%
SAC 3: 92%
SAC 4: 83%
SAC 5 (Investigation): 97%
Study Score: 43

Comments:
The content is far more interesting when applied in a practical way rather than in a classroom. There is a fair bit of memorisation involved if you don't have an opportunity to actually apply your learning. If you have to opportunity to do practical activities (e.g. using quadrats or monitoring water quality) make the most of them, it makes the subject far more interesting.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 07:35:25 pm by PhoenixxFire »
VCE
2016: Psychology [37]
2017: Biology [44], English Language
2018: Environmental Science [43], Further Math [44], Outdoor Ed [35], English [28]
ATAR: 90.80
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2018, 09:00:03 pm »
+8
Subject Name: Outdoor and Environmental studies (AKA Outdoor Ed, OES)

Units: 3/4

Workload:
Low. Very low. There isn't much content that needs to be learnt for this subject, a lot of the difficulty comes from learning about the content with enough specificity to accurately answer questions and learning how to answer questions in the level of detail required.

Assessment:
(This probably won't be an accurate reflection of the assessments that you'll do - the study design states that a reflection on outdoor experiences is required but I never did it and some of my assessments did not match the format required by VCAA)
I can't remember enough detail to describe what we did on each SAC. There were no multiple choice (and there are none on the exam). We did 5 SACs in total (two on U3 AOS2). Most of them were structured short answer questions, we also did one which was a report/case study. We were given a criteria sheet (but no actual questions) and required to write about a specific environment that we had studied.

Each area of study is worth 12.5% of the study score, the exam is worth 50%

Exam Thoughts:
The exam is mostly short answer questions along with some extended response. There is no multiple choice. It is fairly straightforward however it can be hard to judge how much depth an answer requires, and you may run out of time if you go into too much detail in your responses.

Textbook Recommendation:
Outdoor and Environmental Studies VCE 1-4 by Nelson. This is the only textbook available. I did not find it particularly useful as it does not go into the level of detail that you are required to know and does not cover specific environments which you are required to learn about. It serves as a good preliminary source of information, however you must use other sources too.

Recommended Other Resources:
The only other resource that exists is a checkpoints book. I bought it but I didn't really use it much. It has the same problem that will face you when you start looking at examiners reports -- The answers are unlikely to be on the same environment that you have chosen to study which makes it incredibly hard to mark your answers. It can be a useful source of information about specific environments (as can examiners reports) if you read the answers relevant to your environment.

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade:
SAC 1: 82%
SAC 2: 82%
SAC 3: Unknown
SAC 4: 92%
SAC 5: Unknown
Study score: 35
(my teacher wasn't very good at giving us feedback)

Comments:
I joined this class (having not done 1/2) for the camps, I really enjoyed the camps so in that sense it was successful. The academic side of it was very lacking however. If you want to learn more about the environment then do environmental science. This subject briefly explores the way humans interact with nature however it does not go into as much depth as I would have liked (that could vary between schools though).

The low workload due to the small study design means that it is possible to do minimal work for this subject and cram for it if necessary.
I'd recommend making notes on your environment as you learn about it. Make sure your notes are specific to your environment! Examiners reports are useful for finding this information - Almost all of my information on my environments came from examiners reports (the 2016 one is especially useful).

If all else fails, write about erosion - Outdoor ed proverb
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 07:34:53 pm by PhoenixxFire »
VCE
2016: Psychology [37]
2017: Biology [44], English Language
2018: Environmental Science [43], Further Math [44], Outdoor Ed [35], English [28]
ATAR: 90.80
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU

PhoenixxFire

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #41 on: December 05, 2018, 05:06:48 pm »
+8
Subject Name: General math

Units: 1/2

Workload:
Low. I did pretty much all of my work during class time and stayed (mostly) up to date. Aside from some last minute cramming, there wasn't any need to spend extra time on it.

Assessment:
SAC 1: Linear equations and graphs
SAC 2: Matrices
SAC 3: Finance
SAC 4: Number patterns and logarithms
SAC 5: Univariate and bivariate statistics

Exam Thoughts:
It was very straightforward, there were no unexpected questions. So long as you had done practice questions beforehand then it was easy.

Textbook Recommendation:
Cambridge general math textbook. I think I probably ended up doing almost all of the relevant questions.

Recommended Other Resources:
Don't really need any. If you're having trouble with a topic then an explanation can usually be found online or from your teacher. Additional textbooks/notes aren't needed.

Year of Completion: 2017

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade:
SACs: ~88%
Exam: 94%

Comments:
The questions get repetitive and they can be a bit tedious to do, however completing lots of practice questions helps prepare for SACs due to the limited variety of questions that can be asked. It can also be boring though. The content is not very hard, however it is easy to lose marks from silly mistakes. If you want a challenge then this is not the subject for you, if you just want to do a math or satisfy pre-requisites then general might be a good choice.
VCE
2016: Psychology [37]
2017: Biology [44], English Language
2018: Environmental Science [43], Further Math [44], Outdoor Ed [35], English [28]
ATAR: 90.80
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU

PhoenixxFire

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2018, 12:42:29 pm »
+7
Subject Name: Psychology

Units: 1/2

Workload:
Depends on the school and how hard you want to try. I found that the workload was greater at the start of the year, I went into the class expecting to have to put in lots of work and so that's what I did. However, homework was rarely checked and I got really slack with completing it towards the end of the year. I'd say you should be doing a bit of work outside of class, but you don't need to be doing heaps.

Assessment:
SAC 1: Multi choice and short answer on the nature of psychology and research methods
SAC 2: Scientific research report on context and visual perception
SAC 3: Research investigation & report on a specific mental illness
Exam (U1): Multiple choice, short answer, and extended response.
SAC 4: Media analysis (shawshank redemption).
SAC 5: Short answer and extended response test on attitudes and factors that affect behaviour
SAC 6: Multiple choice and short answer test on theories of intelligence and personality
Exam (U2): Multiple choice, short answer, and extended response.

Exam Thoughts:
The exams were a mix of multiple choice, short answer and extended response. It was fairly similar to the type of questions seen on SACs and so long as you had studied for them, they were fairly easy.

Textbook Recommendation:
I used the jacaranda textbook, however it has since changed because I did the old study design.

Recommended Other Resources:
The only other resource I used was youtube - specifically for videos on research methods because I frequently found myself needing another explanation. I also used youtube to find out about other interesting psychological experiments, not because I needed to, just because it was interesting haha.

Year of Completion: 2015 (old study design)

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade:
U1 SACs: ~91%
U1 exam: 92%
U2 SACs: ~90%
U2 exam: 91%

Comments:
I really liked psych - there were some bits that got a bit boring (research methods), however I found most of the content really interesting. I actually spent a lot of time in this subject just learning about the content rather than studying specifically for the test. The study design has changed since I did it, but I definitely found that looking for how the theory related to past experiments helped with memorising it. I'm sure my family got sick of me telling them about all sorts of weird experiments that have been conducted haha.
VCE
2016: Psychology [37]
2017: Biology [44], English Language
2018: Environmental Science [43], Further Math [44], Outdoor Ed [35], English [28]
ATAR: 90.80
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU

PhoenixxFire

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2018, 07:52:58 pm »
+7
Subject Name: Psychology

Units: 3/4

Workload:
I didn't do much work, but I was constantly being told to do more work. The workload will vary between schools, my school didn't set much homework and even when they did hardly anyone (including me) did the homework. I ended up with a private study block in second semester so I did end up doing more work in this subject towards the end of the year. Throughout the entire year I didn't do much (any) work outside of school. Even over the September holidays I hardly did any. Having said all that, I did this subject in year 10 and I didn't really know what I was doing - definitely should have done more work than I did.

Assessment: (Outline the various assessments which make up the subject and how much each counts for)
SAC 1: Multiple choice, short answer, and extended response. Tested knowledge of sleep and states of consciousness.
SAC 2: Visual presentation (annotated poster) on brain and nervous system.
SAC 3: Research investigation (ERA) on memory
SAC 4: Short answer test on learning
SAC 5: Multiple choice and short answer test on mental health, stress, and research methods
SAC 6: Visual presentation (poster) on phobias

Exam Thoughts:
I didn't find it particularly hard despite not studying much. There were a range of difficulty in the questions so even if you didn't know the content particularly well you could still answer most of it.

Textbook Recommendation:
I had the Jacaranda psychology textbook (for the old study design). I read most of it over the summer holidays because I was bored but we didn't use it that much in class - more like once a week rather than every lesson.

Recommended Other Resources:
My teacher recorded youtube videos of herself explaining the content. I didn't buy any resources for this subject.

Year of Completion: 2016 (old study design)

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: (Optional)
U3 SACs: ~89%
U4 SACs: ~77%
Study score: 37

Comments:
The subject itself was interesting however there was quite a bit of memorisation involved which I found quite boring - still loved it overall though! Cramming for psych is probably a bad idea as there's a fair bit of content, it would be easier to study the content throughout the year instead of leaving it to the last minute.
VCE
2016: Psychology [37]
2017: Biology [44], English Language
2018: Environmental Science [43], Further Math [44], Outdoor Ed [35], English [28]
ATAR: 90.80
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #44 on: December 16, 2018, 07:09:40 pm »
+7
Subject Name: Chemistry

Units: Units 3/4

Workload:
I found the workload to be a bit above average. Often homework worksheets, exercises from the textbook and/or note taking tasks were set for homework. With approaching SACs, my class and I undertook various revision exercises and resources that were made easily accessible by the school, allowing for thorough revision thus a heavier load of work during these periods.

Assessment:
I recall SACs being in the form of practical investigations with write ups, a poster and as tests. I believe they followed the weighting according to the VCE study design.

Exam Thoughts:
I was pretty hyped for the exam, had been studying a fair amount throughout the year by using past exam resources. Found the exam to be alright, although it did seem longer than usual and mid-way through I was questioning if I was actually going to finish (typical exam nerves?), but I did finish with a fair amount of time left to look over answers. The exam didn't contain as many tricky questions as compared to the 2017 exam, and I left confident that I had performed my best :)

Textbook Recommendation:
Our school used the Heinemann textbook for both units 1/2 and 3/4. Hence I have no other textbooks to compare it to but would definitely recommend it. We only used it for some parts of the course as our teacher had provided us with excellent notes that explained the information and concepts in a much easier manner. The textbook has a lot of information, and may require careful reading at times to fully understand some of the more complicated concepts.

Recommended Other Resources:
Our school was also provided with ConnectApp and Connect Education Chemistry Units 3/4 books that were superb. I would highly recommend the book for concise explanations and methods for answering some of the trickier questions within the course. The online ConnectApp was also great as it provided you videos explaining the course which was broken down into topics. The online questions were perfect to refine the accuracy of your knowledge as Connect Education provided responses to all of the possible answers for the multi-choice questions.

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 48

Comments:
Starting Year 12 Chemistry with only average marks in the previous year, I found that as the year progressed, not only my love for the subject but my ability to  understand the concepts and apply the learnt knowledge greatly increase. Furthermore, like Biology which I completed in the prior year, the content of the course was always relevant within our lives. In fact, the content allowed us to understand the future directions of energy production such as fuel cells! Also have to say, having a teacher who continually provided extra resources in class and out of class and who was devoted to ensuring the best results for his students significantly helped me throughout the course! Highly recommend!
2017: Biology [40]
2018: English [47] French [31] Methods [35] Chemistry [48] Psychology [41]
ATAR: 98.25