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Author Topic: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings  (Read 28530 times)  Share 

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #45 on: December 16, 2018, 08:18:36 pm »
+11
Subject Name: English (EAL)

Units: 3/4
Workload: if you are fluent in English, you may well find this your chillest subject

Assessment:
Unit 3 (25% of study score, 100 marks): listening task (20), creative or analytical text response (40), persuasive oral (40)
Unit 4 (25% of study score, 100 marks): argument and language analysis with reading comprehension (40), comparative text analysis (60)
Exam (50% of study score, 100 marks): Section A: two listening tasks (20); Section B: analytical text response (40); Section C: argument and language analysis (20) with reading comprehension (20)

Exam Thoughts: Time management is everything. While everyone does it differently, certainly keep in mind that your exam under the new study design is very different to the mainstream exam. Some of you will be able to afford to spend more than an hour on each essay. Due to the very limited size of school EAL cohorts in comparison to mainstream ones, your SAC rankings could potentially be more important than your exam performance, so ensure you get all the help you need throughout the year.

Textbook Recommendation: I would recommend against taking quotes and ideas off study guides. Use them only as a quick read to refresh your memory of the plot or for brainstorming lists of themes. Otherwise, your own ideas are likely to be much deeper and more original.

Recommended Other Resources: The course is somewhat similar to the mainstream course, so any English language analysis resources might come in handy. Depending on if you pick an EAL text for text response (I did Invictus), you could find yourself struggling to find specific, detailed single text resources as well, but any text guides for the paired text studies can be helpful to an extent. I'd say pearson and insight text guides are some of the better ones. The listening task would be the hardest section of the exam to find practice material for. Don't neglect it, but don't stress either since the rest of the cohort will find themselves in the same situation. Make sure you make good use of your teacher and your peers. Bug your teacher to write you new listening tasks. Listen to Radio National in your free time (strongly recommended!). Get an EAL study group and take turns writing up original listening tasks from random excerpts.

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5. Jonty Jenkins was wayyy too harsh.

Your Mark/Grade: 50

Comments: I thoroughly enjoyed this course. The variety of EAL learning activities is something you don't get in Literature (I studied Units 1/2). When you need motivation, just remember that EAL will probably be the biggest blessing to your ATAR. You write on 1 text in your final exam while others write on 3. While it could feel repetitive at times, you will find that the more you engage with your text, the more you love it. It will literally become part of your soul. You won't have to work nearly as hard as the mainstream kids, and so will have a lot more time for your other subjects. You are scored against a significantly less competitive cohort, and yet you will get scaled up. So take it easy and enjoy!
2017: Mathematical Methods [48] | Chinese (SLA) [41]
2018: English (EAL) [50] | Chemistry [50] | Physics [50] | Specialist Mathematics [48]
ATAR: 99.95
UMAT: 100
2018 Australian Physics Olympiad Summer School participant

2019: BMedSci/MD @ Monash
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Yertle the Turtle

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2019, 12:38:24 am »
+6
Subject Name: Physics

Units: Units 3/4

Workload: It wasn't an easy course, and we did start to run out of time towards the end, but if you were to deliberately try to work hard and fast it would be much better in terms of workload. If you were to work harder than me you might find the course easier.

Assessment: From memory the exam makes up 60%, Unit 3 makes 20% and Unit 4 20%
In Unit 3 there is a SAC on circular and planar motion and a SAC on Fields.
In Unit 4 there is a Practical Investigation SAC, a SAC on Relativity and a SAC on Transformers. Overall the U3 SACs are each worth the same, I think, and the U4 SACs worth the same as each other.

Exam Thoughts: The exam consists of 30 multiple choice questions, followed by a mix of multiple part questions, covering all the individual topics. The last couple of questions are on a practical investigation/experiment to test your understanding of the scientific method, testing knowledge of how an experiment should be written up. There is also an increasing number of purely conceptual questions, as the examiners try to eliminate those who can press buttons and get answers. These questions tend to be 3-5 marks asking you to explain concepts in specific ways, and these do tend to be the most challenging parts of the exam, making up about 50% these days. The exam wasn't easy, but it wasn't too bad I thought.

Textbook Recommendation: We used the Heinemann textbook, and I found it to be really useful and good at explaining things. There were certain things that I think it didn't explain very well (such as standing waves) but on the whole I found it good, and used it for study throughout the year.

Recommended Other Resources: I used Edrolo more with Physics than with anything else, but generally I didn't find it very useful. More useful was Khan Academy in some areas, and other YouTube channels such as Veritasium were great at explaining difficult concepts. Checkpoints was also quite useful, just in highlighting areas that need more work.

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 40

Comments: Personally I loved Physics, probably tying with Chem as my favourite subject, and my top scoring subject. There were definitely some tough areas, particularly special relativity and the section on light, but these I found intriguing, and therefore interesting. The motion section was interesting as well, since you could see it in real life, which helped to make it enjoyable.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 05:43:39 am by Yertle the Turtle »
2017-2018: VCE
Methods | Specialist | Physics | Chemistry | English | Texts and Traditions

2019-2022: B. Eng (Hons) | Monash University

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Yertle the Turtle

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2019, 01:01:52 am »
+7
Subject Name: Texts and Traditions (Gospel of Luke)

Units: Unit 3/4

Workload: There is a huge amount of content to get through in the amount of time that you have. You have to study all of the 9 special passages and 8 themes in at least some amount of detail because otherwise the exam can throw you multiple curveballs. This means that for me it had the most raw information of any subject that I did, and I had to work hard on it. Due to scaling, it didn't end up in my top 4, but I did put more work into it than most of my subjects.

Assessment: 50% of the SS is from U 3/4, and 50% from the exam. In Unit 3 there is one SAC about background to the book of Luke, and one exegesis SAC, and in Unit 4 there is one exegesis SAC and one SAC on a change of belief or idea by a later faith, and how the set text affected this change in that faith.

Exam Thoughts: It was by far the hardest exam I have ever done. There are three parts to the exam, each worth equal amounts: 1. Extended response 2. Essay 3. Exegesis. Put together, you have to write nearly as much as an English exam, in 2 hours, which is insane. Basically the reading time is crucial, because you have to write almost non-stop from then on. The total exam is worth 90 marks. 30 marks for the exegesis, 30 for the essay, and 10 each for the 3 extended responses. You get to choose 2 out of 3 extended response questions, with one that is compulsory concerning the last SAC on a religious idea or belief that has been altered by a faith. You then get to choose your essay question and exegesis passage out of 3 options, so with good preparation, it is harder to get completely thrown by these 2 sections than by the extended response. I was lucky, with one of the extended response questions being the same as one in my trial exam, but it is really easy for these to throw you out.

Textbook Recommendation: There is no such thing as a proper textbook for T&T, but we used Goosen's introduction to Luke and France's commentary. I never looked at them, as I found I could get my quotes from elsewhere.

Recommended Other Resources: Bock's commentary of Luke is full and packed with information, but it is very dense, and therefore to extract that information is very difficult in ways that are usable. I found that using the PPT slides that my teacher gave us was the best way to filter all the commentaries down to usable quotes and ideas.

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 40

Comments: It was not an easy subject, there being huge amounts of information to learn, and the exam being a little too "hit-and-miss" for my liking, but overall I enjoyed the subject, and as I already knew more of the background to the book of Luke than anyone in the class (possibly including the teacher) it wasn't too hard. Being in the smallest non-language subject in the state (<300 students) can be tough, as the study scores can be seriously altered by only a few students. I'm not sure if any T&T students will see this, but if they do, I hope it helps.
2017-2018: VCE
Methods | Specialist | Physics | Chemistry | English | Texts and Traditions

2019-2022: B. Eng (Hons) | Monash University

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Yertle the Turtle

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2019, 05:42:27 am »
+9
Subject Name: Chemistry

Units: Units 3/4

Workload: Besides Texts and Traditions, Chemistry was my most full on subject. The textbook tells you everything. It is thick. There is a massive amount of content to get through in the year, and in the end we didn't really finish the food chemistry section. There are a lot of different concepts that the course covers, and it is not the easiest subject either, as many of the concepts need to be just learned.

Assessment: The exam is worth 60% of the SS, while U3&4 SACs are a total of 20% for each unit. Unit 3 has a SAC on Fuels one on Electrochemistry and one on Reactions, Equilibria and Chemical Processes, while Unit 4 has a Practical Investigation SAC, and a SAC on Food Chemistry.

Exam Thoughts: Like Physics, they are trying to bring in 'explanation' style questions, stressing fundamental concept understanding rather
than highly skilled button-mashing. This means that about 40% of the exam is explanation of concepts in 3-5 mark questions. The last question of the exam (in 2018) was the perfect example of this, as it asked a fairly open-ended question about the human metabolism of fats, and a fairly abstract question about whether shredded or chopped coconut would have a higher GI value. These questions, as well as the growing section on practical investigation technique and process, really threw lots of students. Basically the exam is made up of 20 (or 30? I forget) multichoice questions, which are about 50-50 simple calculations and concept understanding. Then there are 100 marks worth of questions, that are a mixture of all the different sections, most questions containing some simple calculations and some deeper explanations. It wasn't really too hard, but I messed it up due to still recovering from a cold (I know, right?! Take care of your health, guys!)

Also, knowing how to use your Data Booklet is key. They will ask you questions that can only be answered by the data booklet, and using it efficiently is important, so get used to it during the year.

Textbook Recommendation: I used the Heinemann textbook, and it was great. I used it a lot, basically didn't have to use anything else, even crammed the evening before the exam from it, and I'm pretty sure that cramming saved me ~5 marks on the exam. It was really comprehensive and explained things really well. I did have the advantage of a really good teacher though, so...

Recommended Other Resources: I really didn't use much besides the textbook, but Checkpoints was good, except for its terrible layout. I didn't use Edrolo at all, though I probably should have. I found that the textbook did a really good job overall, though occasional YouTube videos were useful to explain certain concepts or to show real-world connections to academic concepts (watch a video on thermite melting through a car, it's so satisfying).

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 37

Comments: Chemistry really gave Physics a run for its money as my favourite subject. It wasn't as hard as I expected and I felt I could see a lot of practical applications. Like Physics, it helped me to understand a lot of things about the world that I had always been puzzled by, so I really enjoyed it a lot. I was also lucky to have a great Chemistry teacher who helped it to be interesting for me. I would say that in this subject cramming was surprisingly helpful, the night before the exam, as I suddenly understood 2 concepts that we hadn't specifically covered in class, and which there were several questions on in the exam. I would recommend the subject to anyone with an enquiring mind. However, I will say that a 37 was a big disappointment, as I expected over 40 :'(
2017-2018: VCE
Methods | Specialist | Physics | Chemistry | English | Texts and Traditions

2019-2022: B. Eng (Hons) | Monash University

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Yertle the Turtle

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2019, 05:20:53 am »
+5
Subject Name: Maths Methods

Units: Units 3/4

Workload: There is a lot of content to get through in Methods, and this means that you have to work fairly hard in order to get through everything properly. Personally I didn't work very hard throughout the year, certainly not as hard as I should have. If you stay on top of the work, the workload isn't too bad, but the word of warning is that it is far too easy to get a little behind, and in a subject like Methods that is not where you want to be.

Assessment: Exam 1 is worth 22% of the SS, Exam 2 is worth 44%, with the SACs being worth 33% total. I had a SAC on Functions and Relations, one on Circular Functions, on one Calculus, one on Probability and the last one was actually the trial exam, each worth 10%, and on the whole, the only one that really screwed me over was the probability one. Probability is not an easy topic, there are so many similar concepts that you have to be able to tell apart.

Exam Thoughts: The 2018 exam (particularly Exam 1) was quite controversial. I personally found Exam 1 to be not too bad (I got an A+). Basically Exam 1 was easy for Q1-6, Q7 was the hard one for me, finding the point of a line closest to the origin, but I didn't find Q8-9 as hard as most people seemed to. It required quite a bit of thought though, so I didn't quite finish Q9. On the whole though I was happy with that one, having no calculator made the questions mathematically more simple.
It was Exam 2 that really screwed me over, particularly the multiple choice section. I failed to manage my time well, and ended up feeling terrible at the end, with lots of blank questions (ended up a B), and that B probably made a serious difference to my SS, with an A for SACs and an A+ for Exam 1 (as well as 34/35 in the Maths section of the GAT). In hindsight I would give a big tip: allocate time for each multiple choice question, and use that time to either find the answer or at least cut 1-3 possible answers. I found that I spent far too long in deep calculations, and this left me with nowhere near enough time for the extended response. Don't make the same mistake. I would say that being completely healthy is really important, as I was struggling with a cold throughout the exam period, and it really hit hard in Methods Exam 2. I didn't push hard enough to crush it earlier on in the year, and it hung on until the exam period, which was really bad. Take care of yourself, guys.

Textbook Recommendation: I used the Cambridge textbook, and found it to be pretty good at explaining things mostly. I felt like probability in particular was really well explained, while integration was not explained nearly as well. On the whole, I really used the textbook more than the teacher to learn the subject, and it worked fairly well, so I'd have to really recommend this book.

Recommended Other Resources: Edrolo, Checkpoints and Khan Academy were the only other resources I really used, and of these the most useful was KA, followed by Checkpoints. KA explained very effectively any difficult concepts, while the Checkpoints book was good at showing areas that need more focus.

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: (sin(pi/6))*8 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 35

Comments: I personally enjoyed Methods quite a lot, the content is quite interesting and something I think is important is that I can see the applications in the real world throughout the course. On the whole I found the calculus part the most interesting, and personally I really disliked the probability part. I was quite disappointed with a 35, but I guess part of it was my fault (work hard and take care of your health guys). On the whole I had a pretty good year in Methods, and would fully recommend it to anyone with any good mathematical ability.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 04:01:41 pm by Yertle the Turtle »
2017-2018: VCE
Methods | Specialist | Physics | Chemistry | English | Texts and Traditions

2019-2022: B. Eng (Hons) | Monash University

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Yertle the Turtle

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #50 on: January 14, 2019, 04:48:20 am »
+4
Subject Name: Specialist Maths

Units: Units 3/4

Workload: I wasn't really a normal case, doing Spesh by distance, so this probably won't apply to many people. I was doing it by distance, as well as having a 6 subject Yr 12 load, so Spesh was where I really let it slide, didn't really work hard, and used my "free" (Spesh) periods for other study or down time. I also started the year late because DECV (the distance school) mucked up my reenrollment, so I really was quite behind, and spent the whole year trying (not very hard) to catch up. If I had been doing it properly I think I would have found that to get a really thorough grasp of the concepts you would need to work fairly hard, but not as hard as some content-heavy subjects like Bio, or even Methods.

Assessment: Exam 1 is worth 22% of the total SS, Exam 2 is worth 44% and the SACs (I had only 3) worth 33%. I had a SAC on Functions and Relations, including *all* the trig functions, one SAC on Calculus (differentiation, integration and diff. equations) and one on Mechanics and Probability. Of the three the easiest was the one on Mechanics (from Physics) and Probability, which is surprisingly easy at Spesh level, and by far the hardest (41% level hard) was the Calculus one. I will say that I was almost too sick to be at school on the day of the Calculus SAC, but I don't think it changed too much, except that I just wrote a little and spent almost 1 1/2 hours sitting staring at a paper that my brain just couldn't cope with. Stay healthy, everyone!

Exam Thoughts: The exam is in 2 parts, Exam 1 and Exam 2, and in Exam 1 (short answer questions, 1hr) you are allowed nothing except basic stationery. In Exam 2 (multiple choice and extended response questions, 2hrs) you are allowed both a bound book of notes, and your CAS calculator. I personally found the exam a little easier than I had expected (I still left lots of questions blank and got a D+ on Exam 1) and given how the rest of the year had gone I was aiming pretty low by the time the exam came, but Exam 2 actually wasn't too bad. I have been finding since it finished that I suddenly have an epiphany on how a certain question should have been answered, but really in the Spesh exam I just cut my losses, and tried to do as well as possible. It's not easy stuff, but if you focus on the stuff you can do, you can do better than by bashing your head against the things you can't do.

Textbook Recommendation: I used the Cambridge textbook, and given that I didn't have a teacher or official classes, and hardly gave Spesh any time throughout the year, I think that it must be pretty good at explaining things. I found it to be generally pretty good at explaining things, nearly used it in the exam, and then, on not using it, came across a question that my bound book couldn't answer and that I know I would have found easy if I just had a certain example in the textbook. I would strongly recommend it as the textbook to use.

Recommended Other Resources: I found Khan Academy to be really useful for anything that I really didn't get from just reading the textbook, but the Edrolo I used was terrible. I really didn't find that it helped or explained things well, the presenter was cringey, and so all in all I really didn't like it. Not having a teacher around to explain things limited my learning in things such as Differential Equations, and for these things KA did a great job (though not as good as a physical teacher) of explaining enough for me to cram sufficiently to pass, so I would fully recommend it.

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 26

Comments: Look, the main reason why I didn't do well at Spesh was the layout of the year. Getting behind at the start, not catching up, and having the 6 subject load really meant that Spesh wasn't great for me, and in hindsight I should have done Methods a year early, and had a 5 subject Year 12, but that is the past, so let it go. Honestly I enjoyed the content in Spesh, (not the pressure) especially as I could often see really useful future applications, something that I really think is important in any subject (I feel like I've said this before). I personally didn't enjoy the Diff Equations section, probably because it was the toughest section and I didn't have a teacher to explain it to me at the start, whereas the Kinematics and Dynamics sections were really easy and interesting because of the links to Physics, which I love. I do close the year feeling disappointed in myself for screwing over what could easily have been a subject in my top 4 if I had just put more work in, but I didn't have anyone pressuring me into working, or to explain things to me, so in some ways I'm pretty happy with the score. Since the exam I've been having these annoying flashbacks, seeing the questions that were on there and going "I suddenly understand how to do this", and while I'm happy that I now understand the concepts, it is a little annoying to know that I could have improved my marks so easily.

Note: I did Spesh by distance, and my experience was terrible. The teachers rarely contacted me, and the resources they sent were generally pretty useless. Once I was told that to get an S for the Unit I had to submit a certain amount of overdue work by a certain date, less than a week away. Within 10 minutes of receiving this notification, I had sent a response asking help for the question I was stuck on (something I should have done several days before). A day before the work was due, my Methods teacher suddenly understood that there was a typo in the question, and I was able to send in the work. 2 weeks after the deadline, they sent me an explanation of how the question works, so if I had waited for them I would have missed the deadline, as they took 3 weeks to get me a response!  >:(  >:( Other people may have had other experiences with DECV, but mine were extremely bad, so much so that I really cannot recommend any course with them.
2017-2018: VCE
Methods | Specialist | Physics | Chemistry | English | Texts and Traditions

2019-2022: B. Eng (Hons) | Monash University

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Yertle the Turtle

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #51 on: January 14, 2019, 05:11:26 am »
+5
Subject Name: English

Units: Units 3/4

Workload: Light. Very light if you are me and don't care + have really good memory, or if you happen to be a genius at English. If not, if you are a STEM person (also like me) you will find it tough, particularly the reason for doing it. I hardly worked in the entire year, only handing in the absolute minimum of work at all times (1 essay a month), and for my ability, the SS really reflects this fact. I could have done better if I had worked harder, but I chose not to.

Assessment: The exam is worth 50% of the mark, with the Unit 3 SACs and the Unit 4 SACs worth 25% each. I think that we had 5 SACs: One AA, one TR, one CTR, one creative piece and the dreaded speech, which actually went all right. Of all of those the worst for me was the creative, as I struggle to be, well, creative, in a way that most people like.

Exam Thoughts: English exam 2018. Ha ha ha... Jonty Jenkins... man-bun, etc.
The whole way through that controversial English exam I was just looking forward to that final second, after which I could be free of my least favourite subject. It is split up into 3 essays, each worth 33% of the exam mark, first a Text Response essay, followed by a Comparative text response, with an Argument Analysis piece to finish. Unlike most of my class, who did the other text that our school did, I found the TR questions (Medea) quite nice, as well as the Comparative ones (Invictus/Ransom). On the whole I didn't have a problem with these, and as for the AA, Jonty Jenkins was nice to me, despite being an annoying writer who writes in a style that is really hard to write about. By the end I managed to write on everything that the Chief Examiner said was possible to separate the high achieving students from everyone else, and by the end, English was over, so  :-*  :-*  :-*  :-*  :-*  :-*  8)  8)  8)  8)  8)  8)

Textbook Recommendation: We did technically have a textbook (the Insight one) but we hardly used it, and when we did, I found it both useless and annoying. I felt like the "10 out of 10" responses they gave you were clumsily written and I didn't like the book at all. Would not recommend it.

Recommended Other Resources: None. English really isn't a subject you can learn from a textbook.

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: 0.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 37

Comments: I hated the guts of English the whole way through VCE. If you've read any of my previous reviews you may have seen that I like to see future use in a subject. Well that was something missing in English, and I was forced to do it, so I hated it. There wasn't anything that I found interesting in English, so even though I'm good at it I really didn't put in much effort at all. I have to thank from the bottom of my heart my Physics/Chem teacher who heard me arguing with the English teacher a week before the English exam, had a 1 1/2 hour long conversation with me that ended up with him going through my objections to English and encouraging me to study for just that one last week. I did, and I'm convinced that it really helped, so huge thanks to him, as well as for being an awesome Physics/Chem teacher and a great mentor. I also know that I really messed up the year for myself in English, constantly arguing with the teacher about the value of English, and I'm afraid I messed up her year, and that is a real regret that I have now, though I know I would argue every time if I could run it over again. Sometimes it is best to just put up with something like that, something you really dislike and struggle with, so please follow my advice. And with the close of this English review, I've covered all of my subjects, almost in order of preference, and closing of course with the one of these subjects that I never have to burden myself with again.  8)

btw, English does have to count in your top 4, so live with it, like I had to, with it being my bottom subject after scaling.
2017-2018: VCE
Methods | Specialist | Physics | Chemistry | English | Texts and Traditions

2019-2022: B. Eng (Hons) | Monash University

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Jimmmy

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2019, 12:09:23 am »
+4
Subject Name: Business Management 3&4

Workload: Medium

Assessment:
Unit 3 comprised of 3 SACs; Business Foundations (5% of total mark), Human Resources (10% of total mark) & Operations Management (10% of total mark).
Unit 4 comprised of 3 SACs for us in two areas of study; Reviewing Performance and the Need for Change (12.5% total split into two SACs, worth 5% & 7.5%) and the final SAC was Implementing Change (12.5% of total mark). The Exam is worth 50%, so it's a 50/50 split with SACs.
Exam Thoughts:
Short Answer & Extended Response questions with the single 10 mark question, which according to all reports was marked holistically, so beware. There is no exact structure, but most of the questions tend to relate to case studies, and we were 'forced' to learn two specific case studies that were to be used during SACs/Exam relating to the Operations & Implementing Change topics. Our school did Yakult for OM & Bega for Change. My number one suggestion would be to be super confident with whatever two case studies your school does. They didn't come up in the first year of this new study design (2017) but there was a question specifically relating to the Change case study, which was probably my big downfall in the Exam. Making sure you know the basics was crucial in our exam, but I'd still suggest making sure you know the more detailed concepts (Porter's Generic Strategies, Three Step Change Model, Senge's Learning Organisation etc.)

Textbook Recommendation:
We 'used' the Jacaranda BusMan book, but due to some unforeseen circumstances our class ended up using the Cambridge textbook that our teacher had alongside notes from the Cambridge textbook from our teacher for the entirety of Unit 4, and it had significantly more detail so it was much more useful, definitely my recommendation and is actually what our school is using for the course in 2019 anyway. BusMan is definitely a textbook heavy subject, but try to avoid using it much once you've made your notes for it, the recommended resources I'm about to mention are much more useful.
 
Recommended Other Resources:
Teaching Bubble is an amazing resource, some great summaries and the author there really knows his stuff. Edrolo (for those schools that use it) is also very good for the BusMan course, and gives extension to many of the concepts featured in the Study Design (not that the Exam covered that much higher order thinking  ;))

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating:  3.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 42

Comments:
The subject is great if you can do 3&4 in Year 10, or do it as your 'lazy' 5th subject in Year 12 IMO. Doing it as your sole VCE (Year 12) subject in Year 11 is a bit of a waste, and I wouldn't suggest doing it in that way. Looking back, I don't think I would've got a much different mark doing it in Year 10, and 1&2 is far from applicable to the Year 12 course so it definitely feels like lost time.

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to message me!  :)
2018: Business Management

2019: English Language, Maths Methods, Legal Studies, Global Politics, Philosophy

tiffanylps09

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #53 on: February 19, 2019, 02:44:04 pm »
+2
Subject Name: Environmental Science

Units: Units 3/4

Workload: Low compared to subjects like Bio 3/4 and Chem 3/4

Assessment:
I don't remember the exact structure of my SACs but I do remember that in the whole year we had 5 SACs.
One of those will be a Poster SAC (as my school called it) where basically you run an investigation, compile up the data collected into a table and write up a report on your laptop in the given time. For our class, we were required to do some random sampling in our local parks on our own and come into class with the data to fill into our posters.
For my other SACs, most of the questions were in short answer format. I don't think we had any Multiple Choice questions.

Exam Thoughts:
30 marks multiple choice was fairly easy. I wouldn't spend too much time on them as the short answers are really time consuming and worth more marks.
90 marks of short answer questions are not hard, mostly regurgitating information. If you've done enough past year exams, you will notice the similarity of the exam questions through the years. Just a heads up, if you're a slow writer you might want to speed that up a little for the exam, I remember being pretty pressed for time trying to answer all the questions with enough depth. I also know a number of people who knew exactly how to answer a certain question but ended up running out of time and couldn't include the points they wanted to.

Textbook Recommendation:
Issues of sustainability - Environment Education Victoria : I found the the book helpful to read over when I was not sure how to phrase my sentences while answering questions.
Environmental Science Biozone 3rd Edition : Required by my school but literally never used it once.

Recommended Other Resources:
The only resources I used were practice exams provided by my teacher as well as the past year exams from the VCAA website

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade:
SAC 1 45/50
SAC 2 46/50
SAC 3 27/30
SAC 4 29/30
Poster SAC 24/30
Raw Study Score: 35

Comments:
I wasn't sure about this subject at first as it was the first year Enviro Sc was being taught at my school. I ended up taking it anyway because I was genuinely interested in understanding topics related to the environment (ie. Climate Change...). After taking this subject, I found it very enjoyable. I named it my chill subject. Compared to the other subjects I took, this demanded the least amount of effort. I was doing really well in SACs despite not studying as much as I did for my other science subjects.

The content covered was interesting mostly and fairly easy to understand, however I did find the parts about Environmental Management Systems pretty confusing. If you are planning on doing or did Biology 3/4 and/or Chemistry 3/4, you would find that some content from those subjects overlap with Environmental Science. (Biodiversity for Biology and Fossil fuels for Chemistry) I did all three of them together so it made my life much easier. There is a tiny bit of mathematical skills needed when you are asked to calculate the Simpson's Index but its really simple and easy with the help of a calculator.

During the course of studying, we also had the opportunity to go on an excursion to Werribee Zoo to learn more about the Eastern Barred Bandicoot and stuff related to biodiversity, so that was a major plus. Classes were pretty boring when we were just listening to the teacher explain concepts, however, we did get to do quite a number of practical work such as: measuring degree of pollution of water samples, investigating how the albedo effect affected temperature change etc.

The only regret I have with this subject was not taking into consideration the scaling of the subject. Having scored so well throughout the year, my final study score shocked me. So yeah, please keep in mind that if you find SACs are consistently too easy, you might be in trouble. In the end of the year, the SACs set by your teacher will also be weighted against the rest of the state and if the questions are too easy your scores will be pulled down to match the other schools.
 
All in all this was a fun subject. It was definitely a break for me from my other more demanding subjects.

If you have any questions about the subject, feel free to message me!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 03:18:18 pm by tiffanylps09 »
2018 : VCE
EAL | Maths Methods | Chemistry | Biology | Environmental Science | Indonesian 2nd Language
2019 : BSci @ UoM
CHEM 10003 | BIOL 10004 | PHYC 10005 | MGMT 10002
CHEM 10004 | BIOL 10005 | BIOL 10001 | ANSC 10001

juicethelemon

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #54 on: February 19, 2019, 03:11:08 pm »
+4
Subject Name: Health and Human Development

Units: 3/4

Workload:
Honestly pretty chill subject. You have to memorise a ton but pretty much if you can think of common scenarios on the spot this subject will be pretty easy.

Assessment:
about 8 SACS but it was 2 for each Unit of area. Our school decided to make one normal sac and a separate one on data analysis to ensure students focus more on reading graphs and applying such information

Exam Thoughts:
I mean it was first year of the new study design so it was really straight forward and direct. Your hand will break though I'm not kidding. Go into your exam with a strategy and stick to it, I cant stress this enough for this subject. I decided for the exam to tackle the hardest questions first (particularly questions with reading paragraphs because like for english it is always recommended to read those passages during READING TIME) then i went on to the easier questions. Some people may do it the other way whatever works for you. I had a cool 10 seconds to spare to read back on my answers so if you think you're writing fast, write faster.

Textbook Recommendation:
I mean I only used the Jacaranda one because that's what my school got. Didn't bother to get other textbooks.

Recommended Other Resources:
Probably go to the TSFX lectures or the Healthy Network lectures (Didnt go to this one cause it always clashed with my weekly tutoring but Ive heard great reviews and the guy himself writes the Jacaranda Health textbook so he is basically a walking, talking textbook)

Year of Completion: 2018

Rating: 4.5/5 (Great subject filler especially if you like me, decide to bombard yourself with only maths and science subjects- it also ties with biology which is a small but nice advantage)

Your Mark/Grade:
SAC average:
Unit 3: 99%
Unit 4: 97%
Exam: A+

Comments: I took this subject as a bludge because I hated all the other options my school offered (aka accounting) but I ended up loving the subject, having it be my highest study score and Im doing sustainability and the SDGs implementations in university for my breadth this year, so would definitely recommend  :)

colline

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #55 on: March 11, 2019, 11:21:51 pm »
+8
Subject Name: Music Industry: Performance (VCE VET)
i.e. CUA30915 Certificate III in Music Industry

Units: 3/4 (scored)

Workload: 230 hours.
In terms of ACTUAL workload outside the required 230 hours - it really depends on what you want to get and how strong/weak your foundation in your chosen instrument is. I practiced about 2-3 hours per day leading up to the final exam.

Assessment:
Itís been a while since I did this subject so I canít guarantee the following information is 100% accurate. Apologies in advance if itís not.
The performance specialization has 3 SACs which accounts for 50% of your final study score (final performance exam accounts for the other half).
Compulsory units:
- Improvisation skills
- Stagecraft skills
- Technical skills
- Performance preparation

Exam Thoughts:
The final exam is either a group or solo performance. For solo (which was what I did) your recital cannot exceed 25 minutes. Your repertoire must consist of a minimum of 3 pieces, with at least one performed from memory.

The exam is quite similar to an AMEB exam (except you get two assessors instead of one, and your performance is also recorded). I found the atmosphere to be incredibly tense and itís very easy to get nervous on the day.

VET Music Performances does NOT have a theory (written) exam like VCE does.

Textbook Recommendation: N/A

Recommended Other Resources: Use others around you! Force your family members, friends, neighbours, teachers, or complete random strangers to listen to you play. Hold mock recitals. Use any chance you get to perform in order to improve your performance skills, etiquette, and also to help your nerves.

Year of Completion: 2017

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 48 (scales to ~45)

Comments:
I really enjoyed this subject Ė as VET course it has relatively low workload and content, and itís just incredibly fun to learn. Itís the perfect subject for aspiring musicians who wants a taste of what the music industry is like and to improve their skills but also donít want to learn the torturous theoretical / aural knowledge which gets tested on in VCE music performance.
2017 | VET Music Industry: Performance [48]
2018 | Literature [50], Dance [31]
2019 | Further [ ], Methods [ ], Biology [ ], Chemistry [ ]

UCAT - 94th, ATAR -

♡ Check out my VCE journal! | Tips for Literature & Music Performance

milanander

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #56 on: July 20, 2019, 06:44:56 pm »
+3
Subject Name: Studio Arts

Units: 3 and 4

Workload:
Studio is a folio subject, so it should be no surprise that it has quite a high amount of workload and is not a subject you can simply bludge your way through and still end up with a decent study score.

Assessment:
Unit 3 Outcome 1 - "exploration proposal", 750-1000 words
Unit 3 Outcome 2 - "studio process"
Unit 3 Outcome 3 - "studio practices"
Unit 4 Outcome 1 - two finished pieces of artwork
Unit 4 Outcome 2 -  "evaluation and reflection"
Unit 4 Outcome 3 - comparison of artists' methods.

Unit 3 and unit 4 both weighs 5% each

SATs focuses on outcomes 1 and 2 of unit 3 and unit 4 and weighs 60% in total.


Exam Thoughts:
The final exam is 1.5 hours long (plus 15 minutes reading time) and weighs 30%. It is worth 75 marks in total and is split into 3 sections.

You must respond to artworks in the detachable insert to explain a variety of key knowledge across both unit 3 and 4. The question usually has 2 parts (two different instruction words) and you must respond to both. For example, "present and promote" "materials and techniques" etc. You should also use your own knowledge + experience from making your own artworks.

Textbook Recommendation:
There was a textbook but we didn't use it. The VCAA examiner's reports are more than sufficient for the exam.

Year of Completion: 2014

Disclaimer: this was a while ago so I can't guarantee everything is accurate. Also, the study design was changed in 2017 so some information might be a bit outdated.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (-1 because of the theory overdose)

Your Mark/Grade: 36

Comments:
Studio was the very first VCE subject (and the first 3/4) I ever did, which was in 2014. So just to reiterate my disclaimer from above, not everything in this review will accurately reflect how your assessments and exam will look like. I have checked the weightings for the assessments with the current study design (2017-2021) and they don't seem to have changed since 2014 though. Nonetheless, please take everything with a grain of salt.

Just like all folio subjects, studio has quite a heavy workload and I would definitely not recommend it as a bludge subject, especially if you're considering doing 3/4. Lots of people pick studio thinking it's "just drawing and painting" and aren't ready for the work involved. Also, many people pick studio for the creative aspects and aren't ready for the more dry and dull part that is theory.

Aside from "just drawing and painting" there is also a heavy amount of theory in this subject, from analysis of techniques and materials artists use to conservation techniques, to the different roles present in art galleries and art exhibition spaces. You also learn things surrounding legal and ethical obligations with using other artworks (in the 2014 exam, there was a question on the ethics of using artworks by Vincent Van Gogh and Andy Warhol).

So if you're thinking of doing studio, hopefully you'll be prepared to learn all the theoretical knowledge on top of the more fun and creative aspects of creating your own artwork. It's a great subject overall and I really enjoyed it. In fact, I'm redoing unit 1 and 2 right now because I loved it so much.
ó 2014 - 2015 ó
Studio Arts 36, Product Design 39

ó 2019 - 2020 ó
Systems, Methods, Specialist, Physics, Viscom, English
UMEP Art History

milanander

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #57 on: July 20, 2019, 07:22:50 pm »
+5
Subject Name: Product Design and Technology ó Textiles

Units: 3 and 4

Workload:
Trying to define the workload is so arbitrary. It varies from person to person and also depends on what you're aiming for. But on the whole I would say the workload is pretty high and the amount of time and effort you have to dedicate to this subject outside of class time is definitely on the higher end compared to many other VCE subjects.

Assessment:
Unit 3 Outcome 1 - "designing for end-users"
Unit 3 Outcome 2 - "product development in industries"
Unit 3 Outcome 3 - "designing for others"
Unit 4 Outcome 1 - "product analysis + comparison"
Unit 4 Outcome 2 - "manufacturing of product"
Unit 4 Outcome 3 - "evaluation and reflection of product"

SACs weigh 20% of the final study score; SATs weigh 50%. SATs look at outcome 3 of unit 3 as well as outcomes 2 and 3 of unit 4.

Exam Thoughts:
The final exam is 1.5 hours long with 15 minutes for reading time. The exam weighs 30%, it's split into 2 sections worth 45 marks each (90 in total).

The exam includes (but are not limited to) topics such as the roles of the designer, the client/end-user, marketing of your product, comparison of production systems, the role of technology (eg, computers), how new materials influences the design of products, Australian and International standards of design, occupational health and safety in manufacturing (risk assessment, management etc), evaluation, and how to determine the quality of a product.

Textbook Recommendation: We didn't use a textbook. The VCAA examiner's reports are more than sufficient for the exam.

Year of Completion: 2015

Disclaimer: I did PDT in 2015 but the study design was changed in 2018 so please take everything with a grain of salt.

Rating: 1 out of 5 (objective rating: 3 out of 5)

Your Mark/Grade: 39

Comments:

Please excuse the low 1 out of 5 rating I gave to PDT. It's not an extremely terrible subject, and I quite liked learning about the design process, but I had completed it in a very toxic environment which significantly impacted my enjoyment of this subject. (Hence the subjective 3 out of 5 rating).

I had picked PDT on a whim after the VCE coordinator suggested to me that I should do a VCE subject following my completion of Studio Arts 3/4 the year before. For PDT you can choose to do either Textiles or Fashion, and I picked textiles.

In a nutshell, PDT wasn't that bad and if you are really looking for a future career in product design, I highly recommend this subject as it's actually quite applicable compared to a lot of other VCE subjects. I know it's seen as a bit of a ""VCAL"" subject but if you want to do well, then you will need to put in a lot of time and effort. PDT is far from an easy bludge subject and so many students underestimate the effort involved.

If you are not looking for a career in design in the future though, I would not recommend doing this subject. If you just want to do a subject which is creative and fun, PDT is probably one of the last subjects I would suggest. I've done 4 folio subjects (studio, viscom, PDT, systems) and PDT is by far the most boring one out of the four (in my very subjective opinion).
ó 2014 - 2015 ó
Studio Arts 36, Product Design 39

ó 2019 - 2020 ó
Systems, Methods, Specialist, Physics, Viscom, English
UMEP Art History

Kimmy 10022001

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #58 on: July 28, 2019, 07:23:04 pm »
0
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.

WackyWill

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Re: VCE Subject Reviews and Ratings
« Reply #59 on: October 20, 2019, 11:28:08 pm »
+1
Subject Name: Physical Education

Units: 1/2

Workload:
Really depends on the school. My school really pushed VCE students to do 3 hours of study per night, however, I only did this closer towards assessments as I didn't want to burn out. Homework was rarely checked so I only did the homework where my teacher hinted was going to be on SACs and exams. Some people got away with doing nothing for the whole year and still got the S needed to pass. As mentioned previously, my teacher hinted as to what may be in the SACs and exams which reduced the workload a lot too.

Assessment:
Again this really depended on the school... (Currently in Year 11, did this last year and my friends have had different SACs thus far) (Also we did Unit 2 first)
SAC 1 (Unit 2): Multiple Choice & Short Answer
SAC 2 (Unit 2): Group Powerpoint Presentation
EXAM (Unit 2): Multiple Choice, Short Answer & Extended Response
SAC 1 (Unit 1): Multiple Choice, Short Answer & Extended Response
SAC 2 (Unit 1): Multiple Choice, Short Answer, Extended Response & Diagram Labelling
SAC 3 (Unit 1): Training Journal Reflections (Personal Choice of School to Mimic Unit 3+4) (Some schools may not have this)
EXAM (Unit 1): Multiple Choice, Short Answer, Extended Response & Diagram Labelling

Exam Thoughts:
The exams included 15 multiple choice questions (worth 15 marks), short answer questions and extended response questions, as well as diagram labelling for unit 1 (worth 75 marks) totalling to 90 marks to be completed in 90 minutes plus 15 minutes reading time. In relation to difficulty, I personally didn't find it too hard as it was the same content tested in SACs, just worded differently.

Textbook Recommendation:
My school used the Nelson textbook. Personally found the book useful however there were a lot of unnecessary information. I also didn't use it too much as I relied on my teacher's powerpoint presentations and the textbook to cover gaps in my knowledge.

Recommended Other Resources:
Other resources I'd recommend is your teacher's powerpoints as the textbook contained a lot of unnecessary information (as stated previously).

Year of Completion:
2018

Rating: 
4.5 out 5 despite being the only year 10 to complete it. 0.5 marks of due to personal reasons (not the subject).

Your Mark/Grade:
SACs: Averaged around 90% throughout the year.
Exam (Unit 2): 93%
Exam (Unit 1): 87% (disappointed in myself as I slacked off towards the end of the year)

Comments:
As someone who loves sport and being physically active, I saw it as basically my second last year of PE as it isn't currently my desired career pathway so I tried to enjoy every lesson of it. I wouldn't recommend neglecting the subject as it is a subject that really rewards the hard workers. Unit 2 can be sometimes boring but hopefully the prac lessons cover up for it :) I also see PE as a mixture of a science and humanities subject so if you're looking for this kind of mix, PE could be the subject for you. To end off, PE was my most enjoyable subject and still is this year, so I'd really, really, really recommend it to everyone.
2019
~ PE

2020
~ English
~ Further Maths
~ Accounting
~ Economics
~ University Enhancement (Accounting) ???