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August 09, 2020, 09:04:11 am

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fun_jirachi

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Subject Acceleration
« on: October 29, 2018, 07:54:38 pm »
+18
Okay just to start off I know this won't be relevant to many users of AN for a few reasons
1. Your choice for subject acceleration begins in Year 9 and there aren't as many Year 9's on this forum as say Year 11's and 12's
2. Not every school actually offers this
But regardless I'm just gonna write this now also for two reasons
1. I just finished today (both accelerated courses done!) and the experience is fresh in my head
2. Why the hell not, it's eventually going to help someone

So here we go!

What is subject acceleration?
Okay this is just super basic stuff, and its pretty self explanatory but I'm going to explain it anyway. It's literally just when you do a course ahead of time (hence acceleration) in line with the year above you. So basically you pick to do it in Year 9, you start the Prelim for it in year 10 (sitting it with the Year 11's) and then sit the HSC for it in Year 11 (with the Year 12's). You're also meant to do it in line with your other electives or whatever, so keep that in mind.

EDIT: (Better Explanation of the Timeline) So basically you complete every year regularly up until year 9 so year 7 in year 7, year 8 in year 8, year 9 in year 9. Year 10 is when you start doing Year 11 content, so you basically skip over all of Year 10 Elective [base subject (if you can call it that) eg. commerce, history, music, latin etc.]

I guess one of the first few questions anyone would ask about subject acceleration is is it worth doing.
It probably sounds like a pretty bad answer, but really it depends.
There are two main reasons
1. It really depends on YOU, the person actually doing the course and
2. There are a hell of a lot of pros and cons to this (literally I could go on for an hour talking about the pros and cons, its not hard)

Now of course the course syllabuses (haha see what I did there) are going to be changing for some subjects (most notably modern history and mathematics, dunno if any other courses are changing) but the whole point of accelerating and the whole thing of actually doing it and how it works from school to school should/will remain the same. Another thing, and perhaps the most key thing that remains the same is you. Firstly please note that your decision on whether to do the subject can change. It's totally okay to drop out of the course, especially if you find it isnt the thing for you. Secondly, also note that your opinions on the subject will change throughout the year.

For example, I thought I was going have the best time of my life doing Modern History. Going to be reading Marx, looking at how Stalin killed tons of people, and then maybe rounding it off with how the Germans also lost two world wars.

That did not happen.

You will have your moments where you will undoubtedly question why you chose the subject, and those moments at 3am going 'OMG I just want it to stop what is wrong with me what is wrong with this subject send help'. And of course you'' have those moments (mostly after exams) going this is the best subject ever. And when you get your marks, depending on what you got you can either be really disappointed or super stoked. A lot changes. It's not going to be the easy road the whole way, and it's quite a huge jump from Year 9.

That isn't to say that you shouldn't do it though. The atmosphere and competitiveness is amazing, really pushes you to try and do well. And the experience of doing a HSC course and feeling the stress and what it feels like helps you prepare for the year after.

So basically what I'm trying to say is there are a lot depends on you and how you feel right now (A few good questions you can ask yourself: Are you doing well in the subject right now? Do you like the subject right now? Are you sure you can cope with the stress (because it's big and it happens)? And perhaps most importantly, do YOU think it will be worth doing?). Of course this is all subject to change as you go on and whatever, but that's not the point, you're making the choice now.

Okay I could go on for longer about you, but uh here are a few of the pros and cons (concise version)
PROS
- Fun
- Good atmosphere
- If you do well, gets two units out of the way (only do 8 units in year 12)
- Challenging
- Good experience (by that I mean seeing what the HSC is like, think about it as if you're dipping your foot into cold water)
- Even if your accelerated subject doesn't count to your ATAR, you sorta know what the HSC entails
Cons
- Sometimes not fun
- Takes up a lot of time
- Expectations with acceleration
- Stress
- Workload
- Time management is really key

What happens you accelerate?
So based off my experience all this happens.
You've really got to put in the hard work (for me in Modern anyway). It started off pretty chill, but the work really ramps up, particularly closer to exams, and it ramps up even further as you go later in the course. It gets to the point where two weeks before HSC and trials I try to send in at least one, sometimes two responses in to my teacher every day. Though sometimes it is still pretty fun, the banter is great and whatnot. As expected, the difficulty of the course increases, more is expected of you (at my school the expectation of an accelerant is band 6 so uh high pressure) and some people got dropped from the course as opposed to dropping voluntarily. Nevertheless we always push on, always work hard, and everything's cool.

Ok this is about maths, I don't know as much about this because the experience was very different :) If you want, just ignore this paragraph, it doesnt really have anything to do with the general consensus surrounding acceleration.
Maybe people will start learning prelim content in Year 10 for maths, but for me they crammed it into Year 11 only. Having done extension enrichment and whatever in Year 10, it wasn't too much of a step up (except for the first few lessons learning calculus, tough to wrap my head around at first). Also doing maths feels like second nature, so honestly I can't really say much about maths as an accelerated subject. It's just so fun, no-one drops or gets dropped. Top 80 in 2U get to accelerate, decided I believe based on Year 10 marks. weird system, totally different to Modern by far.


Any questions, ask away :).Hope this helps someone, anyone  ;D ;D ;D

« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 09:04:38 pm by fun_jirachi »
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HSC 2018: Modern History [88] | 2U Maths [98]
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kauac

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Re: Subject Acceleration
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2018, 08:13:12 pm »
+7
Awesome thread fun_jirachi! Definitely answers some of the mysteries/unknowns related to doing accelerated courses. And congrats for completely your accelerated courses this year!

Just wanted to add, there is another option for acceleration (which is what I think you did in Maths), known as a 'compressed' course. With this method, you complete the preliminary and HSC component for one or more subjects in one year. It's just another option out there for those looking into doing accelerated courses.  :)

Some anecdotal experience with doing compressed courses:
Spoiler
I did two compressed subjects, PDHPE and Chemistry, in 2017. In 2018, I have done two more compressed subjects, Biology and Food Technology. Maths and English I have completely traditionally over two years.

Coming to the end of the two years now, I have no regrets with my choice. Though it was mandatory to do at least 1 compressed subject in year 11 (our school is very small, hence why they run the compressed model, to make class sized bigger) I am definitely glad I did the HSC this way, and knocked two subjects out at the end of year 11.

Some compressed pros (in addition to what fun_jirachi has said about accelerated courses):
- Less subjects to think about in HSC year.
- Exams are more spread out, as year 11/ year 12 exam periods occur at different times.
- Getting some of your results before year 12 even starts - can give some perspective on what your ATAR or other results might look like.
- Gaining some invaluable experience and maturity from class and older students on studying and preparing for the HSC.
- Looks damn good when applying for uni early entry! Seriously, having a smick set of results confirmed as you apply will really impress them, especially if it is a subject important to the degree.  ;D


Cons:
- A lot of time is spent on one subject (which actually could be good). For me, 10 periods out of a 30 period week were allocated to each compressed course - that's a lot of time, if you're not fond of the subject! But you will get used to it - especially if it is a subject with practical, the time will fly!
- If you do a major work compressed, there is less out-of-school time to work on it.
- Can be very intense, but only if you let it be.  :)
- Not being mature enough/ready enough to sit the HSC. I kinda tend to disagree with this, but it depends on the person. I was and still am really happy with my results from last year, and don't necessarily think I would have performed any better if I had done these subjects the traditional way.

« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 10:29:55 pm by kauac »
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fun_jirachi

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Re: Subject Acceleration
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2018, 08:30:39 pm »
+4
Wow thanks for adding your own experience to this (makes it super detailed and a lot more complete)! Thanks loads for doing this, I didn't really think to add my experience in because it didnt really feel like an accelerated course. It's great to see someone in the same (similar?) boat to me and helping others out!

Thanks again!  ;D ;D

Any other queries or just general sharing of experiences accelerating feel free to post  ;D ;D
Failing everything, but I'm still Flareon up.

HSC 2018: Modern History [88] | 2U Maths [98]
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Subject Acceleration (2018)
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Mada438

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Re: Subject Acceleration
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2018, 08:51:40 pm »
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Not a question but just a general comment on this
Accelerated actually sounds like such a good thing, its kinda like a practice run before you begin your other subjects.

EDIT: Actually, now that I mention it, some questions:
1: Did you still complete prelims for the rest of your subjects?
2: Can you explain the timeline in more detail? Like you do 2 years worth of courses in year 9 and then are one ahead every year after?
3: Do you feel like it prepared you for the rest of the hsc. Like did this feel like a practice one that's showed you already what year 12 is sort of like? (Might be good to revisit this at the end of year 12 to add another reflection)
4: If you did an accelerated course this year (2 units) is still possible to still do 12 units in year 12 and then the same concept regarding "your best 12=ATAR" applies?

Great post, really informative!
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fun_jirachi

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Re: Subject Acceleration
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 09:03:50 pm »
+4
Not a question but just a general comment on this
Accelerated actually sounds like such a good thing, its kinda like a practice run before you begin your other subjects.

EDIT: Actually, now that I mention it, some questions:
1: Did you still complete prelims for the rest of your subjects?
2: Can you explain the timeline in more detail? Like you do 2 years worth of courses in year 9 and then are one ahead every year after?
3: Do you feel like it prepared you for the rest of the hsc. Like did this feel like a practice one that's showed you already what year 12 is sort of like? (Might be good to revisit this at the end of year 12 to add another reflection)
4: If you did an accelerated course this year (2 units) is still possible to still do 12 units in year 12 and then the same concept regarding "your best 12=ATAR" applies?

Great post, really informative!

To answer your comment, it does have its pros and cons. At first glance it seems great/terrible, it's definitely something you have to do before you make a definitive judgement! :D For me it was both an absolute pain and an absolute joy, take of it what you will :D

So now I'll just answer your questions one by one.
1. Yes I did, I completed prelim for English Extension 1 (tbh wish I couldve done SOR I instead of this, but its compulsory in Year 11), English Advanced, Physics and Chemistry as well as Maths and 'Maths Extension 1'. Reason I put that in inverted commas is because I did that compressed thing kauac mentioned, and I didn't do any X1 content until after trials.
2. Timeline --> So basically you complete every year regularly up until year 9 so year 7 in year 7, year 8 in year 8, year 9 in year 9. Year 10 is when you start doing Year 11 content, so you basically skip over all of Year 10 Elective [base subject (if you can call it that) eg. commerce, history, music, latin etc.] And I recognise that my explanation was complete garbage, so I'll add that in! :D
3. Yes, definitely! All the pressure and whatever really showed me hey next year it's going to be 5 times worse. It may not prepare me completely, but definitely does feel like a practice run and it really tells me how much I have to stop procrastinating
4. Yes, it is still possible to do 12 units. My school doesnt let anyone do more than 12 in prelim because of scheduling issues, and I'm not too sure but maybe a similar thing happens in Year 12. I'm pretty sure regardless of how many courses you accelerate ATAR = 2 best units of English + 8 best non-English units

Hope I answered everything adequately :)
Failing everything, but I'm still Flareon up.

HSC 2018: Modern History [88] | 2U Maths [98]
HSC 2019: Physics [92] | Chemistry [93] | English Advanced [87] | Maths Extension 1 [98] | Maths Extension 2 [97]
ATAR: 99.05

UCAT: 3310 - Verbal Reasoning [740] | Decision Making [890] | Quantitative Reasoning [880] | Abstract Reasoning [800]

Quick Link to Guides:
Subject Acceleration (2018)
UCAT Question Compilation/FAQ (2020)

holky

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Re: Subject Acceleration
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2018, 09:18:18 pm »
+5
Hey, so I accelerated Maths last year, and thought I'd add some thoughts because my experience was kinda different to fun_jirachi
So I started the acceleration in Year 9 - I did the year 9 and 10 course in year 9, so I had to do extra classes before school to get all the content
Then in Year 10, I did prelim and last year I did the HSC
So while I was doing HSC Maths, I was also doing prelim for all of my other 11 units (I was a monster doing 13 units, but it kinda doesn't count because I'm only doing 11 units of exams this year)
For me, it was really good because I got maths out of the way, and it was a really time intensive course for me as I did a major amount of study for the exam to get my result (I got an 83 exam mark, 85 assessment mark and 84 overall) which I was really happy about, given I got 58% in my half-yearly
So, the process for me was a lot, but really beneficial because I learnt a bit about the process of the HSC and got a practice run at it.
Hope a perspective from a current HSC-er who accelerated a course helps!
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jazcstuart

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Re: Subject Acceleration
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 10:16:04 pm »
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Hey, so I accelerated Maths last year, and thought I'd add some thoughts because my experience was kinda different to fun_jirachi
So I started the acceleration in Year 9 - I did the year 9 and 10 course in year 9, so I had to do extra classes before school to get all the content
Then in Year 10, I did prelim and last year I did the HSC
So while I was doing HSC Maths, I was also doing prelim for all of my other 11 units (I was a monster doing 13 units, but it kinda doesn't count because I'm only doing 11 units of exams this year)
For me, it was really good because I got maths out of the way, and it was a really time intensive course for me as I did a major amount of study for the exam to get my result (I got an 83 exam mark, 85 assessment mark and 84 overall) which I was really happy about, given I got 58% in my half-yearly
So, the process for me was a lot, but really beneficial because I learnt a bit about the process of the HSC and got a practice run at it.
Hope a perspective from a current HSC-er who accelerated a course helps!
First of all, awesome thread fun_ jirachi, and huge congrats on completing you exams! This would have been really useful for me when I was just starting accelerated, even just to know that someone else was completing 2 accelerated subjects (I recieved lots of conflicting advice and I didn't know of anyone else who had done 2, so it was slightly scary at the time).

I had a very similar experience to holky doing accelerated maths. I also did accelerated music 1, so I did HSC maths and music at the same time as prelims for 9 other units. That was a very busy year for me, but in hindsight it has simply evened out the heavy year 12 workload over 2 years, which has been great particularly as I am now in the middle of my HSC exams, and I know how hectic and stressful it can be. It's also great that I have ended up with 13 units, while only completing 9 units in year 12. So plenty to look forward to, fun_jirachi  ;)

I think another benefit is that by doing the subjects you love and are good at early, it gives you more time to focus on those subjects without worrying about all your other subjects.

So I feel really lucky to have been given tbe opportunity to do this, an would encourage anyone else given the opportunity definitely to give it a go! It's also been interesting reading others' experiences.
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beatroot

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Re: Subject Acceleration
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2018, 10:37:30 pm »
+2
This is an awesome resource, I love it !!

I've always been curious to how subject acceleration works- just because it was never offered at my school. This has been a good read ;D
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