exam /study tip 9 - ?· VCE Exam Advice 2015 – Units 3 & 4 English/EAL ... exam /study tip # 9 ...…

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  • VCE Exam Advice 2015 Units 3 & 4 English/EAL

    Exam Preparation Checklist 1. Design a realistic study timetable now.

    2. Build in regular short breaks and down-time.

    3. Go over Assessment Criteria for each section of the paper.

    4. Practise writing full responses, introductions, body paragraphs and conclusions.

    5. Reread/view texts and focus on key passages/scenes.

    6. Memorise several short text quotes a week.

    7. Prepare text and Context cheat sheets.

    8. Write summaries and character inventories on texts.

    9. Summarise ideas contained within your Context.

    10. Write practice responses under timed conditions.

    11. Make an editorial checklist.

    12. Create a personal list of spelling demons.

    13. Revise persuasive language techniques.

    Context Advice 1. Before the exam, identify as many different ideas and arguments as you can for your Context and try to write your point of

    view (perspective) on each. 2. In the context section of the exam, you can write using persuasive, expository, imaginative or hybrid (mixture) style. You do

    not have to specify in which style you are writing. 3. While the expository approach is the most common response often using the text as significant illustration make sure

    that you DO NOT write a text response. PTO

    "We live in deeds, not years: In thoughts not breaths; in feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives who thinks most,

    feels the noblest, acts the best." David Bailey

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    4. Focus on ideas and arguments, relevant to the context, outside the text(s) wider world as well as using set text(s) examples. Remember that your response must be related to one of your set texts but you can make reference to both of them.

    5. Practise writing using different styles and forms before the exam, so that you go into the exam knowing which style and form demonstrate your strongest writing. 6. Successful Context responses demonstrate an interrelationship between: strong writing (point of view, form and style), the

    ideas and arguments (contained in the prompt), and reference to at least one set text. 7. How much of the text needs to be used? It depends very much on the approach taken! Some students make very little

    mention of the text at all, but the inferences are still very clear. Most students make explicit references to the text. Either way, you must write on the front of the booklet the text you are going to concentrate on the assessors will look for it! If in doubt, err slightly on the side of more rather than less text.

    8. Students will most likely be penalised severely if the only reference to a text is a film when they have already written on a

    film in AOS 1. 9. The prompts are just a springboard! you should unpack what you see as the big ideas and arguments within the prompts

    and focus on them. 10. Remember that the text(s) is not the centre of the task your writing and ideas are! Avoid starting a paragraph by referring

    to your text, as this can signal that the text is your starting point, which it should not be.

    Analysis of Language Advice

    1. You will be required to write an extended piece of prose analysing the unseen features in a persuasive text(s) that contains written and visual language. 2. Good responses identify the connections between the visual and written texts and DO NOT analyse them separately. 3. Make sure that you read the Background information given in exam as it will provide the context for the persuasive

    writing. It is important to say what circumstances prompted the writer to produce the text as well as the audience that it is intended for.

    4. You must understand the whole piece first and then decide which parts you will draw on to explore language use. 5. Avoid simply labelling, listing and describing language devices/techniques that you find in a piece of writing this is not

    analysis! You need to demonstrate that you know HOW language has been intentionally used to persuade the reader, so you must show what the particular technique is intended to achieve. Simply listing techniques will not be rewarded by markers.

    6. You cannot analyse every sentence, nor can you include every persuasive technique. Make good choices about what really

    needs to be analysed. 7. Comment on the likely impact on the reader, and avoid saying that the writer makes the reader believe or accept an argument. Try positions or the intention is to. 8. Identify contention(s), arguments, tone, appeals and language style. PTO

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    9. Quote frequently from the text, but never use long quotations. Analyse the actual language in what you are quoting.. 10. Focus on tone and tonal shifts but do not make this the main focus of your analysis. 11. Be prepared to analyse more than one text the 2014 examination required students to consider an article and a letter in

    response to it. There is not set rule about how much time should be spent on each piece or how the two should be considered , instead the focus should be on the inherentconnectionbetweenthegeneralideasofeachpieceandthelanguageusedtopresentthoseviews.

    11. Comment on any appeals the writer may be using. 12. The following is a sample of a high-scoring introduction from the 2014 Assessment Report:

    There have been suggestions by a group known as Kolumbus21, urging governments to invest resource and time into further space exploration for the twenty-first Century. In her opinion piece, Exploring our dreams, Yvette Yergon contends in an emphatic tone that space exploration is fundamental in todays world for the growth of technology and to find answers to societal problems. Conversely in his letter to the editor, Off the planet, Dr Peter Laikis contends in a critical tone that ideas in favour of space exploration are misguided and injudicious, given the far more significant world problems such as hunger and poverty.

    13. The following is an extract from a high-scoring response from the 2012 Assessment report which includes analysis of the visual elements:

    Moving away from the notion of parental responsibility, the group argues that there is a crisis at hand involving all members of the community, especially taxpayers. The use of the word crisis has negative connotations of disaster and chaos, evoking feelings of unease and unrest within readers who may face problems if the issue of the unused area of land remains unresolved. Appealing to families who have to feed their families as well as couple and other tax-paying members of the community, the group highlights the issue of packaged frozen and take away being consumed which costs the state millions of dollars. The consumption of these sorts of foods has led to an overwhelming cost reaching over 350 million dollars as shown in the graph. The easy-to-read visual with the graph that has a scale of millions 4 may shock readers who are unaware of the hidden price tag, alarming them and dissuading them from eating parched, takeaway foods. The price tag is also shown on an image of a shopping trolley, further dissuading readers. Hence, the fresh food that is less likely to be tossed out for grown from community gardens is more sustainable alternative to unhealthy and wasteful foods and readers feel more inclined to support the community garden and their products. As well as this, the council is also urged to establish a garden which will reduce their spending costs.

    General Text Response

    1. You need to understand the key aspects of literary texts; theme, character, plot, setting and style and how they work together to create meaning in a text. 2. You must identify all the elements presented in the question and address them all. 3. Make sure that you understand the genre and form of your text and its conventions, and that you can use the appropriate metalanguage to describe how this is relevant to the question. 4. Your response should demonstrate that you are familiar with the entire text and not just the most obvious scenes or episodes. PTO

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    5. Avoid including long quotations but weave in numerous shorter quotes that support your points. 6. Remember to structure your paragraphs logically. For example, you might choose the TEEL approach topic sentence,

    elaboration, evidence and link back to the topic/prompt. 7. Your introduction needs to include your opinion (stance) in response to the question. Dont be afraid to resist the wording

    of the question. You dont have to agree or disagree outright. Remember that there are no right or wrong answers in text: only strong or weak cases!

    8. Make sure that you use formal language and a formal structure: introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. 9. Clarify for yourself key aspects of your texts construction. This will add sophistication to your response. What view is the author/playwright/poet/director trying to express, and by what means is this achieved? What are their key messages or ideas? 10. Conclusions should contain no new evidence; they should tie the threads of your arguments together; and they should link

    back to the introduction. 11. Make sure that you can spell the names of the author/director/poet/playwright, characters and key places.

    More subject-specific advice will be issued to students at our Essentials Final Exam Revision Lectures.

    Good luck with your exam preparations! TSFX

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