With the date of the HSC finals creeping up (7 months and counting!), and trials just around the corner, it’s never been more important to fine-tune your study habits. C3 Education Group has the top HSC English study tips to make sure you ace your exam.
The examination period begins with the only compulsory subject in the HSC – English. Whether you’re in the ESL, standard, advanced or extension classes, acing this first paper will not only set you on a path to getting your goal ATAR, it will also give you a confidence boost for the remainder of the exam period.
Here are our top HSC English study tips to help you nail your final exam.
1.Don’t memorise what you don’t need to
Here’s the bad news: unless you have photographic memory, chances are you won’t be able to memorise several thousand-word essays by heart. The good news: you don’t need to! The only thing you do need to memorise verbatim is quotations within your texts that support your argument.
The key here is to find powerful, versatile quotes that aren’t generic – our English tutors can help you with identifying these hidden gems. Once you’ve narrowed them down, the best way to commit them to memory is to practice writing AND saying them out loud.
2.Use the PEEL formula for essays
One of the most important HSC English study tips is knowing how to write properly structured essays. It can be the difference between ending up with a Band 3 or a Band 6 – and not just for your English exam! One way to easily achieve this is to remember the PEEL writing strategy, and put it to work in the paragraphs that make up the body of your essay:
Point: Write an opening topic sentence that summarises what your essay is going to be about – that is, your key argument
Evidence: Include quotes from the text that support your key point
Explanation: Explain and elaborate on the evidence/quotes – what is their context and purpose?
Link: Write a linking statement that goes back to your key point, or flows into your next paragraph
3.Past exam papers are your best friend
The best way to test and deepen your knowledge, and truly see if you’re absorbing all of the information you’re studying, is by doing practice papers. The NESA website has a tonne of past exam papers that you can access for free.
You may notice that the style of questions asked year by year follow the same style – this isn’t a coincidence. Deepen your learning by tweaking the past questions to fit your current module, and practice writing the essays out with old-fashioned pen and paper (instead of typing on your laptop). This is a great way to make sure your handwriting is concise and eligible, and to increase your writing speed.
With the recent changes in the syllabus, there are new modules that are now being tested. C3 Education Group have been teaching these skills for years! Students who have learned this skill from us will be able to conquer the new syllabus with ease.
Bonus tip: having conquered a few past papers, amp up the intensity by creating your own questions and mimicking exam conditions by answering them in a timed setting.
4.Think outside the box for your creative writing piece
This can be either the hardest, or most fun part of the of the HSC English exam (depending on how you look at it). The creative writing section makes up a significant chunk of your mark.
Put yourself in the markers’ shoes: they will be reading hundreds, if not thousands of essays, so it’s important for your creative writing story to actually be creative – try to avoid cliché topics. No matter your story, make your protagonist come to life by describing distinct personality traits that adhere to the area of study.
Struggling with ideas for interesting and original stories? Our skilled HSC tutors can help you with developing creative writing techniques and ideas to ensure your narrative grabs the markers’ attention in the best ways.
Want to reach your full study potential? Get in touch with our tutors today to see how we can help you get your dream ATAR.