Exam Preparation: Strategies for remembering quotes

This week, Insight writer and English teacher Anja Drummond gives tips on how best to remember quotations to use in your analytical essays for Sections A and B of the English exam.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that every English teacher will have been asked the following question: ‘How do I remember quotes?’ The English exam demands that you have a detailed knowledge of three texts, and memorising quotes for all three can be challenging if you don’t have a good method for recalling information. Here are some tips to help you remember quotes for your exams.

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English Language Exam: Nailed It! Six Tips for Section C Success

This week Insight writer and English Language teacher Rebecca Swain gives six tips to help you with Section C of the English Language exam.

In theory, Section C of the English Language exam should be a breeze. You were writing essays in English for years before you signed up for English Language. Yet it continues to be the section that trips up the most students. The breadth of possible topics and the challenge of figuring out how to synthesise ideas, contemporary examples and stimulus can leave some students floundering. Last year, the average mark was 56.7%, the lowest of the three sections. But these six tips will help you to approach the essay with confidence.

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Exam Preparation: How to prepare for Section C of the English exam

This week, Insight writer and English teacher Kate Macdonell outlines what you can do now to start preparing for Section C of the English Exam.

The Argument and Persuasive Language task often divides students – some love it and find it accessible, while others find it extremely difficult. Below are some tips and strategies that should help you make the most of your preparation for the exam, regardless of which group you fall in.

Know your text types

In the exam you could get any text type or combination of text types to analyse. Sometimes the background information will identify the text types – but not always! You need to be able to recognise the text type, know its conventions and language style, and be able to refer to these in your analysis.

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Exam Preparation: Preparing for Sections A and B of the English exam

This week, Insight writer and English teacher Kylie Nealon gives tips on what you need to do now to prepare for Sections A and B of the English exam.

The end IS in sight! While for a long time you might have been thinking of it as a remote end goal, something that would arrive ‘one day’, now is the time to get yourself into the right headspace for the exam.

So, how exactly do you revise for the English exam? Fear not – there are techniques that can help!

Preparing for Section A: Analytical interpretation of a text

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Keeping in touch with Unit 3 EAL

This week, Insight writer and EAL teacher Niki Cook gives tips on what you can do to keep in touch with Unit 3 EAL.

It’s August. You’re over halfway through Year 12, Unit 3 is over, and you’re well into studying Unit 4. But, as an EAL student, it’s vital that you keep your Unit 3 skills and knowledge fresh in your mind throughout Term 3. Why? Because, at the end of the year, nearly all the content of the exam will come from Unit 3!

So, the challenge for you now is how to keep practising these skills when the classroom focus has moved on. This is especially difficult when you are studying two texts for the comparative task, plus preparing for your oral; therefore, it is crucial that you make good use of the limited revision time that you have.

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Writing a comparative essay

This week, Insight writer and English teacher Melanie Flower outlines steps you can take to write your best comparative essay.

The comparative essay is still a relatively new element of VCE English, only becoming part of the Study Design in 2016. However, while the Area of Study is new, your essay should still have a clear and largely familiar structure, with an introduction, body and conclusion. Last year every topic in Section B of the VCE English examination included the word ‘compare’, and it is essential to note that the comparison of texts is the central requirement for this response, even if the word does not explicitly appear in the topic.

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Analysis versus recount: what’s the difference?

This week, Insight writer and English teacher Anja Drummond shows how to make the step from simply retelling your texts to analysing them.

How many times has your teacher written ‘this is simply recount’ or ‘stop retelling the story’ across one of your essays? For both text response and language analysis tasks, students often make the mistake of narrating or describing what is written in the original text, rather than providing an analysis of how it is written. Read on to understand how to avoid falling into this trap.

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Reading a text well

This week, Insight writer and English teacher Kylie Nealon explains how to read your texts thoroughly, so that you are prepared to produce your best text analysis.

Having embarked on Unit 4, are you looking at your pairings of texts, searching for ways to read them well but not sure how? Here are a few ideas to help you!


First, you need to read the text quickly. This means that you should be reading for general understanding, rather than looking to analyse in any great detail. While there are many great resources out there that support your textual study, there is no replacement for actually reading the set text.

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How to compare ideas in two texts for the comparative task

This week, Insight writer and English teacher Kate Macdonell explains what you need to look for when comparing your text pairs.

The comparative task can be a demanding one because you need to hold on to ideas from two texts and play them off each other in order to respond to a topic. And although topics are mostly geared towards ideas (such as secrets, justice or gender inequality), a high-scoring discussion of these ideas will also take into account the contexts, characters and genres specific to the texts being studied.

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