My advice on VCE English by Erin (Part 2)

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Obviously, you should also aim to get the best exam score humanly possible. Do this with revision (basically writing a lot of plans and essays under timed conditions including at least one or two trial exams and getting a teacher to look at them) and on the day by not freaking out too much.

I think being a little nervous is fine, but if you have palpitations then you need to think some soothing thoughts. Also, aim to write as much as possible whilst maintaining the quality of your work. Quality> Quantity, however I was told that the best essays which score 8 out of 10 and above are usually between 800 and 1000 words and I think I wrote quite a significant amount all up (about 15 pages).

Be careful about which study days/school holiday programmes you choose to do and your expectations of them. I went to the VATE one (costing under $30) and one that was run by the University of Melbourne Med Students ($5 which included Subway lunch). The aim of these things is not to automatically get you an A (and if it is then they really don’t work) but to double check that you know what you are doing and to also gain new perspectives on your texts.

I would say that they are only worth it if you combine these programs with private study. You should leave the study days feeling either confident (meaning that you’re on the right track) or depressed (meaning that you have to step up your revision a little bit). Also, don’t make your parents spend too much on these things; just find the cheapest one that doesn’t have a spelling mistake on the pamphlet.

If you are spending a lot of money, spend it on text revision days as opposed to the days that just tell you how to write a POV piece (you can save time and money by just asking a teacher to tell you).

I don’t have any advice for quote remembering. I honestly have the sort of brain that remembers stuff like that with little effort. I did, however, type out some good quotes on my computer and printed them out on coloured paper. I didn’t use these quotes in the way I intended to but I still managed to remember the majority of them.

I also re-read the books three times each before the end of September which may have been good for quote memorising too.

Read the books before you read the study guides. You have a brain so you can think for yourself and form your own opinions on the book before you taint them with study guides. While you read the book the first time, underline the quotes that you think are important. Then do your own character/theme notes. Then read the study guide. Then make your own study guide style of notes (it means that you understand the book in your own words and that extra writing is good for you). This will help you figure out your own opinions on the book and believe it or not, I’m pretty sure the assessors love a more unique approach to the topic.

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