How to study for HSC English Standard

HSC English Standard can be difficult to study for. In this blog, we go over high-value tips that will help you achieve a Band 6!

How to study for HSC English Standard

HSC English Standard can be difficult to study for. With 4 modules, students who do not know how to study English can struggle incredibly, burning out before the HSC! In this blog, we go over high-value tips that will help you achieve a Band 6! 

1. Understand the HSC English Standard Syllabus

English is an extremely broad subject. Without a focus to study each term, students and markers alike would struggle to engage with insightful essays. This is why deeply understanding the module is critical to studying for HSC English Standard. The module will become the basis for the teaching you receive, but also the expectations that will be placed on you when your essay is marked in external exams. 

To show that you have critically engaged with English Standard, you need to be able to use the terminology it uses to craft the spine of your essays. As an activity, visit the module page for HSC English Standard, download the module statements and highlight the keywords within each module. We have provided 100 word summaries of each module for your English Standard study notes, so you can step off into the right direction!

Common Module: Texts and Human Experiences

In the 'Texts and Human Experiences' module, students delve into how texts depict individual and collective human experience, and the emotions and qualities that’s attached to those experiences. They analyze how language shapes these representations across various forms and media, exploring anomalies in human behavior and storytelling's role in reflecting cultures. Through prescribed and short texts, students sharpen their analytical skills, considering context, structure, and stylistic features to glean deeper meaning. They connect these texts to personal experiences, enhancing comprehension and interpretation abilities. By responding and composing, they refine skills in analyzing complex texts across different modes and media, using figurative and evaluative language effectively to express personal perspectives and insights.

Module A: Language, Identity and Culture

In this module, students explore how language in written, spoken, audio, and visual texts shapes individual and collective identities. They analyze texts to understand how language affirms, challenges, or disrupts assumptions about identity and culture. Through studying prescribed and additional texts, students examine how textual forms and language features communicate ideas and values about identity and cultural perspectives. They develop complex arguments and express ideas clearly, experimenting with language and form in imaginative compositions. Students draft, refine, and critique their texts, applying syntax, spelling, and grammar conventions effectively for desired effects.

Module B: Close Study of Literature 

In this module, students deeply engage with a substantial literary text to develop a comprehensive understanding and appreciation. They analyze the text's ideas and characteristics, exploring how these elements contribute to its distinct qualities. Studying one prescribed text, students interpret and dissect its portrayal of people, ideas, and settings, considering the interplay of form and language. Through critical and creative responses, they demonstrate a nuanced understanding based on detailed knowledge. Students analyze language features, express complex ideas clearly, and refine their own compositions. Through this process, they deepen personal and intellectual connections with the text, expressing informed interpretations of its significance.

Module C: Craft of Writing

In this writing module, students enhance their skills by writing for diverse audiences and purposes with precision and impact. They analyze challenging prescribed texts and their own wide reading to model their own expression. By studying both classic and contemporary texts, they appreciate the creative power of language and reflect on writing processes. Through discussion, drafting, and revision, students experiment with various language forms and features, considering audience and purpose. They refine their compositions by applying syntax, spelling, and grammar conventions effectively. Working independently and collaboratively, students develop their ability to craft imaginative, persuasive, and informative texts.

2. Make high-value technique tables 

There are many benefits to creating a techniques table for English: 

  1. Enhanced analysis and argumentation: Quote tables allow students to gather and organize key quotes that support their points in PEEL essays. By selecting high-value quotes, students can strengthen their arguments and provide evidence for their analysis. This practice ensures that their essays are well-supported and demonstrate a deep understanding of the texts studied.

  1. Focused revision: Having quote tables facilitates focused revision as students can quickly review key quotes and their relevance to specific themes or ideas. This targeted approach to studying ensures that students are well-prepared for exams and assessments, as they can easily recall and incorporate relevant quotes into their responses.

  1. Improved writing skills: By consistently using quote tables in PEEL essays, students develop their writing skills, including the ability to integrate evidence seamlessly into their arguments and provide insightful analysis. This practice encourages students to engage critically with the text and articulate their ideas effectively, ultimately leading to stronger and more cohesive essays.

An example of a quotes table for TS. Elliot is below (click here to check out our one-stop guide to TS. Elliot!): 

3. English Standard Past Papers

Using past examinations to study for the HSC English syllabus 2019 is crucial for student success for several reasons:

  1. Understanding expectations: Reviewing past papers helps students understand the expectations of examiners and what constitutes a good essay. By examining the types of questions asked, the marking criteria, and exemplary responses, students gain insight into the skills and knowledge required to excel in the exam.

  1. Practice and improvement: Marking and reflecting on past papers allows students to assess their strengths and weaknesses. By comparing their responses to model answers and examiner feedback, students can identify areas for improvement and refine their writing skills accordingly. This iterative process of practice and reflection is essential for continuous improvement.

  1. Effective exam preparation: Engaging in repeated essay writing is an effective study strategy that leads to higher marks. Research conducted by Dunlosky et al. (2013) found that repeated practice testing, such as writing essays, significantly improves long-term retention of information and leads to better performance on exams. Therefore, practicing with past exam papers and simulating exam conditions through essay writing can enhance students' exam readiness and lead to improved performance on the actual HSC exam.

Lucky for you, Concept has written a blog on where to find the best past papers, which you can find here and here!

Overall, studying for English Standard can be confronting for the uninitiated. However, knowing what the module wants from you, having a strong base for developing essays, then repeated practice with past papers will help you succeed. Concept's HSC tutors have excelled in English, and would be more happy to help! You can get in touch by clicking here

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