The big question: Standard English VS Advanced English?

Studying a minimum of two units of English during Year 11 and 12 is a mandatory requirement set forth by NESA. Thus, the decision to opt for either Advanced or Standard English is of significant consequence and should be guided by well-informed choices.

What separates Advanced English from Standard English?

Advanced and Standard English exhibit dissimilar scaling for HSC and ATAR, with Advanced English bearing higher scaling. It engages in a more 'critical' analysis and composition as compared to Standard English. The most pivotal differentiation between the two lies in the complexity and intricacy of texts, their analysis, linguistic nuances, and underlying meanings.

While texts explored in Standard English are characterized by straightforward comprehension and analysis, Advanced English texts necessitate deeper scrutiny due to their intricate ideas.

Selecting the Appropriate English Course

The decision carries immense weight, as it holds the potential to significantly influence your ATAR and university admissions. When faced with the choice between Standard and Advanced, several factors warrant consideration:

University prerequisites – Does your desired university program need a completion of Advanced English?

  • Depth of literary comprehension – Can you analyze a text to unveil its deeper layers of meaning, or do you merely interpret it at surface level?
  • Investment of study time – Are you able to dedicate substantial time and effort to mastering Advanced English and crafting essays? If not, Standard English might be a more suitable option.
  • Course particulars – Are there commonalities in content between your desired university course and English Advanced? If so, choosing English Advanced may be to your advantage in the future. 

Module by module differences between Standard and Advanced English: 

  • Common Module: Texts and Human Experiences (same for both modules)

Content aligns in both courses, differing mainly in the complexity of questions in Paper 1, 

English Standard: Module A: Language, Identity, and Culture

English Advanced: Module A: Textual Conversations

Standard English examines how language shapes identity, while Advanced English involves comparative study of two texts.

English Standard: Module B: Close Study of Literature

English Advanced: Module B: Critical Study of Literature

Standard English focuses on close study, while Advanced delves into critical analysis of contemporary societal text and relevance.

Module C: Craft of Writing (Same for both subjects) 

Parallel content in both courses, necessitating creative responses and reflections on other texts and writing.

Transitioning from Junior to Senior English

A common query posed by students is, "How does Junior English (Grades 7-10) differ from Senior English (Grades 11-12)?"

Each year, English becomes progressively more challenging, exposing students to intricate texts and techniques that yield deeper meanings. The transition involves a shift toward analytical and critical responses to prescribed texts. In earlier years, emphasis lay on grasping plot, characters, and themes, while Senior English places greater focus on themes, values, context, and contemporary societal relevance.

Guidelines to Excel in Senior English

As mentioned earlier, English is pivotal yet often intimidating. Students tend to become demotivated and curtail efforts in studying the subject. The ensuing guidelines are instrumental for how to study for English Standard or Advanced and excel in examinations:

Regular Study and Timetable Creation

Given English's priority in exams, early and thorough content and quote memorization are imperative.

Frequent study sessions ensure comprehensive content retention, allowing for practice questions and past papers. A well-structured study timetable proves invaluable.

Deconstruct and Memorize the Syllabus

Effective responses hinge on understanding the syllabus and its rubric statements. Break down each rubric, defining terms within the module.

Examiners craft questions closely aligned with the rubric. Mastery of these rubrics maximizes scores.

Grasp Text Values and Themes

Distinguishing between themes and values is crucial. Identifying them in prescribed texts shapes essay responses.

Utilize Graphic Organizers or PEEL/QTE/TEE Tables

Organizers and tables streamline quote analysis, minimizing memorization. They bolster confidence when answering questions.

Practice Extensively

Practice cultivates excellence. Consistent engagement with past papers and practice questions builds confidence. Dissect questions to answer effectively.

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