LITERACY HAS FALLEN: How to Rescale the Learning Ladder
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LITERACY HAS FALLEN: How to Rescale the Learning Ladder

“The fate of empires depends on the education of youth.” – Aristotle   Today I write to you about something that worries me deeply. Literacy has fallen. Aussie kids are meant to be living in a place that gives them the opportunity to have one of the best standards of education in the entire world….

Discovering The Motorcycle Diaries
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Discovering The Motorcycle Diaries

Today we will be discovering The Motorcycle Diaries. If you are looking for more of an overview of the module please read this article. The most resounding question that comes to mind whilst reading Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ is, how in the world did a medical student (yes, get a nice clear picture…

Free at Last!

Free at Last!

An ode to the students of 2017. This poem is dedicated to all the students and family members who welcomed me into their lives and hearts. My world is warmer thanks to you, the polarity of our icy caps no longer distinct, I’m glad to call you friends too.     We’re free, free at…

What is Discovery for HSC English Essays
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What is Discovery for HSC English Essays

What is discovery? This question really does not need to be very perplexing. It is a word. It is about finding things. That is as complicated as it needs to be. Here is a complete breakdown of the Area of Study Discovery concept. If you are unsure about any term search for definitions. Do not…

Advanced English Module A: Comparative Study – Julius Caesar and The Prince
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Advanced English Module A: Comparative Study – Julius Caesar and The Prince

Students who have written a number of essays may be lulled into a false sense of security when approaching a comparative essay. This is a very different kind of essay to one that focuses on a specific text that may ask for related material to strengthen its arguments.  With Module A: Comparative Study of Texts…

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Context for a HSC English Essay: How to Guide

Context. There’s a great word! But what is it? If you are an Advanced or Extension student, you have probably been wondering about how to use context for a HSC English essay. Let’s start with the basics. Regardless of the complexity of a topic, every piece of learning in the study of English as a…

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How to Prepare for the HSC English Trials

One of the great sadistic joys that a teacher can feel each year is watching students dodge, dip, dive, duck, and dodge away from their responsibilities as the exam period looms closer and closer.  Where I see most students falter is in their dismal lack of planning for the HSC English trials. The Higher School…

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The Art of Travel – Save My HSC Show – Episode 21

With this in-depth analysis of Alain De Botton’s ‘The Art of Travel’, we examine his central thesis, reference material and quotes that will assist you in answering any difficult HSC English questions for Advanced Module C: Representation and Text,  Elective 2: Representing People and Landscapes. This podcast is rather long as we have a chapter…

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Metropolis and 1984 Comparison

The key thing that advanced module a wants you to focus on is context. Metropolis and 1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four) are two great texts with a great deal of similarities to focus on this particular concept. How does context shape how composers perceive the world? How does when and where they live impact how they construct…

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Video Lesson – SparkNotes vs reading texts

There is no denying  that reading sure can be a chore. Before 1990 or in other words ancient history, people didn’t have the internet freely available to give them a video lesson or information by the bucket. In this age books were the obvious choice for the consumption of ideas. Thankfully, we no longer need…

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Standard English Module C: Texts and Society

According to the Standard English Module C: Texts and Society, students are expected to ‘explore and analyse texts used in a specific situation.’ Quite often, texts focus on a particular event or issue. The Board of Studies wants students to be able to identify key information about how these specific texts convey bigger ideas about bodies of…

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Standard English Module B Close Study of Text

In terms of essay writing, Standard English Module B Close Study of Text is probably the best example of how a true essay looks. An essay is supposed to be an exploration of an idea or a question that is eating away at the respondent. To put it bluntly, it is the physical manifestation of…

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Module A Standard English

In order to achieve a high grade in the HSC, it is important to know exactly what the syllabus and prescriptions are asking for which is why we have provided a breakdown for Module A Standard English. What this module is asking students to do is look at how people see and communicate about relationships…

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Area of Study Discovery

Area of Study Discovery is the big scary phrase that you will be accosted with for a good portion of the year. This portion of the syllabus relates to your first HSC examination or as it is more notoriously known ‘Paper 1’. This paper is broken up into three sections.   Section 1: Comprehension Throughout your…

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HSC Notes – Take Note!

It’s a trope of this postmodern century and millenarian End-Times world that just about everything is designated as an “art” or “art-form”. Think “sandwich artists”, as if a stuffed roll, toasted or not, could suggest anything about your meagre existence other than its primal appetitive drives. Do we really think that munching on leavened bread…

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Creative Writing Discovery – Part 2

In Part 1 of this post, we explored some of the subjective hurdles that may be encountered by students when drafting their Creative Writing for Discovery. Now we will delve more explicitly into the craft of constructing a powerful short story, of allowing a potent discovery to unfold in the short space allocated to you…

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Creative Writing Discovery – Part 1

The Creative Writing section of the HSC Paper 1 exam offers students the chance to display their understanding of Discovery by using their imagination to construct a short fictional piece. As enjoyable as this is, similar words of caution made about the comprehension section apply a propos of creative writing, for pitfalls abound in preparing for this part of…

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English Paper 1 Comprehension – Standard and Advanced

English Paper 1 Comprehension is one of the most ignored sections in the HSC for both English Standard and Advanced students. If you are looking for an introduction to Paper 1: what it is comprised of, what to expect, and how best to prepare for your first ever HSC exam read our Introduction to Discovery post which is…

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Surviving the HSC Trials

In an act of supreme mercy on the part of our educational system, you don’t just sit the HSC once, you get to sit it twice. Yes, celebrate good times, come on, you’ve got the HSC trials coming up!   Now is a good time to work with a tutor to quickly identify exactly how…

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Define a Thesis Statement

Being able to define a thesis statement is an imperative skill in the HSC. The success of your English essay almost entirely hinges on how good your THESIS is. Your essay should be understood as an extended exposition of your thesis, with every point being a further piece of evidence in favour of it. All our…

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HSC Stress Management

The HSC is sometimes, unhelpfully, billed as one of the most significant years of your life, a year that will determine the outcome of your ENTIRE life, and its success and happiness. Stress, a peculiarly human psychological phenomenon, is frequently the result of seemingly unbearable pressures imposed on us.   The success of your HSC,…

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The Secret to Superb Creative Writing in the HSC

Creative Writing in the HSC is the skill that is least conducive to pre-planning, and in contrast to a strong essay, eludes precise, mathematical understanding. This is because the success of your creative writing piece will depend heavily on how spontaneous and genuinely expressive it is of your concerns and ultimately your own self. Sadly,…

5 Things Every Band 6 HSC English Essay Must Have
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5 Things Every Band 6 HSC English Essay Must Have

Achieving excellent grades in HSC English is something that not all students believe that they can achieve. The reality is that every single paper can be distilled into a few core elements…. And you know what the good news is? There is a formula that you can learn. All the good work of your teachers…

Memory Retention and learning in HSC English

Memory Retention and learning in HSC English

I can’t forget, but I don’t remember what… The psychology of Memory Retention In your final year of High School you’ll come up against more than just your fellow students’ ambitions, parental pressure, the expectations of bureaucrats (your princi-“pal”) and the cryptic code of the Board of Studies syllabus. You’ll come up against yourself. Like…

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Comparative Study of Text and Context – Emma and Clueless

The Comparative Study of Texts and Context module in HSC English is an in depth yet interesting one. Emma and Clueless is a very commonly used pair of texts, and this is why we decided to help those who may be struggling with the module or just need some extra pointers on the topic. Let’s…

HSC Success Tips: Starting Early and Achieving Success
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HSC Success Tips: Starting Early and Achieving Success

Success can mean many things to different people. Whether it is our personal goal or where we want to be in life motivating us, there are a few key ways to get through the HSC victorious. Different subjects have different methods of study, so let’s go through the 3 main ones you will come across…

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Science of Studying: Why Remembering Is Such a Pain

[imageframe lightbox=”yes” style=”dropshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”” align=”center” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″][/imageframe]   Every day at school, we are bombarded with things we have to learn and remember, and at many times it can be an information overload. What we were never really taught properly however, is HOW to learn these things! The most basic of concepts…

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Analysing Visual Texts

Analysing visual texts can seem daunting… Especially when it comes to essays. How can a simple image or picture book be broken down into a long-winded analysis? It’s easier than you think. Following are some techniques you can use when breaking down images to their basic elements: Body Language/Gaze This is for images with people…

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Learning Styles

The way we learn isn’t always straightforward – our personalities and learning styles have a lot to do with how we process and retain information. According to the VAK Learning Model, there are three main types of learning: Visual Visual learners go by a basic concept: “Show me and I will understand”. This means that…

Comparing Texts and Contexts

(with reference to Frankenstein and Blade Runner)  The comparative study of texts and context can be murky waters for many, but that boils down to a lack of understanding at what the question is asking. Context generally refers to what is happening outside the text at the time it is being created – this can…

Breaking it Down – Exam Questions and Thesis Statements
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Breaking it Down – Exam Questions and Thesis Statements

They say the beginning of something is always the hardest part, and this is especially true for essays. You’ve read the question; you know what to want to say, but actually writing it out takes careful planning and a fair idea of where you want to go with your essay. The first point will be…

The Home Stretch- Final Preparation tips for the HSC English Exams
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The Home Stretch- Final Preparation tips for the HSC English Exams

This time next week, the English exams will be over and you will never have to write another essay about belonging ever again! Important last minute preparation tips Do not try and pre-learn your essays. You will do a lot better if you write your essay from scratch, adapting your knowledge of the module and…

More Practice Exams-Area of Study
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More Practice Exams-Area of Study

With English Paper One, it is important to practice as many exam-style questions as you can. The English exams are NOT memory tests-there is no prescriptive syllabus, and the board of studies can, and will, ask you anything about the topic you have studied. You should be trying to remember important quotes, techniques and ideas,…

Sample Essay-Advanced English Module C, History and Memory-The Queen.
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Sample Essay-Advanced English Module C, History and Memory-The Queen.

Take note and learn from the way this essay has been structured. This essay received a mark of 20 out of 20 and captures the essence of the module with reference to a really good related text! Question: Compare how the texts you have studied emphasize the complexities evident in the interplay of history and…

Sample Essay Advanced English Module A Elective One: Exploring Connections. Pride and Prejudice and Letters to Alice

One of the biggest complaints students have about the way their teachers mark essays is that they criticize what they have done without ever actually showing them what a good essay should look like and how they could have or should have written their essay. The following essay structure can be adapted to answer questions…

Practice Questions for Advanced Module B: W.B Yeats

Most students consider Module B to be the most difficult of all three modules. It requires a close knowledge of text and language forms and features used to create meaning within texts. Refine your skills and test your knowledge with the following questions: How is your personal response to the poetry of Yeats shaped by…

Practice Questions for Standard English Module C: Into the world

Practice questions can be incredibly helpful when studying English Standard Module C as it will help you comprehend a broader range of questions. 2010 HSC ‘The experience of moving into the world can challenge individuals’ attitudes and beliefs.’ Discuss this view with reference to your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of…

Practice Questions for Frankenstein and Blade Runner (Advanced English Module A, Elective 2: Texts in Time.)

Practice Questions for Frankenstein and Blade Runner (Advanced English Module A, Elective 2: Texts in Time.)

One of the most challenging things about writing an English paper is maintaining a good flow whilst answering the question effectively. Memorizing what you want to say would help if you knew the question at hand but each year the HSC questions change which means you need to develop a skill other than memorization. As…

Module A: Elective 1- Exploring Connections

Module A: Elective 1- Exploring Connections

The first elective in module A focuses on the connections between texts and the benefits of looking at connections between texts that exist across time. The syllabus states that students will explore “meanings of a pair of texts and how they can be shaped and reshaped by considering the nature of the connections between them.”…

Advanced English Module A: Comparative Study of Texts and Context

  This module requires you to compare texts and explore them in relation to their contexts. You will have to read/view two texts and compare their themes and the different ways they reflect their social, cultural and historical context. You will also have to consider the language used the purpose and audience, the values and…

Studying for Exams and More Sample HSC English Papers
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Studying for Exams and More Sample HSC English Papers

The best, and perhaps only way to study for HSC English exams is to practice answering as many questions on your relevant module as possible. More exam papers are attached for you to attempt, or at least look at so you can get an idea of the kinds of questions you may be asked. A…

Sample HSC English Essay-Belonging
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Sample HSC English Essay-Belonging

Do you find it difficult to write essays about belonging? Firstly, read our post on How to write band six essays ! Then, read the following band six response for further guidance,  or  Download it as a word document This sample HSC English essay received a mark of 14 out of 15. It is not perfect,…

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HSC English Trials Past Papers AND Marking Guidelines

This is the best resource you will find online! The new syllabus has only been in effect for over 2 years, so it is very difficult to find papers that are relevant to what you have been studying in class. We have collected a number of past papers from different sources and will continue to…

Belonging Practice Questions-Essay Questions for Paper One
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Belonging Practice Questions-Essay Questions for Paper One

It is time to practice and improve your essay skills by having a go at this list of essay questions compiled by Save My HSC especially for you. All of these questions reflect the sort of questions you will have to answer in section three of Paper One. It is highly unlikely they will ask…

Sample Thesis Statements for Belonging Essays
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Sample Thesis Statements for Belonging Essays

Still have no idea what a thesis statement is? Take inspiration from these sample thesis statements for belonging essays. All of these thesis statements can be used as starting points for arguments about belonging! Experience Our life experiences teach us that when we stop trying to belong we realise that we have always belonged We…

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Writing Band Six Essays-Body Paragraphs

Now you know how to introduce your essay, and the fact that paragraphs are important, its time to learn what to actually put into each paragraph. Every year, the most common criticism from the marking centre is that students do not integrate their responses. Their complaint is that instead of structuring their essays by ideas,…

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Writing Band Six Essays-Intelligent Introductions

The first thing the marker reads is your introduction, and thus a solid introduction can engage the marker and make them actually want to read your essay. The other advantage of a decent introduction is that if for some reason you don’t get to finish your essay, the marker will at least know what you…

Writing Band Six Essays-DO NOT PREPARE AND LEARN ONE ANSWER
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Writing Band Six Essays-DO NOT PREPARE AND LEARN ONE ANSWER

In case the capital letters didn’t scare you enough I will repeat it just so you can gauge the severity of this warning—do not pre prepare your essays. Unless you genuinely want to fail HSC English there is no excuse for going into your English exams with one memorised essay for each unit you have…

Essay Structure: Simple Quick-Reference Guide

Essay Structure: Simple Quick-Reference Guide

The following is a handy quick-reference guide you can print and keep to assist you in writing essays. Introduction: -Thesis statement: Main idea you will argue in the essay -Briefly expand on the thesis -Name your texts and composers -Outline the arguments you will be making in the essay Body Paragraphs (May be more than…

Five Ways to improve CREATIVE WRITING for Paper One, Section Two
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Five Ways to improve CREATIVE WRITING for Paper One, Section Two

There is no other way to describe Paper One, Section Two but as the bane of every HSC student’s existence. Yes, this section requires you to compose an imaginative text that demonstrates what you have learnt about belonging and/or non-belonging. It is essentially a living hell, but don’t be disheartened. Use the ten tips in…

Five More Ways to Improve CREATIVE WRITING for Paper One, Section Two
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Five More Ways to Improve CREATIVE WRITING for Paper One, Section Two

Six: If you write a classic narrative, structure it well If you choose to write a narrative, write it properly. Think about WHO, WHERE, WHEN, WHAT, WHY, HOW to develop your storyline. Begin with your orientation-introduce the characters and setting and the details of the back story required to understand where your story is going….

Belonging-Everything you need to know about the Area Of Study
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Belonging-Everything you need to know about the Area Of Study

The Board of Studies tells us that “the Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of belonging is represented in and through texts.”  Simple enough, yes? Not quite. Anyone who has ever gone through the excruciatingly painful procedure of studying one concept for just shy of half the English…

Everything You Need to Know about HSC English
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Everything You Need to Know about HSC English

A one hundred page syllabus document; modules; core texts; related texts; area of study and two completely different HSC English exams. To most students commencing their HSC, this terminology is on par with a foreign language. Success in HSC English begins with understanding exactly what this course is about, what is expected of students and…

Assessments during the HSC Year

Assessments during the HSC Year

Each school will conduct assessments differently; however there are some prescriptions from the syllabus which regulate how students can be assessed. For both standard and advanced English, listening, speaking, and viewing/representing assessments will account for 15% each of your total assessment. This means you may have a listening task, a speaking task and a viewing…

Modules/Electives

Modules/Electives

This is where HSC ESL, Standard and Advanced English diverge. Each of these courses has their own modules, otherwise known as units of study, and electives within these modules. Each student will study ONE elective from each module, with the modules conveniently named A, B and C to avoid confusion. Just like the area of…

Area of Study

Area of Study

The area of study is common to HSC ESL, Standard and Advanced English. From the 2009 HSC onwards, the area of study has been belonging. The aim of this study is to inquire into a particular concept in depth; to understand the essence of this concept through the way it is represented and commented on…

The Syllabus

The Syllabus

Syllabus is just a fancy word the Board of Studies uses to scare students, but essentially it is a document that outlines exactly what you can be tested on, what you need to know and the reasons why you have to study the various topics that you do. The first ten pages are simply the…