What do I need to know before I begin year 12 English?

As many students come closer to starting their HSC journey, i believe it would be most beneficial for you to fully understand what is expected of you in the year 12 course, what you will complete and what you will learn. Each school works through the modules differently but today we will discuss them chronologically in terms of the actual HSC paper,


Short answer:

The very first thing that you will see in the HSC are short answer questions. They vary from anywhere between 2-8 marks each and are all based on a stimuli provided to you by NESA. throughout the first term, you should acquaint yourself with as many literary and visual techniques as possible because the quicker you can identify them, the easier it is to write an answer. These short answer questions will revolve around the concept of human experiences so it would be beneficial if you learn about different human experiences, emotions and behaviours to prepare yourself. Their structure is very simple; provide a thesis statement that answers the question, briefly introduce the text and how it relates then proceed with your PEEl structure (you have made a point so provide evidence, explain it, then link it back to your original answer). It is also worth noting that unless the question is worth >5 marks or involves 2 or more stimuli, no concluding sentence is required.


Common module essay:

This will be your first essay in the HSC and it is based upon the precepts underlying the human experience and their representation in highly acclaimed literature. As always, use words from the syllabus throughout your response, answer the question and support your answer using your textual evidence and thematic conversation. An important factor to consider is that during the year, whenever your school chooses to study this module, you will be required to complete the school internal assessment with a related text. Whether it be in an essay or a multimodal presentation, there will be a related text BUT, in the HSC exam, your essay will only talk about your original text so please don’t forget this!


Module A

This module is about textual conversations, meaning it is a comparative study, you will be analysing, comparing and exploring the relationship between 2 texts written in different time periods and yet exploring the same or similar thematic concerns. This essay tends to be very challenging for many students as it involves 4 paragraphs instead of 3, with the 2nd and 4th paragraphs being especially difficult due to the fact that not only are you analysing the text in regards to the question but you also have to explain its relationship with the original text as well. This results in very, very chunky paragraphs if you are unable to write with something called succinctly. Again, throughout you essay you must intersperse words from the syllabus, answer the question, and highlight the relationship between the texts. Always try to dig deeper and find something more engaging to talk about than just the “base level stuff” as some teachers like to so eloquently put it.


Module B:

In Module B is a very interesting module in the sense that it doesn’t really have a core, fundamental focus but rather seeks to provide you with an opportunity to really delve into the world of a text and to micro analyse it, its author, its context and its structure and to derive meaning from it in what you might consider to be tertiary level analysis. Essentially you will analyse a significant piece of literature and in so doing develop an empathic relationship with the authors concerns in order to appropriately express them in the form of an essay. In the HSC and in your trial exams, the essay questions will be specific to your respective text meaning that it is important to acknowledge and understand the basic framework of the text and the main messages the author seeks to communicate with their readers. This module really does open your eyes to the meaning that literature seeks to pass on to the world and will expose you to the power of literature so enjoy it as much as you can!!


Module C:

The big one. The scary one. This is the module that separates your band 6 from band 5 or a band 5 from a band 4. This module is fairly new now, it’s only existed for 3 years and has already caused a lot of stress and grief for teachers and students alike but allow me to help you out. Module C is essentially your creative playground during the HSC, NESa gives you the opportunity to let loose to truly explore the depths of your creative capacity. Essentially what happens is that your school will assign you a number of short texts and from those texts you will employ different literary or structural components into your own creative, discursive or persuasive piece of writing. My best advice for you is to adopt 3 techniques from across your prescribed texts and include 1 structural technique as well and incorporate it into a prepared creative, discursive or persuasive. 

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