Carolyn Joubran, Head of English at Strathcona Girls’ Grammar, has these tips to help you tackle each section.
Examiners are looking for your knowledge and understanding of the text.
It’s time to revisit the text – you can always tell students who haven’t read the texts.
You need to unpack the meaning of content in the text and show depth of thought.
The examiners will be looking for the meaning or message contained in the central ideas of the book, not just a summary of the events.
The key word here is comparative. Look at not only where the texts are different but also where they are similar. A high-scoring response will have connected comparisons throughout each paragraph.
Open with a big idea – a conceptual statement – and then state how each text is relevant to the question. Make sure you answer the question using key words from the topic throughout the essay. Create a comparative language bank to draw on – e.g. in comparison, similarly, diverging from etc.
Have a look at what types of text were given in the last four or five years to what texts to prepare for. Make sure you read and annotate the text during the reading time. Give
yourself 60 minutes to write an answer.
Remember to think about the audience of the pieces and their context and look at all the information, not just what’s in the text box.
Don’t overlook the image. There will be some visual material so look at the metalanguage such as the type of image.