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September 27, 2023, 02:03:43 pm

Author Topic: 50 in English (as an additional language)  (Read 5470 times)  Share 

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50 in English (as an additional language)
« on: January 27, 2017, 05:09:55 pm »
Hello Everyone!

Last year I asked How does one get a study score of 50 in English/EAL?. I got the score of 50(raw) for EAL.
Literally Lauren, Glasses and Alter, all explained how with statistical moderation and state performance, our study scores are calculated and someone gets 50.
But I believe, that a year ago, I wasn't looking for how the state performed. I wanted a recipe for success. And now having got 50 I think that I have found what perhaps enabled me to get 50.
As you may have found out already, my writing is not sophisticated or amazing in anyways. Last year I believed to get a high score in EAL, you had to use all these words that you can hardly find in writings of the 18th century. I read some essays in the examiner's reports and I found myself in a position of self-doubt. Thus that was when I wrote "How does one get a 50?" post. To try to find something or someone that would tell me these things that I tell you now.
In no ways, the things that I am saying now is new or can guarantee success but it helped me, so who knows? ...maybe it will help you.
Last year I did Frankestein by Mary Shelley for the exam's text response and I did it on my own; that is my class did not study Frankenstein and I informed my teacher at the start of the year that I would read, study and annotate by myself.
I read Frankenstein in Yr 11(2015), just when 2016 booklist was released. I really liked the book because I believe it well resonated with personal goals and was interesting because it made me question things I had not questioned before. After reading it for the first time, in no way I loved it to the point that I love it now. It was a book that I liked but not loved.
After I decided to choose it as my main text for text response (I had already decided to do it in my exam), I started forcefully making myself obsessed with it; that is I read 3 more times and annotated the book word by word, watched many youtube videos about the book, read university essays, read 3 text guides.
But it wasn't enough, whenever I sat with my family I started explaining the book to them in my first language and (figuratively) killed everyone with my OVER-obsession. I talked about in my other classes to my teachers as well, quoting the book in my conversations. I read other versions of the book (basically fan fiction) like "The casebook of Victor Frankenstein" by Peter Ackroyd. I bought the audio book and listened to/read the book once again. These things helped me find things in the book that were overlooked. Motifs and symbols that teachers and some other people missed.

However, for other areas of study in no ways I went into this much detail.  For context we did identity and belonging ("Invictus"), I watched the movie a couple of times and mostly followed what my teacher told me. I have had reads numerous books during my VCE years and chose a few of them to incorporate into my essay.
For language Analysis, whilst watching advertisements on TV or reading articles in my leisure time, not only I tried to understand how the writers were trying to make us agree with them but also I judged their technique, sometimes thinking what they are doing is not very helpful in making people agree with them( of course you shouldn't judge authors' techniques in VCE language analysis)

Practice SMART:

Some people may write an essay a night or even sit a full exam every night but that doesn't guarntee that they are doing the right thing or even learning. Start writing when you know you have something to say but be mindful of the exam as well. Sometimes you may get writer's block ad that's okay. I suggest watching some of The school of life's philosophical videos. They really provided me with inspration and I could write better afterwards. Find your own special thing. Maybe listen to music or even play?
Once I felt confident that I could write an essay for any of the study areas, I normally wrote an essay a week and handed it in to my teacher. From August, I made a deal with my teacher that if I didn't give him 3 essays a week (VCE exam), I was to stay at school until 5pm and finish them. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't but at least I wrote an essay a week; with some exceptions (once I did not write for 3 weeks)
I think that talking with your teacher and having a good relation is very important. Do not look for reasons to dislike your teacher. Talk to him/her at lunch time, recess or after school. Make sure that he/she knows you are not in it for getting marks and reassure him/her to you are learning something that applies to real life. Even if you don't have a good relationship with your teacher, just do it for your own good.

I got full scores on all my SACs. Of course it was very bizarre to me and quite frankly numerous times I asked my teacher to reconsider (I am an idiot.... I know), I took my SACs to other teachers (for instance my school's English teacher) and they marked according to what they thought was deserving. The tips they gave me were fantastic and I incorporated other teacher's advice into my next essays.
I formerly believed that the GAT matters in getting a 50. I had heard that at least the whole class had to do well on the writing part to enable one to get 50. As for my own score on the GAT, I can confidently debunk my former belief. GAT scores do not matter( they matter if you are under special consideration). Nonetheless, make sure you do alright, just in case.

Also, my school came from a disadvantaged area with disadvantaged students. Our classes were small. The performance range was in low 30s. I also used to believe in such circumstances, one cannot get 50. I was proven wrong by myself. CLASS PERFORMANCE IN THE EXAM DOES NOT usually MATTER.

The exam:

The most important thing in the exam is planning. PLEASE PLAN. I thoroughly planned what my arguments were in each essay and what I was going to use( even in LA). Although the study design is now different, planning is still extremely important. I think writing an essay without planning is like taking a shower without washing yourself.
For the exam I ran out of time. Planning and choosing my prompt were perhaps the main reasons for me running out of time. 
As I remember I wrote ~ 1000 words on Frankenstein and Identity and belonging and ~550 words on Language analysis. When the examiner told us to "stop writing", I was halfway through a sentence in the middle of a paragraph. At that moment, I told myself that getting a 40 would be a dream for me.

Last but not least, to you my (former) fellow EAL students, do not stress too much about sophisticated writing. The examiners and your teachers want you to speak through your essay, your essay should be a conversation not a statement. Do not use words that you are not sure about the meaning of. Form sentences that you can paraphrase. After all, not many of us are going to pursue literature studies, most of us want to pursue subjects less related to sophisticated writing, so write like you do, not like your classmates or the person posting their essays on this website. Form your own unique voice and fight through it, to get your point across to the examiner.

I can solemnly swear that what I have said here, also applied to the study design (that I am aware of its structure). What I have said will not in no ways guarantee one getting a high score. It explains how I got a 50.

« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 07:00:10 pm by Sarinamfgh »
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