Revision: Leading up to the exam, you should ideally be producing at least two complete pieces of writing per week across all three sections (minimum of six per week in total). Also, use this time to reread the texts that you plan to use for the exam. Make sure you are familiar with the exam criteria for each section of the exam.

Section A: (In the Country of Men or Twelve Angry Men) Most importantly reread the text in the holidays. It is essential to get this done while there is still plenty of time to do the reading. A second or even third reading, will help you gain a deeper and broader understanding of the text. You will be amazed at how much of the story falls into place and how much your understanding has grown after a second reading. Working from an extensive list of essay topics, attempt to write a plan and an introduction for as many topics as possible. Remember this is Reading and Responding so you need to focus totally on the topic. No general statements about the topic or 'I' statements.
Section B: (The Mind of a Thief or Skin) Choose at least three main forms that you write best in and really research them. Find out what the main structures and features are for these forms. Start by looking at samples in: the examiners' reports for past exams, notes from your text book and handouts, and make notes. Collect a list of useful words and phrases that you can draw on when writing these texts. Collect prompts related to the context and brainstorm as many ideas as you can for each prompt, then find connections between these ideas and your chosen text.
Section C: (Using Language to Persuade) Revise the main techniques used in persuasive writing. Review the analysis piece structure. Look at the questions found in the practice exams and practise writing pieces. Compare your piece with the samples and try to incorporate elements of the high scoring pieces into your own.

Attend revision classes provided by the teacher in the week leading up to the exam.
Attend as many group study/revision sessions as you can. There will be seesions run by your teacher, and sessions run extenally through organisations such as Access Education. You are also encouraged to
You have no chance of competing with students who use the whole three hours if you have not used every second of the time available to you as well, regardless of how well you think you have answered the question. (FACT: The people who got the highest scores in the practice examand SACs were the ones who used every minute available to them.) Remember if you found a essay topic easy or straight forward then the chances are that everyone else did too. This means that in order to compete with everyone else, your essay needs to stand out by being more detailed and thorough (this takes time). Three hours is not a lot of time to show the examiner everything you have learned over the whole year, therefore the time is precious so don't throw away any of it. Pace yourself so that you spend exactly an hour on each essay, including thinking, writing and checking.

Section A: Reading & Responding

How to unpack an essay topic!
· Highlight the key words – the words that indicate the required content of your essay
· Highlight the key instructional words – that indicate the structure of your essay. (Look for limiting words such as ‘totally’, ‘all’, ‘completely’, ‘never, ‘none’, ‘no’.)
· Use a dictionary to look up any words you don’t know. Then think of any synonyms you know for these key words. Rewrite the question in your own words.
· Write a series of questions that address all parts of the question. (Each question can be the focus of a paragraph. A one sentence answer to these questions could be used to form the topic sentences.)
· Work out the supporting evidence you will need to cover in each paragraph in brief dot points. (Which characters and events are relevant to this question.)

Remember the text is the focus of your writing and your discussion of the text is framed by the essay topic.
Dive into the pool and dive as deeply as possible!
Exam Advice
· Choose the topic that allows you to show off the full extent of your knowledge and understanding of the text.
· Use your reading time to check the meaning of the key words in the question, even if you think you already know their meaning.
· Don't be nervous or concerned about spending five minutes planning, its time well spend but remember the only person who will read it, is you. Write just enough to jog your memory.
· Do not include any material that is not relevant to the question.
· Don't try to twist references to events and characters to fit the topic.
· Make sure that you include all relevant characters and events that fit the topic well.
· You don't have to totally agree or disagree with a question, qualify the question to fit your view of the topic. (eg. "However/although etc.)
· Do not use 'I' statements in a Reading and Responding essay.
· Ensure that you have addressed all parts of the question in the introduction. · Include all the key words (or synonyms) in the introduction and at least one key word (or synonym) in each topic sentence.
· Ensure that each paragraph has a detailed discussion/analysis of the text.
· Refer to the author in your analysis and his purpose in your main paragraphs. A really easy way to do this is to use a sentence stem such as "The author/Geraldine Brooks/George Orwell highlights/creates etc.
· Do not use "fillers", (statements that give no insight into the text). Have something specific to say.
· Do not tell the examiner the story, they have read the novel and probably everything that has been published about the text. Therefore, give your own point of view on the topic. You can't be wrong, as long as you provide detailed support/evidence of your point of view.
· Do not refer to the author as George or Geraldine! (Sounds rude and too familiar · Include at least three body paragraphs
· Always leave time to conclude an essay. An unfinished essay will not score well. · Follow a strict timeline in completing the essay, one that you have practised many times before the exam.
· The trick to reducing your stress before and during the exam is to be well prepared and follow a plan.
· In the exam, focus on what you doing in that moment and don't engage in negative talk inside your head. ie. I can't do this, I'm going to fail!

Section B: Creating & Presenting

This section is based around the texts: Growing Up Asian in Australia or Skin. However, this is not a text study The ideas, characters, themes and writing style of the text are there to
· inform your writing when creating your own text
· stimulate ideas that address the context (theme) Identity and Belonging.

The characters and themes from the text are not the focus of your writing: the ideas from the context are the focus. The prompt is your starting point and the text is your inspiration. You may want to use world events, other texts and personal experiences to complement the inspiration you derive from the text, but it's not something you have to do. Remember to use an identifiable form (and write for the audience and purpose this form requires) and write well. The exam will not specific a required audience and purpose. It's all about the quality of the writing and the quality of the ideas. Do not dive into the pool! Use the prompt as a spring board but stay on the surface of the text!
Exam Advice
· You can choose any style of writing: creative, expository, persuasive or a combination of these styles.
· You can choose any form
· ·Make sure you choose a style and a form that best allows you to respond to the prompt.
· If you choose creative, make sure that your piece explores three or more key ideas connected to the prompt.
· If you want to make sure there is a really strong connection to the text, then base your story on the world of the text (characters/settings)
·When writing creatively use a very well defined form. Eg. An article or a speech. A story is fine but it is harder to write this sort of piece under exam pressure. Talk to me if you decide on this style.
· If you are using an expository essay form then do not mention the text in the introduction or the topic sentences. It's not a text essay.
· Make sure you connect your piece in some way to the prompt in the topic sentences. (You don't have to use the exact words of the prompt and it's probably better if you don't.)
· Make sure your language suits the form, audience and purpose
· If you are writing in the style of… ensure you use and maintain the voice of that character.
· Persuasive writing should use persuasive techniques appropriate to its form.

Section C: Using Language to Persuade

Using Language to Persuade. Remember, you must focus on how a writer is positioning the reader to feel, and how they are using language to achieve this. Always remember the strict conventions of structure and writing when putting this essay together (it is the easiest one in terms of structure.) And especially remember P.E.E.

Exam Advice:
· Use the reading time (after you have spent around three or four minutes choosing your Section A and Section B topic) reading and rereading the passage you will be analysing.
· Check any words you don't know in your dictionary and even include words you know, just to clarify their meaning.
· Bring at least three different coloured highlighters to the exam (go out and buy some if you don't already have them).
· Each time you read the passage, focus on a different aspect of the text. Eg. First time focus on understanding the text (use your dictionary for unknown words on this run through), second time carefully consider what the contention and tone might be and determine the audience and purpose of the piece, third time through focus on the specific use of language to persuade.
· When you are asked to write, highlight the techniques or examples you will use colour-coded to the paragraph you will use them in. (eg. If the piece is about violence in the city, you could high the words that portray the police for one paragraph, and in another colour you could highlight the words that portray the violent offenders for another paragraph. How you decide what goes into each paragraph is decided by the content and topic of the piece.
· Annotate the articles with your ideas but do this as briefly as possible. Remember the examiners will not read this at all. · Practice writing an analysis that is based on two articles as well as the one article model. There is always a chance that there may be two pieces to analyse.
· Do not give general information about how a technique works. You must specifically discuss the way your example affects the reader.
·You must include an analysis of any photographs, cartoons or graphics. You will not be able to access a mark above a C without it.