English & EAL

How to prepare for a SAC Part 1 – Text Response

by
Lisa Tran

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I’ve decided to separate ‘How to prepare for a SAC’ in 3 parts (text response, context and language analysis). Preparation is a vital component in how you perform in your SACs so it’s always a good idea to find out what is your best way to approach assessments. In each of these I’ll give a few tips on what you can do to prepare for that particular type of SAC. Of course these are just tips, so there’s no need to go on a mission to complete all of them (though if you do, bravo!). This is just to get you thinking on the different study methods you can try before a SAC. So here’s some of my top tips for Text Response:

  • Re-read your book (or film). After all the learning and discussion you’ve had with your teacher and peers, you should have now developed a solid foundation of knowledge. With this new knowledge, your second (or third…) read before a SAC can definitely help you stand out from others who have learnt the exact same information you have. This is because you can apply your understanding and discover important new passages and quotes that no one else has mentioned in class. It also allows you to further solidify your knowledge by revising what you’ve learnt, allowing you to have a greater insight into your texts.
  • Write essays. Sad but it’s a fact. Writers only get better by actually writing. Even if you just tackle a couple of essays then at least you will have started to develop a thinking process that will help you to set out arguments logically, utilise important quotes and time yourself against the clock. It will help you write faster as well – something that is a major problem for many students.
  • Investigate some prompts. Your teacher should have given you some practice prompts at this stage. If not, have a look online, including VCE Study Guides to find some handy prompts. I believe it’s best to write at least a couple of essays and for other prompts – brainstorm and write plans.  Brainstorming will help you consolidate ideas and see which ones work best with particular prompts. Furthermore, there are only so many different prompts that can be written for a text, so it also gives you a good indication of what to expect in your SAC. Then go on to write plans. Plans will help with your essay structure – a vital component to a good essay. This is an extremely time-efficient way to approach SACs.

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This guide was written by Lisa Tran, the creator and writer for VCE Study Guides. She is currently accepting Year 11 and 12 students for private tuition in 2015. Due to popular demand she is also offering 3 hour intensive courses – feel free to contact her!

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