Consistency is key: Rex Greaves and Sophia Derkenne have been balancing their daily study with exercise and preparing for a play, respectively. Rex wants to study economics and Sophia will audition for NIDA. Picture: Marina NeilHUNTER students have described their second Higher School Certificate paper as “fair and kind to us”, despite requiring a deepunderstanding ofa broad range of texts including books, speeches, poems and films.
All Saints College St Mary’s Campus students Sophia Derkenne and Rex Greaves, both 18, were among the 57,396 NSW students who sat the English Standard or Advanced Paper 2 – Modules on Friday morning.
“I’m exhausted, I think it’s just something that happens when you have a lot of adrenaline before an academic performance –you then feel a physical and mental dullness afterwards,” Sophia said.
“It was alright and overall a pretty good paper.”
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“It’s a pretty stressful period,” he said.
“There’s so much content you need to learn and you don’t know what questions they’re going to ask.
“It was a mid range exam and not as tough as other papers I’d seen, but still made you think hard about what you needed to write.
“Some of the questions were hard to interpret.
“But it was fair and kind to us.”
The students were given 125 minutes and required to write three essays.
For the first section about comparative study of texts and context, St Mary’s studied Intertextual Perspectives and focused on prose fiction and poetry:The Great Gatsbyand Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poems.
They were given an extract fromThe Great Gatsbyto use as a “starting point” for an essay.
“In the past when they’ve included a quote they’ve said we had to make definite reference to it, but this time we could focus on the ideas, themes and concepts without having to analyse the quote,” Sophia said.
“This was the hardest question,” Rex said. “But you could provide more variety and depth.”
For the second section about critical study of texts, their school studied a series of speeches.
They were asked to what extent a provided statement applied to their texts.
“In the past it named specific speeches and so you had to know every speech,” Rex said.
“I was glad they didn’t this year, becausesome I had studied more than others.
“The question was nice and broad.”
Sophia chose to focus on two favourites, from Paul Keating and Noel Pearson.
“I had a really clear link that allowed me to write in depth, detail and with confidence.”
For the third section about representation and text, their school studied representing people and landscapes and focused on Rolf de Heer andPeter Djigirr’s filmTen Canoes.
They were asked to “evaluate” a provided statement.
“It gives you more scope than having to explicitly agree with it,” Sophia said.
“It helped it was the last modulewe studied before exams, not a year ago,” Rex said.
“The HSC is a big stepping stone to my future.”