For your oral examinations in Term 3: Practise and practise! 

This is an obvious tip, but you must practise the format of your exam: 10 minutes for Continuers and five minutes for Beginners.

You can do this with your teacher, other language teachers and with other students from your class. Working with a partner, and examining each other, is an extremely efficient way to practise and gain awareness of the examiner’s perspective.

Avoid reading your answers. Practise just as if you were in the real examination.

And don’t forget to practise how to ask examiners to repeat a question if needed in the target language.

Extension students: record monologues under examination conditions. No dictionaries! Time yourself. Seven minutes of preparation and three minutes to deliver the monologue. Send your recordings to your teacher for feedback.

For the written examination: HSC past papers

All language students in Continuers and Beginners courses have been given a booklet with past HSC papers. Use them!

It would be good to have one full practice if possible- that is a full exam. Set aside the required time, a bottle of water and your dictionary.

If you are not able to fit in a full paper, break down the sections: Listening in full/ Reading/Writing in full. Build your capacity to complete each section.

Hand write all of your responses. It is essential that you get your muscles ready for the marathon that is the HSC.

On the NESA website, you have access to the transcripts of the HSC listening sections and the marking guidelines. Learn to use these fabulous resources to check your understanding and mark your responses. Reading the listening transcripts at the same time as you play the audio is an excellent way to improve your fluency, pronunciation and to clarify key words and expressions.

For the written responses in the target language, always keep in mind five key elements: Text-type- Audience-Purpose-Context- Length of response. Send your responses to your teacher for marking.

Another excellent resource available on the NESA website is the HSC marking feedback, where you will find notes from the HSC marking centre outlining what the best responses included that year and some mistakes or misinterpretations to be avoided.

Remember, regular practice is better than very large blocks of study as language acquisition is most effective when done in smaller but regular doses.