How great would a 3-4 unit chem or bio be, and if English wasn’t mandatory (1 Viewer)

jimmysmith560

Phénix Trilingue
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
468
Location
Krak des Chevaliers
Gender
Male
HSC
2019
Uni Grad
2022
It makes sense that it was compulsory before the rise in Asian student population. Most countries make their native language subject compulsory at secondary level (HSC, baccalaureate and other equivalents).
 

CM_Tutor

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Mar 11, 2004
Messages
1,759
Gender
Male
HSC
N/A
Studying 2u of English has been compulsory for as long as I am aware, but it has not always been compulsory to include it in the ATAR / UAI / other TLAs. There was some disquiet when it was made compulsory to include one unit of English in the 10 used for the university entry score, and also when it was increased to including two units.
 

Eagle Mum

Active Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
153
Gender
Female
HSC
N/A
Studying 2u of English has been compulsory for as long as I am aware, but it has not always been compulsory to include it in the ATAR / UAI / other TLAs. There was some disquiet when it was made compulsory to include one unit of English in the 10 used for the university entry score, and also when it was increased to including two units.
When did this occur? Both units were compulsorily included in the HSC aggregate in the latter part of the 80’s when I did the HSC. The UAI was introduced after the HSC aggregate so that states could compare interstate applicants, so possibly there was an interim period when it flip flopped around (I understand that you sat the HSC much more recently than I) but in our time we were certainly told that it was compulsorily included in both the HSC aggregate & UAC scores. My husband attended a different high school and he confirms this, although the Internet wasn’t available at that time for fact checking what we were told. I certainly don’t believe English being a compulsory subject has anything to do with the changing ethnic composition of the population (I was born overseas in a country where the English language did not predominate).
 
Last edited:

CM_Tutor

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Mar 11, 2004
Messages
1,759
Gender
Male
HSC
N/A
@Eagle Mum, the aggregate system from the 80s became the TES then the TER then the UAI before the ATAR appeared (as best as I can recall). I had a quick look but there is little easily found documentation of the various rules changes online. My own TER did not include English units and I remember students in subsequent years being resentful of having to include English units in their best 10. I was grateful not to have to include English in my top 10 units, though I would struggle to make a case that compulsory inclusion of English is unreasonable / unfair. I might argue that some mathematics should be compulsory, but that's a different issue.

I don't think the changes were about students from any particular ethnic background being overrepresented in the highest performance groups. However, there were concerns about students entering into courses like medicine or law on the back of very strong mathematics / science skills but lacking the communication skills to succeed in the course or the field. Changes to the science syllabi have certainly increased the importance of not only being able to reason scientifically, but also to communicate effectively, which is a good change IMO. Changing assessment practices to make a better / fairer system is fine, or to ensure that important skills are reflected, etc, is fine... changes meant to address perceived overrepresentation of an ethnic group (for example) is a reflection of prejudice and unethical. Those students who face the challenge of studying in English when it is not their native language and who achieve highly deserve their success and our admiration for that achievement.
 

idkkdi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Messages
1,567
Gender
Male
HSC
2021
@Eagle Mum, the aggregate system from the 80s became the TES then the TER then the UAI before the ATAR appeared (as best as I can recall). I had a quick look but there is little easily found documentation of the various rules changes online. My own TER did not include English units and I remember students in subsequent years being resentful of having to include English units in their best 10. I was grateful not to have to include English in my top 10 units, though I would struggle to make a case that compulsory inclusion of English is unreasonable / unfair. I might argue that some mathematics should be compulsory, but that's a different issue.

I don't think the changes were about students from any particular ethnic background being overrepresented in the highest performance groups. However, there were concerns about students entering into courses like medicine or law on the back of very strong mathematics / science skills but lacking the communication skills to succeed in the course or the field. Changes to the science syllabi have certainly increased the importance of not only being able to reason scientifically, but also to communicate effectively, which is a good change IMO. Changing assessment practices to make a better / fairer system is fine, or to ensure that important skills are reflected, etc, is fine... changes meant to address perceived overrepresentation of an ethnic group (for example) is a reflection of prejudice and unethical. Those students who face the challenge of studying in English when it is not their native language and who achieve highly deserve their success and our admiration for that achievement.
" communicate effectively "
no, stop making me write a page for 4 marks because i can't guess the marking criteria correctly.
 

Hivaclibtibcharkwa

New Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
28
Gender
Male
HSC
2021
Studying 2u of English has been compulsory for as long as I am aware, but it has not always been compulsory to include it in the ATAR / UAI / other TLAs. There was some disquiet when it was made compulsory to include one unit of English in the 10 used for the university entry score, and also when it was increased to including two units.
EXACTLY! This is the best solution.
Keep English compulsory so learn the required skills, but don’t make it effect your ATAR
 

jimmysmith560

Phénix Trilingue
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
468
Location
Krak des Chevaliers
Gender
Male
HSC
2019
Uni Grad
2022
Bro if they dont make it count to your atar nobody is gonna pay attention
Do we really pay that much attention in English class though? If so, do we do it the way we do in a maths or science class?

For me, English was mainly about making sure my essays were of good quality as well as ensuring I had a good knowledge of techniques so that I could answer the unseen texts section and the Module C question well.
 

Qeru

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
325
Gender
Male
HSC
2021
Do we really pay that much attention in English class though? If so, do we do it the way we do in a maths or science class?

For me, English was mainly about making sure my essays were of good quality as well as ensuring I had a good knowledge of techniques so that I could answer the unseen texts section and the Module C question well.
Yes but you actually tried to get good marks I imagine. If it didn't count everyone would be happy with a 50% pass.
 

jimmysmith560

Phénix Trilingue
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
468
Location
Krak des Chevaliers
Gender
Male
HSC
2019
Uni Grad
2022
Yes but you actually tried to get good marks I imagine. If it didn't count everyone would be happy with a 50% pass.
Exactly.

However, does that satisfy the condition that we're paying attention? I mean, while I did try to get good marks, I did so mostly at home, by improving my essays and completing assessment tasks and after receiving feedback from my teacher. Sure, we might be paying attention, particularly when analysing prescribed texts, but how long does that last? In maths, one would be paying attention for most (if not all) of the time, because missing a particular detail from any topic can cause problems and I believe this becomes more relevant the higher the level of maths. I'm sure someone who does 4U like yourself can relate to this.

I think there would definitely be a workaround for this issue that doesn't involve making English count towards a student's ATAR. For example, there could be a minimum mark that students have to achieve in order to be eligible for an ATAR (of course there may be much better solutions than this, but I was just giving an example). Such conditions mean students will still be able to acquire the skills emphasised in the English course, such as formulating one's own ideas and articulating them, as well as developing analytical skills (as mentioned by B1andB2 earlier), while still keeping English a non-ATAR subject. In that case, English would still be compulsory.
 

Etho_x

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
753
Location
I’m back ~ somewhere in the universe ^-^
Gender
Male
HSC
2021
Like Daym , 3 unit bio would sick! I’d literally do 2 extra units of bio and replace English with that
Personally despite the fact that I hate English I’ll agree to disagree. Whatever the case, it is quite important to be able to write and analyse information in a critical and logical manner, as whether you choose to do a humanities-based degree or whether you choose a STEM-based degree you will undoubtedly have to at some point analyse or write or make a judgement about something. Even in the subjects where you’d least expect to! Conversely, where I agree is by noticing the way in which the English syllabuses are structured, how they are taught, and the content in each course. I don’t really believe that the names which each course is given is aligned with the difficulty of the course, and I can safely say this as a student who is currently doing Standard English. For students like us which have little drive/passion to study English and also taking into consideration the varying levels of people’s skill or vocabulary, the course is still quite difficult and to secure a reasonably high grade you actually have to put effort into it equally as you do with all of your subjects, which is hard since as I mentioned before, motivation. In terms of subjectivity though, whilst this can be a massive bitch at times unfortunately it is inevitable haha.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top