How to improve after (disappointing) first exam block of Year 11? (1 Viewer)

jj_parkour

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Hi everyone,

The last week has been my first exam block and it hasn't gone the way I had hoped. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to improve and do better next time.

ENGLISH/EXT 1 --> was a hand-in. I did everything last minute and was stressing. I don't want to repeat this cycle again but I usually don't get good ideas in the beginning.

MATHS EXT 1--> The paper was really hard (for me). Most of the questions on the last page I couldn't do and was just disorganized during the test. I thought I had prepared well but honestly I don't seem to be improving in math - any tips?

CHEMISTRY --> was a practical. I decided to do all the written sections first and didn't have enough time to do my prac properly.

PHYSICS --> terrible was a practical. I didn't know what they wanted/how to calculate and just really nervous.

Please help!
 

Jordi El Nino Polla

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Year 11 doesn't mean anything you've got so much time to catch up. List out the things you did wrong during the term and never make those mistakes in the future as well keep doing the things that are working.

For Ext 1 Math just do past paper questions from THSC and learn the stuff from CAMBRIDGE textbook, it's a rinse and repeat situation.

For Chemistry and Physics I learnt how to ace the practicals from reading the first few pages of In Focus textbook and just listening in class. Actually knowing your content helps so much with the experiments too so you know what the aim is. Memorising experiments from the internet doesn't hurt either usually schools recycle experiments, although this isn't always the case.
 

jj_parkour

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Is there a particular strategy/timetable I should follow when studying for maths? Do questions everyday? When should I start?

Thanks for all the advice tho!
 

Valvesound

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Is there a particular strategy/timetable I should follow when studying for maths? Do questions everyday? When should I start?

Thanks for all the advice tho!
Hi everyone,

The last week has been my first exam block and it hasn't gone the way I had hoped. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to improve and do better next time.

ENGLISH/EXT 1 --> was a hand-in. I did everything last minute and was stressing. I don't want to repeat this cycle again but I usually don't get good ideas in the beginning.

MATHS EXT 1--> The paper was really hard (for me). Most of the questions on the last page I couldn't do and was just disorganized during the test. I thought I had prepared well but honestly I don't seem to be improving in math - any tips?

CHEMISTRY --> was a practical. I decided to do all the written sections first and didn't have enough time to do my prac properly.

PHYSICS --> terrible was a practical. I didn't know what they wanted/how to calculate and just really nervous.

Please help!
I was in a similar position after my first Math Ext 1 assessment in Year 11. I got around 60 or 70% (ranked around bottom 25%) and I found the paper was way tougher than any other math task I've done before. The main issue I identified for myself was that I was not doing enough past papers, so the best tip I'd suggest is to always do your math homework the day you get it and keep on top of it else when it comes exam time you're not going to have a solid grasp of the content and are going to be grinding homework questions and not past paper questions. If your school uses Fitz or Math In Focus as the textbook, I'd recommend doing the relevant chapter reviews from the Cambridge textbook as they have more challenging, exam style questions. I'd recommend doing at least a paper a day starting from around 2 weeks before your math exam and if you can confidently do most of the past paper questions in timed conditions, you should be set.
 

may22

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ENGLISH/EXT 1 --> was a hand-in. I did everything last minute and was stressing. I don't want to repeat this cycle again but I usually don't get good ideas in the beginning.
Something I've only just done last term and this term myself, for both advanced and extension English, was to start as early as humanly possible. Believe me, it saves so much time and stress. Even if the first draft is terrible - at least it's there and written out. You'll find that you have plenty more time to edit, can think more clearly when you give yourself that extra time, and can seek extra feedback from others (not including drafts to your teacher).

CHEMISTRY --> was a practical. I decided to do all the written sections first and didn't have enough time to do my prac properly.
For chem, it's probably wise to get the prac out of the way first because you may underestimate the time you need. imo it's easier to rush through the written section that to try and rush the prac component. Also, if you do the prac first, you can fill in the written section simultaneously; e.g. if something is taking a while on the Bunsen burner, you can fill in a bit of the written section while keeping an eye on the Bunsen.
 

jj_parkour

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I was in a similar position after my first Math Ext 1 assessment in Year 11. I got around 60 or 70% (ranked around bottom 25%) and I found the paper was way tougher than any other math task I've done before. The main issue I identified for myself was that I was not doing enough past papers, so the best tip I'd suggest is to always do your math homework the day you get it and keep on top of it else when it comes exam time you're not going to have a solid grasp of the content and are going to be grinding homework questions and not past paper questions. If your school uses Fitz or Math In Focus as the textbook, I'd recommend doing the relevant chapter reviews from the Cambridge textbook as they have more challenging, exam style questions. I'd recommend doing at least a paper a day starting from around 2 weeks before your math exam and if you can confidently do most of the past paper questions in timed conditions, you should be set.
Should I ever plan to do past papers twice? And what are your thoughts about making cheat sheets/doing homework again? Thanks so much!
 

jj_parkour

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Something I've only just done last term and this term myself, for both advanced and extension English, was to start as early as humanly possible. Believe me, it saves so much time and stress. Even if the first draft is terrible - at least it's there and written out. You'll find that you have plenty more time to edit, can think more clearly when you give yourself that extra time, and can seek extra feedback from others (not including drafts to your teacher).



For chem, it's probably wise to get the prac out of the way first because you may underestimate the time you need. imo it's easier to rush through the written section that to try and rush the prac component. Also, if you do the prac first, you can fill in the written section simultaneously; e.g. if something is taking a while on the Bunsen burner, you can fill in a bit of the written section while keeping an eye on the Bunsen.
For english, how do you start if you have no idea on what to do? Usually I wait until an idea comes to me but is there anything I can do that will 'force' an idea to come?

For chemistry, I definitely try and do that next time! I think I was honestly a bit flustered and should have thought better. Are there are tips you would give for practical tasks?
 

Valvesound

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Should I ever plan to do past papers twice? And what are your thoughts about making cheat sheets/doing homework again? Thanks so much!
Imo, don't do past papers and homework twice unless you are going over the ones you don't know how to do. If you do the ones you did before you're not going to be learning anything from it so it just wastes your time. If you want more to do more homework style questions, try the chapter reviews from the Fitzpatrick textbook as revision if your school uses Cambridge (and vice versa). There's plenty of past papers online such as on thsc so you won't ever run out of them. If you've done all the review chapters + school homework + at least 10 past papers you're going to do great in the next exam.
 

Hivaclibtibcharkwa

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MATHS EXT 1-->
If your not naturally good at math drop Ext 1 and keep advanced. There’s no point in spending endless hours to just get a band 5 at most. Spend that time on other subjects and excel in them. Don’t choose a subject just for the scaling, choose what your good at
 

idkkdi

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Hi everyone,

The last week has been my first exam block and it hasn't gone the way I had hoped. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to improve and do better next time.

ENGLISH/EXT 1 --> was a hand-in. I did everything last minute and was stressing. I don't want to repeat this cycle again but I usually don't get good ideas in the beginning.

MATHS EXT 1--> The paper was really hard (for me). Most of the questions on the last page I couldn't do and was just disorganized during the test. I thought I had prepared well but honestly I don't seem to be improving in math - any tips?

CHEMISTRY --> was a practical. I decided to do all the written sections first and didn't have enough time to do my prac properly.

PHYSICS --> terrible was a practical. I didn't know what they wanted/how to calculate and just really nervous.

Please help!
eng -> u'll probably repeat the cycle, but try starting earlier ig.
maths ext 1 -> do Cambridge
chemistry/physics-> ye bad luck. hopefully u don't have any other practical exams haha.
 

pikachu975

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Hi everyone,

The last week has been my first exam block and it hasn't gone the way I had hoped. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to improve and do better next time.

ENGLISH/EXT 1 --> was a hand-in. I did everything last minute and was stressing. I don't want to repeat this cycle again but I usually don't get good ideas in the beginning.

MATHS EXT 1--> The paper was really hard (for me). Most of the questions on the last page I couldn't do and was just disorganized during the test. I thought I had prepared well but honestly I don't seem to be improving in math - any tips?

CHEMISTRY --> was a practical. I decided to do all the written sections first and didn't have enough time to do my prac properly.

PHYSICS --> terrible was a practical. I didn't know what they wanted/how to calculate and just really nervous.

Please help!
Everyone says to improve in maths "just do more past papers" but it's kinda missing some info. If you do 50 past papers but can't solve the final page 40/50 times then what's the point in saying you did 50 papers if there was 0 improvement. When checking the answers you actually need to reflect and think about the solution, what steps they took, why did they do these steps, can I alter my thought process next time to think of these steps, is there stuff in the questions that I can try look out for that pointed towards doing these steps, maybe it's the information given/missing in the question that was a clue?

Just "spamming more past papers" without trying to improve isn't as helpful cos ur brain won't adapt the next time when solving these hard questions. The only hard questions you'll be able to solve by doing more papers is ones you have seen before, but as soon as there's a brand new one, it'll be skipped. Basically just try and improve your thought processes/exam technique. It definitely helped me since I was getting in the 70s raw for 4u past papers, then by the HSC I was getting 90+ raw as I identified my problem was the final page of questions and improved in solving them.
 

Hivaclibtibcharkwa

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Everyone says to improve in maths "just do more past papers" but it's kinda missing some info. If you do 50 past papers but can't solve the final page 40/50 times then what's the point in saying you did 50 papers if there was 0 improvement. When checking the answers you actually need to reflect and think about the solution, what steps they took, why did they do these steps, can I alter my thought process next time to think of these steps, is there stuff in the questions that I can try look out for that pointed towards doing these steps, maybe it's the information given/missing in the question that was a clue?

Just "spamming more past papers" without trying to improve isn't as helpful cos ur brain won't adapt the next time when solving these hard questions. The only hard questions you'll be able to solve by doing more papers is ones you have seen before, but as soon as there's a brand new one, it'll be skipped. Basically just try and improve your thought processes/exam technique. It definitely helped me since I was getting in the 70s raw for 4u past papers, then by the HSC I was getting 90+ raw as I identified my problem was the final page of questions and improved in solving them.
Dang I didn’t even know this was possible
 

may22

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For english, how do you start if you have no idea on what to do? Usually I wait until an idea comes to me but is there anything I can do that will 'force' an idea to come?

For chemistry, I definitely try and do that next time! I think I was honestly a bit flustered and should have thought better. Are there are tips you would give for practical tasks?
For English assessments (hand in, not in-class assessments), I generally like to brainstorm ideas, whether it's for a creative task or theses for an essay. Then I sort of get flowing and piece something together, eventually making edits along the way. For general practice, it depends; sometimes I'll brainstorm, sometimes just start and see where I end up. The way you conceive ideas and then convey them in writing will be different to the way I do it, or the way your friend does, or the way someone on BoS does. With some practice, you will figure out a strategy that works for you

For chemistry pracs, try to maintain your confidence; if you know your content, you have nothing to worry about. But don't be TOO confident. It is very easy to miss a step, or make a silly mistake in calculations, which will inevitably cost you a mark or two. Always make sure you leave a bit of time to check over your responses
 

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