• Want to help us with this year's BoS Trials?
    Let us know before 30 June. See this thread for details
  • Looking for HSC notes and resources?
    Check out our Notes & Resources page

Memorising essays for English (1 Viewer)

iSplicer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
Messages
1,806
Location
Merrylands, NSW
Gender
Male
HSC
2010
Uni Grad
2017
Re: Memorising essays

I got 93 :) so although it was less than a lot of people who memorised essays I know a 99.95er who gunned english and never memorised a single essay.
I know 1-2 as well.

... but the other ~75 99.95+ers I know memmed essays completely.
 

4025808

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Messages
4,377
Location
中國農村稻農
Gender
Male
HSC
2011
Uni Grad
2017
Re: Memorising essays

Ouch =/. Did you have essays prepared for them? I guess if you'd written prepared responses, the essay you came up with on the spot would've still resembled what you'd prepared, despite not memorising?

In any case, it's fun to look back in hindsight =]. How's this sem going for you?
Well I did have module C and belonging essays prepared, since I knew belonging would be a generic question. Same with module C, since they screwed your cohort in mod C, and thus, they won't screw our cohort for that module. I knew that they would screw up module B because here were the trends for advanced:

2009 - screw up module A
2010 - screw up module C
2011 - screwed mod A already, screwed mod C, most likely time for mod B

So therefore I didn't memorize an essay for module B, still ended up scraping band 5, 13/20 for mod B (it was an unfair Q because the BoS specified a speech)

for Module A I didn't memorize a response coz I didn't know how to mould one in, since the Qs seemed very different to me. still ended up with 15/20 for it though. I ended up writing notes and basing stuff on themes in case the BoS would throw a specific topic to me.

sometimes i like thinking about this sort of stuff :p

this sem so far is good, although busy :/ wbu?

Sorry to stay off topic, it was kinda a late reply.


Also, I gotta tell OP, know the trends of the past papers given to you, regarding what to memorize and what not to memorize. Sometimes you could be better off writing something on the spot that could possibly give you 15/20 as opposed to dumping an essay and getting a 12/20. try and avoid that if you can.
 
Last edited:

mirakon

nigga
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
4,222
Gender
Male
HSC
2011
Re: Memorising essays

I know 1-2 as well.

... but the other ~75 99.95+ers I know memmed essays completely.
Hmmm....not sure about your figures, but i'll take your word for it :)

The point i'm getting at is that memorising essays isn't necessarily the best tactic for everyone, nor is it foolproof. It works most of the time, but for certain students who have a flair for writing, or students who want to read deeper into their texts, or for those students who want to be 100% prepared against the possibility of a xurveball question, there are other more effective methods to secure marks
 

iSplicer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
Messages
1,806
Location
Merrylands, NSW
Gender
Male
HSC
2010
Uni Grad
2017
Re: Memorising essays

Hmmm....not sure about your figures, but i'll take your word for it :)

The point i'm getting at is that memorising essays isn't necessarily the best tactic for everyone, nor is it foolproof. It works most of the time, but for certain students who have a flair for writing, or students who want to read deeper into their texts, or for those students who want to be 100% prepared against the possibility of a xurveball question, there are other more effective methods to secure marks
No method is foolproof. But the memorising path is as close to it as you can get.

Fair call about being 100% prepared against the possiblity of a wild curveball, but it's a factor that all to-be 99.95'ers consider and form a judgement on. The judgement we all reached was that crazy, unmouldable curveballs are simply too rare to make memorising essays even slightly infallible. We all prepared for contingencies, so we were hedged.
 

mirakon

nigga
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
4,222
Gender
Male
HSC
2011
Re: Memorising essays

Again, its not something *all* 99.95ers or people who get 95+ in english believe, its not a judgement they all form.

Different strokes for different folks, its a massive generalisation to say its closer to foolproof than any other method. No method is closer to foolproof than any other method, it is ebtirely dependent on the student and the paper
 

enoilgam

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
11,887
Location
Mare Crisium
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
2010
Re: Memorising essays

Hmmm....not sure about your figures, but i'll take your word for it :)

The point i'm getting at is that memorising essays isn't necessarily the best tactic for everyone, nor is it foolproof. It works most of the time, but for certain students who have a flair for writing, or students who want to read deeper into their texts, or for those students who want to be 100% prepared against the possibility of a xurveball question, there are other more effective methods to secure marks
This is pretty much what I have been thinking. Personally I memorised pretty much because I wasnt very good at english and I felt it was much safer option. However, for someone very capable in english, I think a non-memorised approach can allow for a better responses as the method allows for greater adaptibility.

Also, the flip side of memorisation is that many students who memorise perform poorly because they dont have the skill or ability to write and apply an adaptable essay.
 

iSplicer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
Messages
1,806
Location
Merrylands, NSW
Gender
Male
HSC
2010
Uni Grad
2017
Re: Memorising essays

Again, its not something *all* 99.95ers or people who get 95+ in english believe, its not a judgement they all form.

Different strokes for different folks, its a massive generalisation to say its closer to foolproof than any other method. No method is closer to foolproof than any other method, it is ebtirely dependent on the student and the paper
I never said all (I've made this clear in almost every post), I said 'most'. And by most I mean vast, vast majority. huge LOL at the few posts in this thread: "A girl (notice the singular) from a few years ago did really well and didn't memorise!" and "I know of these two people that didn't memorise and did well!".

Yeah, well, I know of truckloads of kids every year (and I know that the MAJORITY of high achievers memorise) that get 95+ memorising. Doesn't really compare with that nephew of Uncle moey that didn't memorise in the summer of '07 and managed to get a 97.

And no - it's not a massive generalisation - it's a fact. Take it or leave it.

And I'm not sure if I like this misunderstanding that memorising essays = student with poor english skills. Getting a 15 with a memorised response requires a great deal of literary skill as you must seamlessly and flawlessly MOULD your prepared response to the question.
 
Last edited:

mirakon

nigga
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
4,222
Gender
Male
HSC
2011
Re: Memorising essays

I never said all (I've made this clear in almost every post), I said 'most'.

And no - it's not a massive generalisation - it's a fact. Take it or leave it.

And I'm not sure if I like this misunderstanding that memorising essays = student with poor english skills. Getting a 15 with a memorised response requires a great deal of literary skill as you must seamlessly and flawlessly MOULD your prepared response to the question.
"the judgement we ALL reached" your post, not mine :p

How is it a fact? Simply because it worked for you and other students, doesn't make it factually superior to any other method.

Also I do not recall saying memorising essays equates to poor english skills...
 

iSplicer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
Messages
1,806
Location
Merrylands, NSW
Gender
Male
HSC
2010
Uni Grad
2017
Re: Memorising essays

"the judgement we ALL reached" your post, not mine :p

How is it a fact? Simply because it worked for you and other students, doesn't make it factually superior to any other method.

Also I do not recall saying memorising essays equates to poor english skills...
Uhm, if it worked for me, and the majority (I avidly stand by this) of high ATAR achievers (a lot of whom weren't very good at English AT ALL to begin with), then yes. It does make it a superior method.
 

mirakon

nigga
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
4,222
Gender
Male
HSC
2011
Re: Memorising essays

No it doesn't actually. You do realise that most people, not just high ATAR achievers, memorise essays? For every student who memorises an essay and kicks ass is a student who memorises an essay and gets a relatively mediocre mark.

Jf 90% of people memorise essays and 80% of people with excellent marks in english memorised essays, that doesn't make it a "superior" method.

Furthermore, even if it does work for the majority, it still isn't a "superior" method, simply because you cannot exclude the minority when discussing methods of study. You can't tell a student Method x is better than method y, it depends entirely on their individual style
 

Rafy

Retired
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
10,719
Gender
Female
HSC
2005
Uni Grad
2008
Re: Memorising essays

Markers can easily spot memorised essays.

From the HSC Advisory Bulletin:

Prepared responses
Students should know that HSC questions are not designed to support answers prepared in advance. It is important that teachers prepare students to answer the questions they encounter in the examination, rather than anticipating a particular type of question and memorising an answer to suit.

Students must also understand that partially modifying an otherwise irrelevant memorised response will not lead to high marks. In 2011, supervisors of marking noted that some students tried unsuccessfully to fit prepared, memorised answers into questions without addressing the requirements of the question.

In addition, if students submit a prepared response that borrows heavily from the thoughts or words of others, they are breaching examination rules and may be penalised. (See Breaches of Examination Rules and Malpractice.)
Some extracts from the marker's notes of last year's exams (Markers bring this problem up repeatedly and year after year):

"Candidates should avoid prepared answers based on the ‘dot points’ in the syllabus to suit the directive term in the question stem, as this invariably prevents them from fully answering the question posed. "

"Prepared answers invariably fail to address the specific requirements of the question."

"Some candidates relied on prepared answers, assuming that questions would be based on issues previously examined. Such responses cannot be awarded high marks because those candidates have not engaged with the question."

"In the best responses, candidates did not rely on memorised essays."

"In weaker responses, candidates limited their responses to rote-learned and prepared responses without tailoring it to the question."
 

iSplicer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
Messages
1,806
Location
Merrylands, NSW
Gender
Male
HSC
2010
Uni Grad
2017
Re: Memorising essays

No it doesn't actually. You do realise that most people, not just high ATAR achievers, memorise essays? For every student who memorises an essay and kicks ass is a student who memorises an essay and gets a relatively mediocre mark.

Jf 90% of people memorise essays and 80% of people with excellent marks in english memorised essays, that doesn't make it a "superior" method.

Furthermore, even if it does work for the majority, it still isn't a "superior" method, simply because you cannot exclude the minority when discussing methods of study. You can't tell a student Method x is better than method y, it depends entirely on their individual style
If the student who memorised and got a mediocre mark DIDN'T memorise, would they have done better? I don't think so. (Given they carried out the memorisation/moulding technique properly). You can memorise an essay written by Stephen King himself and still get owned if you don't answer the question. When I say 'memorise essay', I mean 'memorise essay, prepare a contingency plan, mould to question and engage it seamlessly throughout'.

It arguably does. We're just going to have to agree to disagree on this.

Actually, there's no possible way you can include ALL the minorities whilst making ANY judgement about ANYTHING. Of course there will be the occasional Blue Suede to come along and kick ass with a non-mainstream method. I'm talking generally.

And no it doesn't. It's not like Lightsaber combat Form II (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_II:_Makashi) vs. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_III:_Soresu - it's more like Lightsaber vs. Blaster. Sure, an exceptionally gifted person could use a blaster (on-the-spot essay writer) to defeat a lightsaber wielding sith apprentice (memoriser), but how often would you back that to occur?
 

iSplicer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
Messages
1,806
Location
Merrylands, NSW
Gender
Male
HSC
2010
Uni Grad
2017
Re: Memorising essays

Markers can easily spot memorised essays.

From the HSC Advisory Bulletin:



Some extracts from the marker's notes of last year's exams (Markers bring this problem up repeatedly and year after year):

"Candidates should avoid prepared answers based on the ‘dot points’ in the syllabus to suit the directive term in the question stem, as this invariably prevents them from fully answering the question posed. "

"Prepared answers invariably fail to address the specific requirements of the question."

"Some candidates relied on prepared answers, assuming that questions would be based on issues previously examined. Such responses cannot be awarded high marks because those candidates have not engaged with the question."

"In the best responses, candidates did not rely on memorised essays."

"In weaker responses, candidates limited their responses to rote-learned and prepared responses without tailoring it to the question."
Yeah well, they failed catastrophically with me. And basically everyone else I know.

They sprout that crap every year, and it's mostly geared towards the idiots that go in and write their memmed essay word for word. you have to mould it! T
 
Last edited:

mirakon

nigga
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
4,222
Gender
Male
HSC
2011
Re: Memorising essays

If the student who memorised and got a mediocre mark DIDN'T memorise, would they have done better? I don't think so. (Given they carried out the memorisation/moulding technique properly). You can memorise an essay written by Stephen King himself and still get owned if you don't answer the question. When I say 'memorise essay', I mean 'memorise essay, prepare a contingency plan, mould to question and engage it seamlessly throughout'.

It arguably does. We're just going to have to agree to disagree on this.

Actually, there's no possible way you can include ALL the minorities whilst making ANY judgement about ANYTHING. Of course there will be the occasional Blue Suede to come along and kick ass with a non-mainstream method. I'm talking generally.

And no it doesn't. It's not like Lightsaber combat Form II (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_II:_Makashi) vs. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_III:_Soresu - it's more like Lightsaber vs. Blaster. Sure, an exceptionally gifted person could use a blaster (on-the-spot essay writer) to defeat a lightsaber wielding sith apprentice (memoriser), but how often would you back that to occur?
Oh really? Trust me, as someone who went to a comparatively "average" school I know that many students do perform better without memorising essays. Some are incapable of it and work far more efficiently using the quotes method. Some work better with memorised essays. The point being it varies with the student. I think your views are somewhat distorted by the fact you have been surrounded by high achievers for most of your education, the average student functions entirely differently. Mmorising an essay requires a lot more time and dedication, something not all students possess, and gor these students memorising an essay is not optimal.

Yes this part is going nowhere, so we can agree to disagree :)

This is a rather strange example that tbh isn't really directly analogous to what we are talking about (although I do like star wars :D)
 

iSplicer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
Messages
1,806
Location
Merrylands, NSW
Gender
Male
HSC
2010
Uni Grad
2017
Re: Memorising essays

Oh really? Trust me, as someone who went to a comparatively "average" school I know that many students do perform better without memorising essays. Some are incapable of it and work far more efficiently using the quotes method. Some work better with memorised essays. The point being it varies with the student. I think your views are somewhat distorted by the fact you have been surrounded by high achievers for most of your education, the average student functions entirely differently. Mmorising an essay requires a lot more time and dedication, something not all students possess, and gor these students memorising an essay is not optimal.

Yes this part is going nowhere, so we can agree to disagree :)

This is a rather strange example that tbh isn't really directly analogous to what we are talking about (although I do like star wars :D)
Thanks for staying up late to discuss this with me. It's been enjoyable as you've raised a lot of valid points. I'm going to reluctantly concede merit in your first paragraph above - I admit that my take on the HSC has been evolved and stemmed by being mentored by, studying with, and teaching generally high achieving students. The concepts and ideals I perpetuate will thus be biased and geared towards such a population, and may or may not be suitable for students of all academic skills and capabilities (although when I'm trolling, I do make it seem so).

And yes, I was just reading up on some star wars, thought I'd shove something in there for the lols. Not one of my better analogies!
 

mirakon

nigga
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
4,222
Gender
Male
HSC
2011
Re: Memorising essays

Its an interesting debate though, so thanks spiral :)

But now I must sleep
 

mirakon

nigga
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
4,222
Gender
Male
HSC
2011
Re: Memorising essays

Thanks for staying up late to discuss this with me. It's been enjoyable as you've raised a lot of valid points. I'm going to reluctantly concede merit in your first paragraph above - I admit that my take on the HSC has been evolved and stemmed by being mentored by, studying with, and teaching generally high achieving students. The concepts and ideals I perpetuate will thus be biased and geared towards such a population, and may or may not be suitable for students of all academic skills and capabilities (although when I'm trolling, I do make it seem so).

And yes, I was just reading up on some star wars, thought I'd shove something in there for the lols. Not one of my better analogies!
Thank you as well :)
 

enoilgam

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
11,887
Location
Mare Crisium
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
2010
I know this debate has subsided, but I have moved these posts to a knew thread because they were crowding out the OP's initial question (despite the title, the questions werent on the validity of memorised responses per se).
 

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

Top