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short answer questions (1 Viewer)

Hiheyhello

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i have recently been practicing a lot of short answer questions for common mod, but find that i go over the time limit for every single question. i can’t figure out whether it’s because im taking too long to answer them, or because i’m writing too much (trials were typed).

so i was wondering how many words we should be aiming to write for each mark allocation?

just so that i know whether to genuinely write like i’ve been possessed, or if i should try to be more succinct.

thanks!
 

Hiheyhello

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also
i was reading nesa samples that my teachers uploaded and i realised that they barley use any quotes. like one of the samples for a band 6 5 marker only has 2 quotes and ive been tryna aim for a minimum of at LEAST one less quote than the mark allocation due to all like the tips i’ve read and heard and stuff.

so is it better to really thoroughly analyse and unpack an idea with less quotes, or be really direct at answering the question and tick the boxes by including lotsa quotes. i find that i can either do one of the other, when i try to go super in depth + quotes of mark allocation, thats when a 5 marker takes me like 20 minutes.

any advice on this aswell???
 

may22

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when i try to go super in depth + quotes of mark allocation, thats when a 5 marker takes me like 20 minutes.

Woahhh, you should be aiming to answer a 5 marker in 10mins or less. How long are your answers? I know this is kind of dependent on the size of your writing as well, but say you have really small writing snd you’ve written a page and a half, I think that’s overdoing it, especially for a 5 marker.

On the other hand, it could just be your speed.

In this case, I suggest reviewing over your answers and identifying what is important in your answer and what is just fluff (might also be wise to contact your teacher and see what they think for further insight). Once you have narrowed down your answer, work on your speed.

Or, you could set yourself a countdown of around 10mins and just write....and see how far you get. This should put you in the mindset that you are racing against the clock and hopefully put you under the pressure to make every word you write count, thereby - hopefully - ensuring there is no fluff as you aim to write all the crucial details.
 

Hiheyhello

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Woahhh, you should be aiming to answer a 5 marker in 10mins or less. How long are your answers? I know this is kind of dependent on the size of your writing as well, but say you have really small writing snd you’ve written a page and a half, I think that’s overdoing it, especially for a 5 marker.

On the other hand, it could just be your speed.

In this case, I suggest reviewing over your answers and identifying what is important in your answer and what is just fluff (might also be wise to contact your teacher and see what they think for further insight). Once you have narrowed down your answer, work on your speed.

Or, you could set yourself a countdown of around 10mins and just write....and see how far you get. This should put you in the mindset that you are racing against the clock and hopefully put you under the pressure to make every word you write count, thereby - hopefully - ensuring there is no fluff as you aim to write all the crucial details.
believe me the excess ain’t “fluff”, it’s profound insights i make about human nature…

but in all seriousness thanks sm you made some great points so yeah, i think will have to be more succinct and race against the clock.

i tried that for two questions after posting and it actually worked rlly well (but then it led to my second dilemma about quotes vs depth).
 

icycledough

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Well, as there are 2 components to Paper 1 (unseen questions and Common Module essay), both of which you are given 90mins for in total, you could try splitting up the time differently if you think that may help you. So for my trials and HSC, I had a 50/40 split, where 50 was for the unseen and 40 was for the essay. As the essay was something I had done practice for with questions before, I could adapt it to the question without needing no more than 40 minutes. That way, as the unseen will be based on texts you have never seen before, it will give you a bit more time.
 

tito981

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ive read that you should have only 1 sentence discussing the question in relation to your quotes (sorta like a topic sentence) and then 1 sentence per quote (these tend to be longer sentences). You should aim for 1 sentence per mark or maybe one sentence over per mark. Try to directly answer the question, dont either repeat the question in your topic sentence or not mention it at all.
 

icycledough

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ive read that you should have only 1 sentence discussing the question in relation to your quotes (sorta like a topic sentence) and then 1 sentence per quote (these tend to be longer sentences). You should aim for 1 sentence per mark or maybe one sentence over per mark. Try to directly answer the question, dont either repeat the question in your topic sentence or not mention it at all.
I'd agree that may work for questions worth 3 marks or less, but especially for the questions worth 6, 7, 8 marks, it may not be suffice to have 6, 7, 8 sentences. It would be expected to have around 3/4 to 1 page (again, depends on quality and size of writing). It is better to have too much than too less, just so you can guarantee most of the marks for the longer questions (that is, if you have time to do so).
 

username_2

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A really neat tip my English teacher told me was: 1) Try to write your answer by filling up all the lines they have given you (ofc +-2 lines) - this is enough to satisfy the hsc markers for the first 1-2 marks, from there 2) have like 1-2 quotes for marks 1, 2 and 3, 4 quotes for 4, 5 and 6 and 2 paragraphs of 3 quotes each for anything higher. I worked for me pretty well so hope it helps.
 

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