The summer holidays are almost upon us. While this year it is more important than ever to use your time to relax and de-stress, it is also a good opportunity to get on top of your English study. While you still have around 75 percent of your content still to learn, there are a few small steps you can take to keep you on track during the holidays!
Organise your Term 1 notes: The first useful thing to do is to simply organise your Term 1 English notes. Keep in mind that much of what you have learned in Term 1 will be tested AGAIN at Trials and in the HSC exam. Realistically however, by the time you get to those exams you will have likely forgotten a lot of the content you covered. Therefore, it is important that you hold onto your notes and organise them in an efficient manner. If your teacher has given you any physical handouts or resources, keep these too – they are often more useful than you think!
Look ahead in the syllabus: By the end of Term 1, most English Advanced students will have just completed the Common Module: Texts and Human Experiences. For the remainder of Year 12, you will complete three more modules – Module A (Textual Conversations), Module B (Critical Study of Literature) and Module C (The Craft of Writing). Reading the syllabus descriptions of these units (don’t worry, they’re only a few paragraphs each) and making sure you know which texts you will be studying can put you in the right mind frame heading into the new term. You can find the syllabus descriptions for each Module on the NESA website.
Familiarise yourself with your prescribed texts: Probably the most helpful thing you can do study-wise in HSC English is to actually read and view the texts you have been assigned. However, let’s be real: this is time consuming. Nonetheless, the summer holidays are probably your best chance to actually read and watch these things – so make use of the opportunity! At the very least, you should make sure you are aware of the texts you will be studying in the coming months and make sure you are generally familiar with what they’re about and what is involved. For more tips on how to read your prescribed texts, see our article here.
Take general notes: As you read or view your texts, make some very general notes on some of the major ideas or themes you identify. This is where having read the syllabus will be helpful, because it will give you a general idea for what to look out for. These notes aren’t meant to be as detailed as the notes you will make during the term, but they do mean that when you return to your text later on you will have some general points to work from.
Make time to relax: Although the holidays are a good opportunity to familiarise yourself with the HSC content, it is also important that you use the holidays the way they were intended – to relax! You will be a much more focused and productive English student if you are able to begin Term 2 feeling as though you actually had a holiday break and you will be less likely to burn out halfway through the year. So, while it is good to return to English from time to time throughout the break, make sure to balance this with rest and recuperation!