What to do after you get your English ATAR exams results?

It’s the moment every Year 11 and Year 12 fears…. Receiving their results for their English ATAR exam.

Maybe you did surprisingly well and you think it’s time to kick back and do nothing for the rest of the year. Or perhaps you didn’t get the marks you thought you would and you are ready to give up on ATAR and join the circus.

One exam does not make the student, but what you do with that exam will define your Year 11 and Year 12 journey.

Here are my top five things to do after your exam to ensure you can resolve the issues for the next one!

1. Book some face time

No one wants to be a “sweat” (for parents, this is a term that teenagers use to mean teacher’s pet – isn’t language fun?). But sometimes, you have to just book that face time with your teacher. Even if you ask them for 15 minutes at lunch to ask some questions, it will endear you to the teacher and will show them that you are interested in your grades. In these 15 minutes, ask three solid questions and try to gain as much insight from the results as possible.

2. Check your marking guide/rubric

Every assessment you do in English should come with a rubric. Have a look at which sections you did well in and which you didn’t. If you did well in engagement with the question but bombed your structure, you know that you need to work on the format of your essays and your individual paragraphs.

3. Review the questions

Did you choose the right question for your text? This is the biggest mistake that students make when they are under the pressure of an exam situation. With the benefit of hindsight, sit back and highlight all the keywords in the questions of the Responding section and see if there was an easier question that you could have managed better. Have a go at writing that essay and submit it to your teacher as practice.

4. Review your metalanguage

Metalanguage means the language of language. Identifying the correct terms for the Comprehending section is so fundamentally important. Ensure that you have practised identifying the metalanguage (visual, expository and narrative) and know what they are and what they are used for. Incorrectly identified metalanguage can be the difference between a pass and a fail.

5. Ask yourself some questions

Did you really study enough? This is a big question that not many people actually ask themselves. I would expect 10+ hours of study per subject in the two weeks before exams would be a reasonable ask. This will give you time to unpack questions, identify metalanguage, read structure, perfect your narrative or persuasive text and figure out the major syllabus points.

Or alternatively, you can book office hours with Bianca at Perth English Tutor to walk through your exams with an expert.

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