How to Score a Band 6 in English

How to Score a Band 6 in English

The HSC is not an easy task!

There are ATAR rankings and internal marks, and not to mention a lot of work. These can all be stressful and confusing. But fear not, MWNS is here to help! This article will be about how to ace your HSC and get that Band 6 result you have always wanted. But before we dive into how to do this, let’s talk about what a Band 6 is, and how a Band 6 in English works.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • A Band 6 is a result that is between 90 and 100.
  • A Band 6 in English Advanced is ranked higher than one in English Standard. This is because Advanced English is harder, and Advanced students are given more work.
  • Your overall HSC results will be allocated into a band — this includes your internal marks (trials and assessments), and your HSC marks.
  • Scaling will impact your ATAR result. Scaling takes into account how well your whole cohort performed, your internal marks, and whether many students in the state got the same mark as you. Your ATAR result may scale down to an 88 if many students in NSW get a 90 in English.

Teachers and tutors are here to help provide you with the knowledge, skills, resources and support to achieve Band 6 results! You can see the performance band descriptions here for English Advanced and English Standard. If you’re curious about how your HSC marks and ATAR are calculated, see our post.

Tips and Tricks to Achieve that Band 6

Now, let’s get into our team’s favoured tips and tricks for you to take into account for achieving a Band 6.

Be detailed and specific

  • Keep sentences clear and be sure to expand on your points.
  • Always use evidence (quotes), link back to the text AND the question.
  • Do not forget to also write about impact on the audience.

After you have analysed your quote and linked it to a technique and to the given question, think about how it impacts the audience in relation to the some of those rubric key words. This would mean for Common Module you would be reflecting on what that evidence from the texts is saying about human experience.

Context is key

Either near the beginning or end of your paragraph, you should add 2 to 4 lines about the author’s social, political, historical OR personal context. This gives your reader an indication about why the author composed this text and their inspiration. Ask yourself—what are the author’s contextual values or concerns?

Resources matter — so does how you use them

Although the amount of studying will vary between an Advanced and Standard student, preparing practice essays and being diligent applies to all students. An aspiring Band 6 student needs to be organised, willing to take on constructive feedback, and have a healthy, regular study routine.

Band 6 students should also refer to the rubric to show markers that they are aware of what each module is about. Be sure to check out the NESA website to find the rubrics for each module as well as past HSC papers and answer sheets that you can practice with. You can also find exemplar responses from your teachers, tutors and NESA website.

A good approach is to deconstruct these exemplars, using different colours to annotate:

  • rubric links
  • question links
  • quotes
  • techniques
  • contextual points

This way, you can identify what other Band 6 students have done well, and apply these techniques into your own work.

Most of all, try your best!

Most importantly, remember that getting a Band 6 is not easy, and your teachers and tutors are here to support you.

However, getting a Band 6 in English or any other subject is not the most important thing in the world, you can still have a bright future and get into university without one! Trying your best is what is most important. If you study hard, do as many practice exams as you can and engage in self care, you can be proud of whatever result you get.

If you are interested in improving your English results, our English teachers are ready to help! Not only can they support you to achieve a Band 6 if this is your goal, they can also help you by providing you resources and working with you to demonstrate your knowledge effectively.

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