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, we are 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 90-100.
  • A band-6 in English Advanced is ranked higher than one in Standard. But 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 (e.g. if many students in the state get a 90 in English standard, your ATAR result may scale down to an 88).
  • Teachers and tutors are here to help provide you with the knowledge, skills and resources to achieve band-6 results!

Now, let’s get into the tips and tricks you should take into account when trying to achieve a band-6:
Firstly, your writing must 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 rubric e.g. If it is an essay on the common module you could say that the text encourages readers to consider the fragility of the human experience.

Secondly, context is key! Near the beginning or end of your paragraph, you should add some information (no more than two to four lines in length as this is not a history essay) about the author’s social, political, historial OR personal context. This gives your reader an indication about WHY the author may have composed this text and WHAT inspired them. Ask yourself- what are the author’s contextual values or concerns?

Finally, studying and accessing the correct resources is important. Although the amount of studying will vary between an Advanced and Standard student, doing practice essays and being diligent applies to all students. A band-6 student should be organised and have a healthy and 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 teachers/tutors and the NESA website. A good approach to these essays is to highlight rubric links, question links, quotes, techniques, and contextual points in different colours. This way, you can identify what other band-6 students have done well, and apply these techniques into your own work.

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 should be proud of whatever result you get.

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