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English 11-12

2022 HSC English Standard Exam Paper 1 Sample Answers

The Matrix English Team shares their exemplar responses to the 2022 HSC English Standard Exam Paper 1. See what Band 6 response structures and analysis would look like!

The 2022 HSC English Standard Exam Paper 1 Sample Answers are here! Keep reading to see exemplar responses that would score highly.

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2022 HSC English Standard Exam Paper 1 Sample Answers

In this article, we share sample answers written by the Matrix English Team for Section 1 for the 2022 HSC English Standard Exam Paper 1. The paper will be released on the NESA website here.

Click here to navigate to sample responses for all the questions.


Question 1 (4 marks)

Text 1 – Prose fiction extract

Analyse how Arudpragasam creates a sense of freedom in this extract.

Arudpragasam explores how travels, which appear outwardly mundane, can in fact form profound experiences that empower the individual with a sense of freedom. In the extract’s opening anecdote, Arudpragasam juxtaposes Krishnan’s train ride in an urban setting with the open train travelling across India’s rural landscapes. In his Indian travels, the manner in which Krishnan “pass[es] and absorb[s]” his surrounding environment during his train rides fosters an appreciation for his sense of personal freedom. The personification of nature in the “wind…calling to him from outside” encourages him to not only “open one of the heavy train doors”, but also to metaphorically open himself up to “a sense of liberation”.


Question 2 (5 marks)

Text 2 – Interview extract

In what ways do the interview and images convey the effect that memories can have on us over time?

Catherine Panebianco’s interview shows the significant effect that intergenerational memories have in establishing personal identity. Panebianco’s photo series No Memory is Ever Alone shows how having family relationships helps to preserve memories for future generations. 

Through the contrast of the “past” being metaphorically “intertwined with the present”, the photo series connects older generations to their younger counterparts. These photos allow younger people to reminisce on how their parents used to be in the same places, experiencing similar things. It is this metaphorical “trail of memories” that bridges the gap between both time and place and between old and young. With Panebianco’s final rhetorical question of whether family memories “from our iPhones and Instagram” will still be available “for future generations”, she drives home how important shared memories are. Ultimately, these photos are “visual representations” of how shared memories can bring family members together. 


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Question 3 (3 marks)

Text 3 – Poem

In what ways does Azzam celebrate togetherness?

Azzam’s poem Nine Spice Mix celebrates the wonders of togetherness through the sensory experience of taste. The poem’s six stanzas paint a unified image of how the “Nine Spice Mix” makes up a “unique union of nine”. Azzam furthers this togetherness of taste through the consistent use of alliteration and sibilance. The personified spices dance the “tango on the tongue”, while “stepping, stomping”, and “swaying”. The fact that these nine spices taste wonderful together reflects the powerful way that our enjoyment of food can bring people together. 


Question 4 (4 marks)

Text 4 – Prose fiction extract

Analyse how Fforde captures the narrator’s experience of awe and wonder. 

The narrator’s visceral experience of walking through a library captures a wonderful sense of awe. The narrator’s simile of “describing the library” as being “like seeing a Turner and commenting on the frame” compares the existence of these books to beautiful and culturally significant pieces of art. Upon the narrator’s approach, the metaphorical idea of these books feeling “warm to the touch” suggests the books’ living nature. Fforde conveys the narrator’s awe and wonder with the aural imagery of the “distant hum”. Here, the faint rumbling of “machinery, people talking, traffic, seagulls” and “a blacksmith’s hammer” highlight how wonderfully “alive” these books are. 


Question 5 (4 marks)

Text 5 – Feature article extract

Explain how Gemmell explores the paradoxes of human behaviour in this extract.

The feature article “a line in the snow” argues that human behaviours can be paradoxical. Gemmel explores how humans can be killers as well as preservers of life on earth at the same time. Gemmel’s visual imagery of a “baby seal with its umbilical cord still attached”, contrasts against the “pesky, rapacious species” of “human”. However, Gemmel also recognises the good and nurturing aspects of human nature in Antarctica’s untouched beauty. In fact, she uses the scientific curiosity attached to Antarctica as a metric for “human goodness” – the metaphorical “barometer”. Within the space of a few paragraphs, she emphasises paradoxical human identities. The alliteration of “plunderers, predators, polluters” contradictorily appears alongside the heartfelt anecdote of her Antarctic team crawling “on [their] stomachs… out of respect”. 


Written by Matrix English Team

The Matrix English Team are tutors and teachers with a passion for English and a dedication to seeing Matrix Students achieving their academic goals.


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