Year 11 High School Survival Guide
Posted on August 2, 2017 by Patrick Condliffe
Year 11 is the penultimate year of a student’s journey through school. But what does Year 11 mean for students? Students begin the preliminary study of their subjects for the HSC in Year 11. A failure to understand key concepts or stay on top of the workload can have dire consequences for students in their HSC year.
In this guide, we will explore why Year 11 is the most important year in high school; discuss the expectations of Stage 6 English, Mathematics, and Science; and explain how to use Year 11 to get ahead.
Table of Contents
1. An Overview of Year 11
2. Common Challenges Faced by Year 11 Students
3. Choosing the Right Subjects for the HSC
4. Understanding Subjects in Year 11
5. Year 11 English Advanced
6. Year 11 Mathematics Advanced (Preliminary)
7. Year 11 Mathematics Extension 1 (3 Unit)
8. Year 11 Science: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
9. HSC Success Secrets
10. Assessment Schedules
An Overview of Year 11
What’s expected of students in Year 11
Students must prepare for the following changes when transitioning into Year 11:

 They must understand the structure of Years 11 and 12 – Preliminary followed by the HSC
 They must be clear about which subjects they wish to study for Years 11 and 12
 They must know the syllabus
 They must be goal orientated
 They must expect an increase in workload
 They must undertake selfdirected learning.
Because Year 11 precedes the HSC, it is critical for students to stay on top of their subject material so they don’t fall behind.
Students and parents need to be aware that:
 Year 11 is the first year of the Stage 6 syllabus. Stage 6 is comprised of the preliminary year for the HSC and followed by Year 12 and the HSC.
 Year 11 is only 3 terms! Year 11 starts in February 2018 and ends in September 2018 to cater for the start of Year 12 in October 2018. This means year 11 students will be asked to learn 4 terms of content in just 3 school terms.
 There is a new Stage 6 Syllabus beginning in 2018. The English and Science Stage 6 curriculum has been strengthened and streamlined. The Mathematics syllabus will change in 2019. Matrix courses are changing to reflect this.
 Year 11 students at Matrix start in October 2017 to allow for all students to learn 4 terms of content over 4 school terms.
Common Challenges Faced by Year 11 Students
Year 11 students often struggle to get on top of things. This is because:
 Students are often unaware of the syllabus requirements – The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) provide students and parents with the Syllabus Outcomes and requirements for each unit of study. Many students don’t take the time to read through this information to learn what NESA expects of them.
 They have poor time management skills – Students often don’t plan their time well. They hamper themselves by:
 not having a daily and weekly routine.
 being reactive to their schoolwork: they finish homework, and respond to assessment notifications when they receive them. Often students don’t think proactively and plan in advance.
 not planning for upcoming exams.
 Students don’t set effective goals – Many students are unaware of the benefits of setting clear and well defined academic goals. Some students don’t set goals at all. Others may try to set goals, but don’t know what goals they should be setting.
 Students aren’t prepared for the faster pace of learning – Students are presented with more information in a shorter period of time than they were in previous grades. As a result, students can see homework and study piling up, without the time or energy to get it all done in time. Things move fast, and students who are not prepared and diligent fall behind.
 Students struggle with independent learning – Students will not get mastery of a subject from their class time. it is important that students practice and revise their skills at home when they study. Students who are not independent learners quickly fall behind.
Year 11 students start receiving a significant amount of work from their various subjects. This means that students will need to do a significant amount of homework each night. Most students do at least 3 hours of study per day.
“Conscientious students will do at least 3 hours study per evening.”
This means that students will need to do between 15 and 18 hours of study each week! Students begin the preliminary study of their Stage 6 HSC subjects.
Choosing the Right Subjects for the HSC
Before Year 11 begins, students need to make some very important choices about what subjects they will study. Parents and students need to be aware that:
 The minimum number of units in Year 11 is 12 units of study.
 Some university courses have subject prerequisites that students must take into account for their Year 11 subject selection.
 Students need to decide which subjects they wish to study for the HSC. These decisions will affect which university courses they can apply for.
 English is a compulsory subject. Some university courses now require a minimum Band 5 in English Standard or Advanced. English will be available in three levels – English Advanced, English Standard, and English Studies. Students will be placed in EAL/D if they meet specific criteria.
 Mathematics Advanced is now a prerequisite for some university courses.
 Biology, Chemistry, and Physics are recommended for some health science courses.
 Students must have extensive discussion with their teachers, careers adviser, parents, and peers to make an informed decision regarding their academic goals and university course aspirations.
“Year 11 is the most important Year in High School! A poor academic performance in Year 11 can greatly handicap your opportunities in Year 12!”
What is Stage 6?
NESA refers to the learning journey of students as Stages. Years 11 and 12 are known as Stage 6. Each subject has a specific set of Stage 6 Outcomes that students are expected to meet.
For some subjects, Stage 6 is divided into Preliminary and HSC. The subjects will have specific Outcomes for each year. You can find more information about Stage 6 here on the NESA website.
Understanding Subjects in Year 11
To succeed in Years 11 and 12, students must have a thorough understanding of what their subjects involve and what the NESA outcomes are.
Let’s have a look at the requirements for English, Maths, and Science.
Year 11 English
The Year 11 and 12 English courses are divided up into:
 English Advanced
 English Standard
 English Studies
 English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D).
Only certain students can take English Studies or EAL/D. Students who feel they should take this course must speak to their teacher and Year coordinator.
A minimum standard of Band 5 in English Advanced or Standard is becoming a common prerequisite for some university degrees. The percentage of students who achieved Band 5 or 6 in 2016 can be seen in the following table:
English Advanced 
English Standard 

Percentage of Students Receiving Band 6 
15.41%  0.85% 
Percentage of Students Receiving Band 5 
46.59%  12.62% 
Table: comparing Standard and Advanced results
“In 2016, 62% of English Advanced students received a Band 5 or higher, but only 13.47% of English Standard students achieved above a Band 5.”
It is important that students take the appropriate level of English for their abilities and the requirements of their desired university courses. More information about the differences between English Advanced vs English Standard vs English Studies can be found here.
Year 11 English is divided into three Modules for English Advanced, English Standard and English Studies.
Let’s see what is involved in Year 11 English:
English Advanced 
English Standard 
English Studies 
EAL/D 

Common Module 
Reading to Write  Reading to Write  Reading to Write  Optional teacherdeveloped module 
Module A 
Narratives that Shaped the World  Contemporary possibilities  Chosen from a list of 14 electives  Language and Texts in Context 
Module B 
Critical Study of Literature  Close Study of literature  Chosen from a list of 14 electives  Close Study of Text 
Module C 
No Module C  No Module C  No Module C  Texts and Society 
Table: Comparison of English Courses
Year 11 students need to be aware that:
 Module is the term used by NESA to describe the unit set for study. The modules prescribe the content studied by students, this includes the approach to the texts.
 Students must always familiarise themselves with the Module outlines to be able to address their criteria. These can be found here on the NESA site.
 The Common Module is used to standardise testing for the different levels of English.
 All students for English Standard and English Advanced will need to take the Common Module in Year 11 and again in Year 12.
 English Studies students do not do The Common Module in Year 11. In Year 11, English Studies students study the Achieving Through English Module. In Year 12, English Studies students will take the Common Module with English Advanced and English Standard.
 English Studies students take elective modules chosen by their teachers from a list of 14 options. The list can be found here on the NESA website. The other modules that students take will differ in difficulty depending on which English course they study.
 The English Advanced Modules are more complex and demanding than the English Standard Modules.
 In Year 11, there is no prescribed text list. In Year 12, the texts will be chosen from a prescribed list.
 We recommend students speak with their School English coordinator regarding the suitable level of English
Year 11 English Advanced
The new Stage 6 English syllabus starts in 2018. The Year 11 English Advanced course is intended for students who have demonstrated good competence in English throughout Stage 5.
In Year 12, English Advanced students need to satisfy the following outcomes in order to obtain a HSC mark in Band 5 or 6. Note that 15.41% of English Advanced students received band 6 compared to 0.85% of English Standard students. It is important that Year 11 students familiarise themselves with Stage 6 learning outcomes so that they are better prepared to achieve Band 5 or 6 results in Year 12.
The learning outcomes are:
Year 11 English Advanced 

Outcome 1 
responds to, composes and evaluates complex texts for understanding, interpretation, critical analysis, imaginative expression and pleasure 
Outcome 2 
uses and evaluates processes, skills and knowledge required to effectively respond to and compose texts in different modes, media and technologies 
Outcome 3 
analyses and uses language forms, features and structures of texts considering appropriateness for specific purposes, audiences and contexts and evaluates their effects on meaning 
Outcome 4 
strategically uses knowledge, skills and understanding of language concepts and literary devices in new and different contexts 
Outcome 5 
thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically to respond to, evaluate and compose texts that synthesise complex information, ideas and arguments 
Outcome 6 
investigates and evaluates the relationships between texts 
Outcome 7 
evaluates the diverse ways texts can represent personal and public worlds and recognises how they are valued 
Outcome 8 
explains and evaluates cultural assumptions and values in texts and their effects on meaning 
Outcome 9 
reflects on, evaluates and monitors own learning and adjusts individual and collaborative processes to develop as an independent learner 
Table: Stage 6 English Advanced Outcomes (Source: NESA Website)
To achieve Band 6, students need to demonstrate extensive knowledge of their texts and write insightful responses that demonstrate their insight into those texts. The best way for students to perform well in Year 11 English is to understand how their texts reflect the concerns of the module and write responses that demonstrate an understanding of the English Advanced Year 11 course outcomes.
Matrix Year 11 English Advanced Theory Books teach students how to address the outcomes for Stage 6, the Band 6 descriptors, and the specific Module requirements. Students who strive to address the Stage Outcomes and Band Descriptors always perform better than their peers.
The Matrix Year 11 English Advanced timetable is below:
2018 Year 11 English Advanced 

Oct – Dec 
Reading to Write 
Feb – Apr 
Module A: Textual Conversations 
Apr – Jun 
Module B: Critical Study 
Jul – Sep 
Module C: The Craft of Writing 
Table: Matrix Year 11 English Advanced Program
Year 11 students at Matrix gain an extensive knowledge and understanding of the key concepts of preliminary English through its structured 9 lesson courses.
Year 11 Mathematics Advanced (Preliminary)
The Year 11 and 12 Mathematics Advanced course is intended for students who have demonstrated general competence in all the skills in the Year 10 Mathematics Advanced Course.
Students who require substantial Mathematics at a tertiary level supporting the Physical Sciences, Computer Science, or Engineering should undertake the Extension 1 or Extension 2 course.
The content and depth of treatment of the Mathematics Advanced course is intended to give students an understanding of and competence in some further aspects of Mathematics which are applicable to the real world.
The Year 11 and 12 Mathematics Advanced topics are listed below:
Year 11 Maths Advanced 
Year 12 Maths Advanced 
Basic arithmetic and algebra (1.1 – 1.4)  Coordinate methods in geometry (6.8) 
Real functions (4.1 – 4.4)  Applications of geometrical properties (2.5) 
Trigonometric ratios (5.1 – 5.5)  Geometrical applications of differentiation (10.110.8) 
Linear functions (6.16.5, 6.7)  Integration (11.1 – 11.4) 
The quadratic polynomial and the parabola (9.1 – 9.5)  Trigonometric functions (including applications of trigonometric ratios) (13.1 – 13.6, 13.7) 
Plane geometry (2.1 – 2.4)  Logarithmic and exponential functions (12.1 – 12.5) 
Tangent to a curve and derivative of a function (8.1 – 8.9)  Applications of calculus to the physical world (14.1 – 14.3) 
Probability (3.1 – 3.3)  
Series (7.1 – 7.3) and Series applications (7.5) 
Table: Mathematics Advanced Stage 6 Syllabus
Year 11 Mathematics Extension 1 (3 Unit)
The new Stage 6 Mathematics syllabus starts in 2019, not in 2018. This means that the 2017 Year 10 students will study the current Stage 6 Mathematics syllabus in 2018.
The Year 11 & 12 Mathematics Extension 1 course is intended for students who have demonstrated a mastery of the skills in the Year 10 Mathematics Advanced course.
The content of the Mathematics Extension 1 course includes the whole of the Mathematics Advanced (2 unit) course. Therefore students sit two HSC exams for this course:
 The Year 12 Mathematics Advanced Exam.
 The Year 12 Mathematics Extension 1 Exam.
For this reason, the Year 12 Mathematics Advanced course is assigned 2 units of HSC marks and the Year 12 Mathematics Extension 1 course is assigned 1 unit of HSC marks. Hence the total number of units for this course is 3 units.
Image: Breakdown of Mathematics Extension 1 (3 Unit)
The Year 11 and 12 Mathematics Extension 1 topics are listed below:
Year 11 Maths Extension 1 
Year 12 Maths Extension 1 
Other inequalities (1.4E)  Method of integration (11.5) 
Circle geometry (2.6 – 2.10)  Primitive of sin(2x) and cos(2x) (13.6E) 
Further trigonometry (5.6 – 5.9)  Exponential growth and decay equation (14.2E) 
Angles between two lines (6.6)  Velocity and acceleration as a function of ‘x’ (14.3E) 
Internal and external division of lines into given ratios (6.7E)  Projectile motion (14.3E) 
Parametric representation (9.6)  Simple harmonic motion (14.4) 
Permutations and combinations (18.1)  Inverse functions and inverse trigonometric functions (15.1 – 15.5) 
Polynomials (16.1 – 16.3)  Induction (7.4) 
Harder applications of the Preliminary 2 Unit course  Binomial theorem (17.1 – 17.3) 
Further probability (18.2)  
Iterative methods for estimating roots (16.4)  
Harder applications of HSC 2 Unit topics 
Table: Mathematics Extension 1 Syllabus
At Matrix, students gain extensive knowledge and skills of all the topics indicated in the syllabus. The Matrix Year 11 Mathematics Advanced and Extension 1 course programs are shown below:
Period 
Year 11 Maths Advanced 
Year 11 Maths Extension 1 
Sep Dec 
Basic Arithmetic and Algebra Absolute Values Linear Functions 
Linear Functions NonLinear Curves Absolute Values and Inequalities Quadratic Polynomial 
Jan – Apr 
Functions and Relations Trigonometric Ratios 
Trigonometric ratios Locus Limits of the Derivative 
Apr – Jun 
Plane geometry The Quadratic Polynomial Locus and Parabola 
Polynomials Geometrical Applications of Differentiation Parametric Representation 
Jul – Sep 
Introductory Calculus Probability Revision of Preliminary Topics 
Sequences and Series Circle Geometry Integration Volumes 
Table: Matrix Year 11 Mathematics Program
Year 11 students at Matrix gain an extensive knowledge and understanding of the key concepts of preliminary mathematics through its structured 9 lesson courses.
Students can choose to undertake:
 the 5day Holiday Accelerated Course for advanced completion during school holidays or
 the 9 week Term Course for timely completion during the school term.
Year 11 Science: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
The new Stage 6 Science syllabus starts in 2018. These science courses build upon the Year 10 sciences course.
The Year 11 Science course structure is outlined in the table below:
Year 11 Biology 
Year 11 Chemistry 
Year 11 Physics 

Skills 
Working scientifically  Working scientifically  Working scientifically 
Module 1 
Cells as the Basis of Life  Properties and Structure of Matter  Kinematics 
Module 2 
Organisation of Living Things  Introduction to Quantitative Chemistry  Dynamics 
Module 3 
Biological Diversity  Reactive Chemistry  Waves and Thermodynamics 
Module 4 
Ecosystem Dyanmics  Drivers of Reactions  Electricity and Magnetism 
Table: Year 11 Science Program
In the Year 11 Biology course, students develop knowledge and understanding of:
 the structure and function of organisms
 the Earth’s biodiversity and the effect of evolution.
In the Year 11 Chemistry course, students develop knowledge and understanding of:
 the fundamentals of chemistry
 the trends and driving forces in chemical interactions.
In the Year 11 Physics course, students develop knowledge and understanding of:
 fundamental mechanics
 energy.
Year 11 students at Matrix gain an extensive knowledge and understanding of the key concepts through its structured courses. Students can choose to undertake:
 the 5day Holiday Accelerated Course for advanced completion during school holidays or
 the 9 week Term Course for timely completion during the school term.
The Matrix Year 11 Science Course Programs are tabulated below:
Period 
Year 11 Biology 
Year 11 Chemistry 
Year 11 Physics 
Sep Dec 
Cells as the Basis of Life  Properties and Structure of Matter  Kinematics 
Jan – Apr 
Organisation of Living Things  Introduction to Quantitative Chemistry  Dynamics 
Apr – Jun 
Biological Diversity  Reactive Chemistry  Waves and Thermodynamics 
Jul – Sep 
Ecosystem Dyanmics  Drivers of Reactions  Electricity and Magnetism 
Table: Matrix Year 11 Science Program
HSC Success Secrets?
Every year, a large number of Year 11 & 12 students ask the question “How did that student get such a high ATAR?” When we analysed the hundreds of academically successful Matrix graduates, we noticed they had a few things in common.
Let’s look at what they are:
Successful students have a clear understanding of what’s expected of them
Successful students have an explicit understanding of what’s required to attain a Band 6 performance. This requires students to have a clear understanding of the syllabus requirements and the Band 6 performance band descriptor for their subjects.
You can view the syllabuses here:
Band 6 and Band E4 Performance Descriptors are outlined below. Band 6 is the highest Band for a 2 Unit course (90 – 100 marks), and Band E4 (45 – 50 marks or 90 – 100 marks) is the highest Band for an Extension 1 and 2 courses such as English Extension 1 and 2, or Mathematics Extension 1 and 2. For the full list of band descriptors, visit the NESA website
English Advanced (15.41%)
In 2016 HSC, 15.41% of the Year 12 English Advanced students attained Band 6.
 Demonstrates extensive, detailed knowledge, insightful understanding and sophisticated evaluation of the ways meanings are shaped and changed by context, medium of production and the influences that produce different responses to texts.
 Displays a highly developed ability to describe and analyse a broad range of language forms, features and structures of texts and explain the ways these shape meaning and influence responses in a variety of texts and contexts.
 Presents a critical, refined personal response showing highly developed skills in interpretation, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of texts and textual detail.
 Composes imaginatively, interpretively and critically with sustained precision, flair, originality and sophistication for a variety of audiences, purposes and contexts in order to explore and communicate ideas, information and values.
English Standard (0.85%)
In 2016 HSC, 0.85% of the Year 12 English Standard students attained Band 6.
 Demonstrates extensive, detailed knowledge, insightful understanding and sophisticated evaluation of the ways meanings are shaped and changed by context, medium of production and the influences that produce different responses to texts.
 Displays a highly developed ability to describe and analyse a broad range of language forms, features and structures of texts and explain the ways these shape meaning and influence responses in a variety of texts and contexts.
 Presents a critical, refined personal response showing highly developed skills in interpretation, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of texts and textual detail.
 Composes imaginatively, interpretively and critically with sustained precision, flair, originality and sophistication for a variety of audiences, purposes and contexts in order to explore and communicate ideas, information and values.
Mathematics Advanced (23.2%)
In 2016 HSC, 23.2% of the Year 12 Mathematics Advanced students attained Band 6.
 Exhibits extensive knowledge and skills appropriate to the Mathematics course.
 Uses sophisticated multistep reasoning.
 Integrates ideas of calculus with strong algebraic, deductive and modelling skills to successfully solve difficult problems.
 Exhibits excellent problem solving skills.
 Communicates effectively using appropriate mathematical language, notation, diagrams and graphs.
Mathematics Extension 1 (33.12%)
In 2016 HSC, 33.012% of the Year 12 Mathematics Extension 1 students attained Band E4.
 Exhibits extensive knowledge and skills appropriate to the Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1 courses.
 Synthesises mathematical techniques, results and ideas creatively across the Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1 courses to solve difficult problems.
 Uses sophisticated multistep mathematical reasoning. Interprets, explains, justifies and evaluates solutions to problems.
 Translates efficiently between practical problems and their mathematical model.
 Communicates complex ideas and arguments effectively using appropriate mathematical language, notation, diagrams and graphs.
Mathematics Extension 2 (32.05%)
In 2016 HSC, 32.05% of the Year 12 Mathematics Extension 2 students attained Band E4.
 Exhibits mastery of most aspects of the Mathematics, Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2 courses.
 Synthesises mathematical techniques, results, and ideas creatively across the Mathematics, Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2 courses to solve problems.
 Combines excellent algebraic and modelling skills, multistep logic and mathematical insight to solve difficult problems.
 Constructs proofs in an abstract setting.
 Communicates sophisticated mathematical ideas and relationships using the algebraic, diagrammatic and graphical techniques of mathematics, concise notation and clear logical argument.
Biology Band 6 Performance Descriptor
In 2016 HSC, 8.76% of the Year 12 Biology students attained Band 6.
 Demonstrates an extensive knowledge and understanding of biological concepts, including those based on contexts and prescribed focus areas.
 Communicates succinctly, logically and sequentially using a variety of scientific formats, including diagrams, graphs, tables, flowcharts and equations relating to biology.
 Analyses and evaluates data effectively, identifies biological relationships, quantifies explanations and descriptions, and synthesises information to draw conclusions.
 Uses precise biological terms extensively and correctly in a wide range of contexts.
 Designs valid experimental processes involving appropriate technologies and incorporates thorough knowledge of scientific methodology to solve problems.
 Applies knowledge and understanding to unfamiliar situations and designs original solutions to biological problems.
Chemistry Band 6 Performance Descriptor
In 2016 HSC, 9.7% of the Year 12 Chemistry students attained Band 6.
 Demonstrates an extensive knowledge and understanding of the concepts of the chemistry course content including context, prescribed focus areas and domain.
 Displays an outstanding ability to describe and explain chemistry concepts, including abstract ideas, clearly and accurately, and to apply the concepts to unfamiliar situations.
 Applies a high level of critical thinking skills in developing appropriate solutions to problems involving a long sequence of related tasks.
 Analyses, evaluates and extrapolates chemical data effectively, identifies complex relationships, quantifies explanations and descriptions, and synthesises information to draw conclusions.
 Communicates succinctly, logically and sequentially using a variety of scientific formats.
 Demonstrates a high level ability to design an experimental procedure.
Physics Band 6 Performance Descriptor
In 2016 HSC, 8.37% of the Year 12 Physics students attained Band 6.
 Demonstrates an extensive knowledge and understanding of the concepts of the physics course content including context, prescribed focus areas and domain.
 Displays an outstanding ability to describe and explain physics concepts, including abstract ideas, clearly and accurately, and to apply the concepts to unfamiliar situations.
 Applies a high level of critical thinking skills in developing appropriate solutions to problems involving a long sequence of related tasks.
 Analyses, evaluates and extrapolates data effectively, identifies complex relationships, quantifies explanations and descriptions, and synthesises information to draw conclusions.
 Communicates succinctly, logically and sequentially using a variety of scientific formats.
 Demonstrates a high level ability to design an experimental procedure.
Successful students are goal oriented
They always start with the end in mind. Year 11 students should have an ATAR goal and a university course that they are working towards.
The student shown in the picture below set an ATAR goal of 99 at the beginning of Year 12. She displayed her ATAR goal on her desk as a daily reminder and to help her maintain motivated.
At the end of Year 12, she attained an ATAR of 98.95! Although she didn’t achieve her exact ATAR, she says “Without a clear goal in mind, I probably wouldn’t have been as determined. I think I would have gotten a lower ATAR”.
Read the blog post on ‘How to set goals to enter your university course of choice.’
Successful students are disciplined
They always get things done on time. Every time. By consistently completing their tasks by the due date, these students gain an advantage over their peers. We find that whilst discipline is a hurdle for many students, Matrix students make it a priority in order to achieve their best results.
If you lack motivation and determination, watch Sally Kim share her story of success.
Successful students manage time for effectiveness rather than efficiency
Successful students are very selfconscious about how they spend their time. They don’t like wasting time and they dislike others who waste their time. Here are four things that they practise to manage their time effectively.
Step 1: They create a Daily ToDoList using a journal.
Image: Sample Student ToDo List
Step 2: They prioritise the tasks based on importance and urgency.
Image: How to prioritise
Step 3: They get ahead of school during the school holidays.
All the past successful students have used their school holidays for advanced completion of content through Matrix Holiday Accelerated Course. This creates blocks of time that students can use for sharpening their skills through exam paper practice.
For example, a student studying Year 12 Chemistry and Year 12 Maths Extension 1 courses would have dedicated 6 hours of study each day for 9 days. This equates to 54 hours of additional study whilst others are doing very little. It also means that the student has saved 54 hours of study during the term.
Step 4: They establish a weekly rhythm to get ahead with exam preparation.
Table: Sample Student Study Rhythm
For a more detailed explanation on managing time effectively, read this blog post on ‘How to create a study plan that works.’
Assessment Schedules and Notifications
NESA mandates that schools must provide students with assessment schedules and notifications in advance.
Assessment schedules are documents that outline when you should have an assessment for a given subject. They will include important information such as:
 the type of task
 the modules being assessed
 the outcomes the task assesses
 the date (or week in term) that it will be due or the exam sat
 the weighting of the assessments as a percentage of the students overall marks.
Assessment notifications are documents that provide important information about how to prepare for the assessment. For each task, students will be presented with an assessment notification. A sample Year 12 Physics assessment task notification is shown below.
These must be given to students at least two weeks prior to the assessment. They must contain:
 an explanation of the type of task
 an overview of the module being assessed
 a list of the outcomes being assessed
 the amount the assessment will be marked out of
 the weighting of the task
 a marking criteria.
To do well in their assessments, students should pay careful attention to their assessment notifications. In particluar, students should make an effort to understand the marking criteria, which will clarify what the markers will be expecting from them.
Below is an example of the first page of Year 11 Physics Assessment Notification. View the Sample Y11 Physics Assessment Task.
To do well in their assessments, students should pay careful attention to their assessment notifications. In particluar, students should make an effort to understand the marking criteria, which will clarify what the markers will be expecting from them.
Sample marking criteria and assessment notifications and schedules can be found on the NESA website. Click the link below to download.
We hope this blog and the links provided are a useful resource in helping preparing you for what’s to come in Year 11, and in achieving your academic ambitions.
Want more helpful articles?



 You may be interested in the Year 12 High School Survival Guide
 Learn How To Write A Band 6 Essay
 Read How I Scored An ATAR Of 99.95 – Rohan Krishnaswamy


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