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Thread: Help! Am I good enough for English extension?

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    Help! Am I good enough for English extension?

    For year 11 I wanted to pick English extension because of the creative writing. I heard it was easier than advanced but there is just more content. However we got our English yearly back today and I got a 14/20. Ugh.

    So here is my delma:
    I am NOT good at essay writing and I think the people choosing extension are brilliant at English so I might be below average.
    But
    I am placed in the "top class" at our school (for some reason)
    And I have gotten good marks back for creative writing assessments.

    So I was wondering if I did Extension I could do the creative writing major work in year 12 so I can get a leg up there or do advanced English and be average but easier.

  2. #2
    Moderator strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Am I good enough for English extension?

    I think you can give it a go, you should understand why you got 14/20 and what you can do to improve your marks. Like even if you be 'average' in advanced English-you are still likely needing to write multiple essays-which will take quite a bit of time already, so if you take on more english units, you have less time to figure out the essay writing part. It is up to you whether that's something you would want to risk, but if you enjoy English, take a risk and if you find you don't like it, you can always drop it at the end of year 11

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    Re: Help! Am I good enough for English extension?

    Hey there, I'm going into Year 12 and I take English Extension. I ranked 3rd in my preliminary year, and let me tell you—it isn't anywhere as easy as you seem to believe. Because you're only allocated 2 periods for the unit per week, you must be extremely self driven and willing to conduct research above and beyond the expectations of a "regular" class; this is what separates the A range students to the B. It's quite easy to neglect because the lessons are so spread apart that it seems like there's never really a need to prioritise it, but there is. It's an exceptionally good course IF you're dedicated to it AND have a good teacher who is passionate about its concepts. However, to put it frankly, I don't think it's a good idea to take English Extension per se solely for the creative writing aspect of it. This is predominantly due to 2 reasons;

    1. The creative writing is ALWAYS weighted the same as the essay. It's easy to place emphasis on the aspect you love most and neglect your weaknesses, I know how that's like. But given that they both have equal value towards your overall mark, you must be willing to devote time to your weakness—the essay—in order to maximise your overall performance in this course. This is harder than you'd anticipate. Essays that satisfy the Band 6 standard in English Ext are far more comprehensive and nuanced than those written in Advanced. You must not only analyse, but you have to critically evaluate the purpose and form of your texts whilst linking to extremely specific dynamics within the context in which the literature was written with a sophisticated argument that runs throughout. Keep in mind also, English Extension essays are expected to be around the 1800-2100 word count with 4 analysed texts total, not the 1000-1200 and 2 texts you'd be used to in Advanced. I don't know how this is sounding to you, but it's WAY harder than it probably seems—especially if you're not already acing your Year 10 essays or whatever. I had an average of 90 before Year 11 in the highest English streamed class, but the essay standards in senior years are SO SO different; I'm not exaggerating. A 15/15 essay in Year 10 would probably only scrape a 8-8/15 in Year 11 Advanced; trust me, I've looked back on my full marker Year 10 essays and they're actually so tragic in comparison to the way I write now. And this is only for Advanced, so think about Extension... it's marked exponentially harder. In addition, generally the calibre of the students are higher too, so you must be on top of everything to rank well. So keep this mind when choosing—you'll have to persevere the difficulty of the Advanced course (which has creative aswell btw) whilst handling the content and high demand of Extension. Unless you're definite that you will put the effort in, I would seriously reconsider it.
    2. Even though both have the same weighting, the creative could get full marks with 900 words—but the essay can't even get 50% with that same word count due to the complexity required. So naturally, you kinda have to invest more time into the essay to do well. Also, you addressed utilising English Ext as an opportunity to take English Ext 2 in your HSC year (major work), which is honestly great that you're considering so early! However, usually, at all the schools I know and including mine, you have to be invited to the course by the school—which is decided on the basis of your pre-existing English Ext and Adv marks. In my school, you basically had to be getting 95+ to be invited to the Ext 2 course. There is really no guarantee that this happens at your particular school, but I suppose that could be an incentive to motivate you to work harder, especially in essays.
    Anyways, I didn't mean to scare you off; if you really want to experience the course, by all means go for it! You can always drop it whenever you want. I wanted to be as realistic as possible to ensure that you're not overlooking it or anything, because it's pretty damn hard and stressful. More than half of my cohort dropped the unit because it was too difficult and demanding. But if you like it, you'll probably really enjoy it like I do and that'll ultimately help you in your work! Good luck.


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    Preliminary 2017; Advanced English | English Extension 1 | Mathematics | Legal Studies | Economics | Biology | Multimedia
    ATAR Aim; 95

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    Member Martin_SSEDU's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Am I good enough for English extension?

    If you can get in, I'd say go for it. I didn't go too well english extension in preliminaries as all the concepts were really new and different but I definitely enjoyed it and learnt a lot. When it came around for the HSC part of English Extension, having a whole year to practice really helped my writing and I ended up going pretty good.

    In summary, if you think you're going to struggle that's fine, you'll be pushed to work harder to get it right.
    Hi, my name's Martin and I'm a 2013 Graduate of The King's School having achieved an ATAR of 98.85 and Full Academic Colours. I study at the University of Sydney doing a Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies).

    Currently, I run a tutoring centre together with a team of talented tutors specialising specifically in Mathematics, English and Science. If you're interested you can check our website out at www.ssedu.com.au to find out more!

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