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Thread: ICAS Help

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    New Member Sunnyindahouz's Avatar
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    Question ICAS Help

    Hey guys,
    You see, I've always been wondering...with ICAS, how is it that a lot of people (I mean especially in really good selective schools) find it so easy and get high distinctions every time without having ever looked at a past paper (or so they claim at least)? I just read these BOS posts and hear about peeps from other schools, who claim it's like the easiest thing in the world, whereas I can only manage to get distinctions on ICAS papers. I even generally do a few past papers (I get distinctions or credits on those) before the exams. How is it that it's really easy for so many people? Are there any such high achievers here who have any specific advice to offer? I've like read every website about tricks to multiple choice questions and there doesn't seem to be anything that can help with the specific ICAS questions. I also find time management to be an issue. I can stumble my way through the first 25 questions or so, but then I'd have to guess the last 10.
    Maths should be especially easy, but no matter how much I try, I always get an extra two or three questions wrong, and that lowers me to a distinction. With English and science, I just don't get any of the tricky questions.
    I generally do well in school-based exams that test knowledge, but ICAS (which tests skills) is really undermining my confidence in my ability in a lot of subjects, and I need to do something about it (and no, ignoring it isn't a solution). What can I do to get myself a HD in Maths, English and science (I'm not dumb and I know I can do it someday, but I feel like I'm always making the same mistake somewhere and I have never been pointed in the right direction)? I even know some kids who got credits since primary and well into high school, but they eventually jumped straight to a HD, and I have never been able to do that.

    To summarise my problems, I'm struggling with time management (how do I get through the questions with at least 2 seconds to spare and without literally guessing everything?) and eliminating the distracters (how do I pick the right answer out of the 2 close ones, and with English, how do I even understand what the answer would be at all, and how do you even know which answers are "definitely" wrong?). I'm just looking for some sure-fire techniques, if there are any, that will almost always bomb the competitions.

    Over and out.
    P.S. Sorry about the rant.
    P.P.S. Serious answers only, please, for a serious question.
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    Re: ICAS Help

    First of all, I go to a selective school and trust me half of the kids in my grade get credits, quite a few get distinctions and maybe one or two get a high distinction.

    Second of all: school-based tests are completely different to tests like ICAS. School exams test your knowledge on the stuff that you learn in class, so it's all about remembering and applying your knowledge to answer the questions. People succeed in ICAS tests because they know how to answer multiple-choice questions pretty much. Of course they need to have a good background knowledge about the subject their test is on but knowing how to answer multiple choice helps them heaps. I don't know any specific techniques but I know that a lot of tuition/coaching schools teach their students how to perform better in those type of tests, including OC and selective tests. If you really want to you can enrol into a coaching school... but I think just doing heaps of past papers and practising multiple choice tests (I think you can buy textbooks??? idk) will help you improve in ICAS

    Thirdly, it is so easy for someone to get a HD by guessing the answers haha. It happens more than you think

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    Re: ICAS Help

    Can confirm half the people who do ICAS at my school end up getting credit only a few get HD's, I usually get distinctions, at most times you can guess the answers and still get it right. At my school it's compulsory for the "accelerated" to do ICAS and we don't even know what test we are having lol, don't worry too much about it.

    Also as jjuunnee mentioned above school tests are completely different from ICAS as you learn prior knowledge for the school exams. In my opinion ICAS is a combination of basic high school knowledge and the process of elimination.

    Hints and Tips from https://www.eaa.unsw.edu.au/icas/hints-and-tips

    During the test
    -Try to relax and enjoy yourself; too much tension may prevent you from thinking clearly.
    -Do not look at the time too often - this reduces your time doing the actual test.

    For multiple choice questions
    -Make sure you shade in the bubble next to the right question number.
    -Read each question carefully and choose the best answer from the options given.
    -If you are not sure of the answer, cross out the options you know are wrong and then decide between what is left.
    -If you are doing the English paper, read the whole passage before you start answering the questions.

    When a difficult question is taking a very long time
    -Circle the question so that you can go back to it later.
    -Move on to the next question.
    -Be careful to record the following answer next to the correct question number. It is easy to get mixed up if you don’t check.
    -Go back to the questions you missed at the end if you have enough time.

    After the test
    -At the end of the test time, check that you haven’t left out any questions.
    -Remember, it's not the end of the world if you feel you didn't do well this time.

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    Re: ICAS Help

    I was also wondering (I go to a school remote from Sydney), roughly what proportion of people actually do get HD's in the grade for ICAS and AMC at like the top 6 schools in the state (Baulkham Hills, James Ruse, North Sydney Girls, Sydney Girls, NS Boys and Sydney Boys)? I know some people who go to slightly lower-ranking selective schools in Sydney and one of them told me that apparently the vast majority of people at one of those schools (I think Baulkham Hills) get HD's. I'm just really curious.
    Thanks!
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    Re: ICAS Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnyindahouz View Post
    I was also wondering (I go to a school remote from Sydney), roughly what proportion of people actually do get HD's in the grade for ICAS and AMC at like the top 6 schools in the state (Baulkham Hills, James Ruse, North Sydney Girls, Sydney Girls, NS Boys and Sydney Boys)? I know some people who go to slightly lower-ranking selective schools in Sydney and one of them told me that apparently the vast majority of people at one of those schools (I think Baulkham Hills) get HD's. I'm just really curious.
    Thanks!
    In the junior years (7-10), we're automatically signed for a bunch of ICAS and the AMC.
    ICAS maths, majority of the grade gets HD. Everything else is not that great, especially when we have to do random shit like computing.
    AMC is harder, hence grade is a bit more spread out. Still quite a few Prize/HDs but I think we'd be looking at a distinction average.

    I don't think too many people were worried about these external tests, very few would've studied for them. In some cases we didn't even know we had the exam until the morning of soo...that went well.

    I guess the proportion is skewed in the senior years as we have to sign up for them so people that are actually interested/good at certain subjects are the ones taking the test.
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    Re: ICAS Help

    Quote Originally Posted by bobmyself View Post
    In the junior years (7-10), we're automatically signed for a bunch of ICAS and the AMC.
    ICAS maths, majority of the grade gets HD. Everything else is not that great, especially when we have to do random shit like computing.
    AMC is harder, hence grade is a bit more spread out. Still quite a few Prize/HDs but I think we'd be looking at a distinction average.

    I don't think too many people were worried about these external tests, very few would've studied for them. In some cases we didn't even know we had the exam until the morning of soo...that went well.

    I guess the proportion is skewed in the senior years as we have to sign up for them so people that are actually interested/good at certain subjects are the ones taking the test.
    That about sums up every ICAS test I've done lol. The computing ICAS is soo unnecessary.

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    Re: ICAS Help

    AMC is quite ez

    Always get D

    Far out my friend got prudence awad
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    Re: ICAS Help

    I always find the Science one hard and only get a credit. I've done the English one and it is so much easier
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    Re: ICAS Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolmias View Post
    I always find the Science one hard and only get a credit. I've done the English one and it is so much easier
    For me it's the other way around probably because I am terrible at English.

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    Re: ICAS Help

    I always fail English. On the other hand, my Computer Skills, Maths and AMC are amazing
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    Re: ICAS Help

    Quote Originally Posted by si2136 View Post
    I always fail English. On the other hand, my Computer Skills, Maths and AMC are amazing
    You're in extension english lol

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    Re: ICAS Help

    Quote Originally Posted by eyeseeyou View Post
    You're in extension english lol
    If she believes in herself she might do well in engrish.

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    Re: ICAS Help

    Quote Originally Posted by plane View Post
    If she believes in herself she might do well in engrish.
    I just fail comprehension somehow

    I over analyse
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    Re: ICAS Help

    Done ICAS tests for the last 5 years, received HDs on all of them (except English. The ICAS English can go burn itself on a bonfire somewhere lol).
    Just relax, and don't forget to breathe. That's really all to it IMHO, since ICAS is more about your skill in the particular subject in general (and a little bit of common sense).

    (First post on BOS! woot!)
    Last edited by Suu; 11 Jun 2016 at 10:33 PM.

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    Re: ICAS Help

    Quote Originally Posted by si2136 View Post
    I just fail comprehension somehow

    I over analyse
    Same, I thought I was the only one who stuffed up comprehension, people say comprehension is the easiest part in English for me writing is easier. I've been told the key to comprehension is reading a lot of books, I probably should try that lol.

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    Re: ICAS Help

    Quote Originally Posted by plane View Post
    Same, I thought I was the only one who stuffed up comprehension, people say comprehension is the easiest part in English for me writing is easier. I've been told the key to comprehension is reading a lot of books, I probably should try that lol.
    Nah it doesn't work.

    But I guess if u think simply and straightforward then that would do the trick.
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    Re: ICAS Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Suu View Post
    Done ICAS tests for the last 5 years, received HDs on all of them (except English. The ICAS English can go burn itself on a bonfire somewhere lol).
    Just relax, and don't forget to breathe. That's really all to it IMHO, since ICAS is more about your skill in the particular subject in general (and a little bit of common sense).

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    Re: ICAS Help

    Quote Originally Posted by si2136 View Post
    Nah it doesn't work.

    But I guess if u think simply and straightforward then that would do the trick.
    True but for really long texts (I'm talking about those really small font walls of texts), I usually lose focus and just end up not reading half it.

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    Re: ICAS Help

    Quote Originally Posted by plane View Post
    True but for really long texts (I'm talking about those really small font walls of texts), I usually lose focus and just end up not reading half of it.
    You're not meant to read it?
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    Re: ICAS Help

    Quote Originally Posted by si2136 View Post
    I always fail English. On the other hand, my Computer Skills, Maths and AMC are amazing
    Like legit 3 times I was one mark away from 100% in computer skills
    twice for science

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    Re: ICAS Help

    Quote Originally Posted by si2136 View Post
    Nah it doesn't work.

    But I guess if u think simply and straightforward then that would do the trick.
    Second that ^^ Honestly, the only thing that really helps is just trying to figure out what they want for you to answer.

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    Re: ICAS Help

    Lmao. everyone in our school (Baulkham hills high) gets hd for science

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