NCEA English is a great subject as you can answer the question to shape your ideas to what’s required. As long as you practise creating your argument and honing your points to make them clear, you’re halfway there. Having a good memory in exams and revising heaps, can help you so much with remembering all those examples that back up your points. NCEA is great in the sense that it gives you access to the unit standards and old exam papers. It’s so easy if you’re stuck to look up past papers and examples to deconstruct from there. It can be daunting when you’re trying to focus on each assessment, both in class and in the exam room. Together, let’s demystify what each assessment involves. Follow along and let’s unpack them.
Internal assessments that you will do during the year
91475 has you making a portfolio
In NCEA Level 3, 91475 is an internal assessment where you will need to pick two of your best-written texts to present in a portfolio. This needs to showcase a sense of fluency and be coherent so that your discussions can be fully understood. For this reason, it is best to submit essays, or featured articles in your portfolio, rather than less sophisticated texts like interview exerts, songs, and letters. When you’re creating your portfolio always remember that the language features you use need to match the text type that you choose. For example, if you’re tackling an essay for your chosen text, make sure your language is serious in tone and comes across in a structured way. After you have selected your two best pieces of work, you will need to edit these to reach a publishing standard. If you’re wanting to know more about getting into the bones of your essay, then have a look at this breakdown of an essay question.
What about talking to the class for 91476?
If you’re more skilled with the gift of the gab, controlling that talent and channelling it into a speech might be just the assessment for you. With 91476, the Oral text should be structured in such a way that fully understands the target audience and has a clear idea of the purpose you are communicating. You can do everything from a presentation to a podcast, right through to a YouTube video. Just be mindful if you pick a medium that involves editing, you won’t be marked on your video editing skills. If you’re struggling to find a topic, you could dive into iPads in classrooms, or maybe delve into All Black’s legends history or even the benefits of hit work-out training. The sky is your limit as long as the topic surpasses your personal experience, you should be able to do it. This assessment is about communicating ideas, feelings, and opinions so, so get opinionated and tackle a great topic in a relatable way.
Are you more visual? 91477 helps to unlock your creative side!
Making something eye-catching and with meaning certainly sounds like fun doesn’t it? 91477 is perhaps one of the more interesting assessments in NCEA English as it allows you to use your artistic flair. You will need to have great control of language features. These are different for every static image, be it a poster, or a brochure. Remember that language features can be any device like juxtaposition, metaphor, or repetition. The poster, drawing, or image must be captivating, with a good command of attention. To do this you will need to utilise conventions for the type of image you’ve chosen. For example, if you do a poster for a climate awareness company, make sure the colours, shapes, sizes, and all-around aesthetics align with the meaning.
AS91478 is an assessment where you will respond to multiple different texts. This will be done critically and perceptively, to make connections to back up your examples. It’s similar to some of the other assessments you have done. However, you will have the added aspect of multiple texts to compare and contrast.
Add a critique with your favourite text that is 91479
AS91479 goes one step further and asks you to bring critical texts into play. These can be anything from a literary theory, criticism, or critical analysis. Unlike other assessments you are able to choose a written, oral, or visual text; so pick wisely. Once you’ve selected your text, you need to develop an informed and perceptive understanding of the main ideas. To do this, you will need to get behind a theory or hypothesis to frame your investigation of the text. To make your assessment is unique, it may be helpful to draw from a range of critics on the text so that you can make a more rounded argument.
Next, we have the final internal assessment. 91480 is where you need to critically respond to oral or visual texts. This will need to be insightful, with your own judgements and original interpretations. You can choose anything from a film, tv show, theatre show, or even a radio programme. Here you will unpack the ideas, language features, and structures so you can critically and insightfully, communicate your thoughts. Remember language features can be hyperbole, oxymoron, or anything that enhances the meaning.
Check out available resources for NCEA English here.
What about those much-anticipated exams? What do you need to expect?
Perceptively unpack a visual text, with AS91473
Now that we have discussed the internal assessments, we will move to the external exams. Fret not; I can hear you gasp! There always seems to be an air of anxiety over taking what you know and applying it under time constraints, in a sweaty room. But don’t worry, there is a way through. For starters, assessment AS91473 is all about how you engage with a visual or oral text. It’s the movie, tv-show, graphic novel question, and the examiner is wanting to see how you critically and perceptively respond to your chosen text. All I can say is: use examples, examples, examples! Make sure you’re backing up your claims as you go, with quotes knitted throughout. You will select an aspect from the oral text that is either about ideas, language features, or structure. Within this, you could talk about a theme, the editing, or even the narrative sequence of the film. If you’re needing extra help and struggling to find resources for this assessment, have a look at this blog, which details a range of free and paid resources for NCEA.
Get behind a written text and unpack the themes with 91472
In the same way, you will then need to respond critically to a specific written text and, then use clear examples to do so. This is the same structure as the oral text, however, you will be looking at written texts. Always remember here that you should plan plan plan! Do this before you start writing your essay. Take 5 minutes prior writing, to really be clear on your question. Sitting exams can get so stressful with the time restraints and that pesky clock on the wall. Just a tip; take a highlighter to single out key phrases that are important to the question. As 91472 is all about written texts, make sure you have taken the time prior to fully memorize those quotes. You’ll be needing that supporting evidence to back your essay's claims. If you are wanting extra help, have a look at the NCEA English past papers.
You get it every year, that's right it's Unfamiliar Text, AS91474!
Finally, we have the Close Reading exercise ‘Unfamiliar Text’, also known as AS91474. This focuses on how well your English skills work when applied to a text you’ve never seen before. Use what you have learned from the internals and apply that to the new texts. The texts change each year, but a good idea is to look back on past exams from the NCEA website. Here you can practice the art of applying your knowledge to something new. The aspects you will look into will be the audience, the purpose of the text, as well as ideas related to beliefs, feelings, or insights on the text. Another key area that unfamiliar text showcases, are language features. Here you will need to show your knowledge of the syntax, symbolism and style. It's a good thing throughout the year you’ve had to write about language features in your internals, so you’ll be already aware of these! With unfamiliar texts, the more you prepare the better. Since it’s not a memory test, you just need to be able to access skills like applying your knowledge to the new material. If you’re looking at pushing yourself, you could always do NCEA Scholarship English. Here is an outline and guide for you to think about.
Try to chill: if this seems to be a big undertaking. You’ve just witnessed the full outline for your entire year. However, if you’re wanting to have more help with nailing your NCEA English, consider Superprof. Superprof is a tutoring service with a range of tutors all equipped to help you with either your internal work or to get you polished for your exams. They bring a wealth of experience as well as their own resources to help you feel more confident. Your first lesson is completely free so what are you waiting for? Have a peruse on the website and see who the right fit for you might be. Let’s get you ready for those exams!
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