Should I Choose Standard or Advanced English in the New Syllabus?
When you’re choosing which level of English to study for the HSC, it’s important to have all the information. At Sponge, we’ve recently examined what is important to students, and assembled all the information and advice you need!
What is the biggest difference between standard and advanced in the new syllabus?
The biggest difference is the number of texts you’ll have to study! Starting with year 12 in 2019, standard students will only study three prescribed texts, and one related text, making a total of four texts to remember. Advanced students will study five texts, including one Shakespearean text.
Does Advanced English scale better than Standard English?
The answer is technically yes; a student who earns 80% on their Standard English HSC will receive a slightly lower scaled mark than in Advanced English. However, Advanced English is a more challenging course, so you will personally perform better in Standard English than you would in Advanced! English scaling is designed to even out the difficulty of both courses. This means if you are a really strong English student who loves reading and wants to be challenged you can achieve better marks studying Advanced than you would studying Standard. Similarly, if you are struggling with English in year ten and don’t enjoy the subject as much as others, you will likely receive a better mark after scaling in Standard than you would in Advanced.
If I’m a high-achiever in STEM subjects, will I let myself down by choosing an ‘easier’ subject?
Of course not! The HSC allows you to work to your own strengths. You should choose subjects based on interest and ability, not prestige. Standard English may be an easy subject for a strong English student, but that same English student might find Advanced Mathematics very difficult and dull.
Is Standard English ‘easier’?
Standard English aims to develop a high level of English proficiency. Advanced English aims to develop an advanced level of English proficiency. The content is adjusted to this, and a student who has always found English particularly difficult will find Standard English easier. However, if you are a high achieving student and enjoy a challenge, the higher level of technical engagement with English in the Advanced syllabus may encourage you to enjoy English more, and therefore find Advanced English easy to enjoy and study for.
The bottom line:
Choose the subject you think you will enjoy more and be happier studying. If you thrive in a challenging environment, love reading and writing, and have enjoyed English throughout school, then Advanced is the right choice for you. If you don’t enjoy English as much as your other subjects, and struggle to engage with the texts you read in class, but have many other unique strengths and skills, Standard is the choice for you. You are the person who has to study the subject, so your opinion is the most valuable one!