The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.
What: Unit 3 & 4 Media Studies Practice Examination
How long: Students will have 15 minutes reading time and 2 hours to respond to questions worth 65 marks in total. Students should spend no more than 2 minutes per mark – for example, if a question is worth 5 marks, you should spend about 7-8 minutes answering it.
The examination will contribute to 45% of your overall result. The three outcomes in which will be tested are;
- Unit 3, Outcome 1: Narrative
- Unit 4, Outcome 2: Society’s Values in Media texts
- unit 4, Outcome 3: Media Influence
Organise your notes:
Effective planning begins with good organisation. Since the beginning of the year students have received lots of notes, handouts and presentations which will prove very useful going into the examination – it’s time to organize them all in an appropriate manner!
- If you have notes spread out on multiple devices, print the off and collate them; preferably in an appropriately labelled folio.
- If you are missing content, ask the teacher and make sure you replace it – every little bit helps.
- Make sure you have the Heinamann Text Book.
Students are responsible for their own learning over the school holidays, so make sure you have the required resources and you dedicate ample study time for ALL your subject areas. Consider making a timetable which factors in all your commitments including exam revision seminars and even break times.
It is important to spread out your revision time rather than cramming in information in the final minutes – students need to go into the examination understanding the course content rather than memorizing slabs from a text-book.
Key Directives – Essential Verbs:
- Analyse: break into parts and provide a detailed explanation
- Compare: describe similarities
- Contrast: describe differences
- Describe: give details of
- Discuss: examine by argument, talk or write about it
- Evaluate: state the value or the degree of something
- Explain: make clear, show the meaning of
- Illustrate: use examples to clarify meaning
- Outline: highlight main features, not too much depth
- Summarise: present main ideas
- Identify: show, reveal or point out.
Refer to past examinations:
VCAA (Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority) posts all their past exams online along with assessor reports. These electronic documents can help students to get a general understanding of how he final year examination will be structured. Approximately 20 marks are dedicated to each Outcome (totaling 65) – the exam will consist of multiple short answer questions and one long-answer question.
Read the questions carefully:
Students will have 15 minutes reading time in the examination. Use this time wisely to read over the questions and plan your response. In some cases, questions may require you to elaborate on previous responses, so plan ahead in this instance. Furthermore, articles, case studies and illustrations may need to be referred to in a response – make sure you read over these items carefully.
Answer ALL the questions:
Manage your time effectively in the examination and ensure all the questions have been answered to the best of your ability. Highlight key terms and, given time, proof-read your responses.
If you happen to finish early, don’t waste the time – refer back to your responses and look at ways in which you can improve.
OUTCOME ONE: NARRATIVE
The first section of the examination (worth approximately 20-23 marks) will focus on Outcome One: Narrative. For this section, students must refer to the two texts studied in Unit 3 – Sin City (2005) and Edward Scissorhands (1991).
Past examinations reveal that early questions generally focus on defining specific story, production and audience elements. These are the fundamental components of Narrative, so get to know them! For each element, students should be able to:
- Define what they are including key techniques. e.g; Lighting allows objects and characters to be seen. Types of lighting can include natural and technical/artificial (soft, low-key, high-key, etc).
- Describe where specific elements have been used in key sequences within BOTH of the texts.
- What effect do these elements have on the audience?
Sample Question: 2014 Examination
Describe a specific example of editing from one of the texts that you studied this year.
- Editing is a production element often associated with the post-production phase. Editing is the process of placing images and sounds in order that tells a story and creates emotion from the audience.
- Editing can effect the temporal order of events (flash-backs), duration (slow-motion) and frequency (repeated plot points).
- Consider transitions such as cuts, fades, dissolves and wipes.
How has editing being used to contribute to audiences understanding of one of the texts you have studied?
In Edward Scissorhands, Burton uses editing techniques to aid character development. In an early scene, Edward is helping Peg Boggs prepare a salad for the neighbourhood barbeque. When Peg begins to open a tin of food using the electronic can opener, it triggers a flash-back sequence. The camera zooms closer to Edwards eyes which are transfixed on the can-opener. The shot transitions (using cross-dissolves) to a close-up of the can rotating in the electronic opener, before transitioning back to an extreme close-up of Edward’s eyes. This editing technique brings the audience on a brief journey into Edward’s past as they are transported to a gothic habitation full of robots that act like can-openers. The use of editing also helps give further insight into the strange and unfamiliar mind of Edward.