Comparing Sample Answers

Comparing Sample Answers

One of the best ways for you to learn the difference between a 6/8 and an 8/8 for an exam response is to compare sample answers using the HSC standards package (see here), or, if your teacher or you would like to to have purchased one, the HSC PDHPE Exam Workbooks.

By reading through and comparing sample answers of different levels you can use the marking guide to further inform yourself of what is required in order to achieve those higher marks. When comparing answers I ask you to look at the following:

  1. The structure of the answers
  2. The use of syllabus terminology
  3. The detail/specifics of the example/s
  4. How well they have linked their answer to the question

Let’s start by comparing sample answers from the 2010 HSC PDHPE exam by looking at a band 4/5 response for Question 22b.

http://arc2.bostes.nsw.edu.au/view/byarea/course/15320/question/769/response/7639

This answer is going to achieve a 5 or 6 out of 8. Although this answer mentions each of the 5 action areas of the Ottawa Charter, giving each its own paragraph and using the syllabus terminology, the level of detail in each paragraph is lacking. This student needs to spend more time explaining what the action area is and what the benefits of each action area are for cancer prevention (linking with the question) in order to achieve the higher marks.

Now let’s consider a top level answer to the same question.

http://arc2.bostes.nsw.edu.au/view/byarea/course/15320/question/769/response/7638

When we compare this sample answer to the previous one you can see the same structure for paragraphs and the use of syllabus terminology, but now the detail in each paragraph has stepped up to a higher level and there are statements that link the action areas with the benefits in preventing CVD.

Additional comments about this second example answer is that  the student has broken down the question, noting the BOSTES key word “argue” and what it is that has to be argued, i.e. the “benefits”. They have identified the section of the syllabus to focus on “Ottawa Charter for health promotion” and that they only have to speak about “one” health promotion initiative.

Comparing sample answers is a great way to help refine your writing skills and to help you succeed in HSC PDHPE.

About the Author:

Founder of pdhpe.net and TeachersPD, Host of the Effective Teaching podcast and Co-host of The Education Station podcast Education Consultant, Deputy Principal at SEDA College, Google for Education Trainer and Innovator, Former ACHPER NSW Board Member, Presenter for EdTech Team, ACHPER and the PDHPE Teachers Association. B App Sc (Ex & Sp Sc), Dip Ed