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ERIC Number: EJ901838
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-0155-2147
English Examination Questions in Australia
McCurry, Doug
English in Australia, v45 n2 p55-63, 65 2010
This paper outlines the analysis of subject English in a report written for the Commonwealth government entitled "Year 12 Curriculum Content and Achievement Standards" (CCAS). This report could not find "a core of common content (either topics or skills) in senior English (including Literature)". In the light of the diversity of English courses described by the CCAS report, this article examines the kinds of questions posed in some different Year 12 Australian English examinations, and categorises them as either conceptual, thematic, process-oriented, formal, substantive or skill-oriented. After reviewing the nature of English as a subject, and a range of questions from English examinations, it is argued that while English courses must specify content in terms of a text list for pragmatic reasons, examination candidates should be given choice among texts and choice about how they respond to those texts. Themes should not be specified in senior English courses, and candidates should be able to choose to make more conceptual or more substantive responses to texts. English examinations, in contrast with most current practice, should give at least as much emphasis to testing skills operating on unseen material as to rehearsing pre-prepared material. (Contains 3 tables.)
Australian Association for the Teaching of English. English House, 416 Magill Road, Kensington Gardens, SA 5068 Australia. Tel: +61-8-8332-2845; Fax: +61-8-8333-0394; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 12; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia