How do we make our practice exams?
We are revealing the 5 stages behind our practice exam creation process.
1. Creating a Question Bank
Before we start creating a practice, we sift through numerous HSC exams, trials papers from different schools as well as the new sample questions from NESA.
From doing so, we create new questions banks every time which would typically consists of graphs, tables, diagrams and unique questions that help us model the exams.
This stage is normally done on an ongoing basis. We use other resources as inspiration for ideas and to stimulate our creativity!
2. HSC Syllabus Mapping and Mark Allocation
This is the part that makes Science Ready practice exams stand out.
Figure: flow diagram shows the overall process of transforming questions from the Question Bank into an exam paper. The process undergoes multiple rounds of review and optimisation.
HSC Syllabus Mapping is a process where we tick off specific syllabus sections, inquiry questions and dot points as we create questions for a new exam.
Extended response questions (section 2 of most practice exams) are usually drafted first as they are more flexible and allow for more creativity.
This is followed by multiple choice questions which help us include specific syllabus dot points that are yet to be covered by the practice exam.
While extended response questions test depth of understanding, MCQs test the breath.
In addition, we make sure to allocate similar weighting to questions from each module. We also realise that questions which weigh the same number of marks may take different amounts of time to complete, so we also account for this too.
Figure: graph shows the relative weighting for HSC Physics All-Module Practice Exam A. The content creation team aims to distribute marks evenly across all examined modules.
As you can imagine, this requires many rounds of question modification as well as addition and removal of parts of a question.
Often, we replace pre-existing questions with new ones from the Question Bank if we think the replacement will make the exam more holistic and diverse.
3. Sitting the Exam & Writing Solutions
Every time we finish making the draft for an exam, we sit the exam ourselves.
By doing so, we identify any errors or unfair mark allocations throughout the exams. This also gives us an opportunity to lengthen or shorten any writing spaces accordingly.
Of course, this is also the time when we write the draft for the marking criteria and sample answers.
4. Students Sit the Exam
After we have completed the first round of exam evaluation, we let a small group of HSC students sit the exam under timed conditions (and for free).
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This is our favourite part of the process.
Not only do HSC students get to consolidate their knowledge and become more prepared for their upcoming real exams, we also receive comprehensive feedback to further improve the quality of the exam.
We know that the marking criteria and sample answers are never perfect. We realise that students can provide valuable insights to make them more comprehensive.
This why after we mark the exams, we conduct discussion and review sessions with students in a one-on-one setting. During these sessions, we are able to help them improve academically, and they are able to help us write better materials.
5. Final Evaluation & Publication
This is the last stage of the process before we publish our work.
We consolidate all feedback and modify the practice exam paper and its solutions accordingly.
Our goal is to perfect and maximise the exam’s usefulness for all students who will be purchasing the content.
The Science Ready Difference
So, why us?
While we use them for inspiration, we do not include past HSC and current NESA exam questions in our paid resources.
You can access them for free here.
We use ‘syllabus-mapping’ to ensure students receive the widest and deepest coverage of content when they practise using Science Ready exam papers.
All Science Ready resources are digital. We make individualised learning shareable. This means you can download the exam paper immediately after purchasing without waiting for shipping.
We are not only graduates with qualifications in science. We have extensive experience in teaching and content creation.