'Discovery' Traumatising HSC English Students

12/10/2015 11:58 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST
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For years the word 'belonging' has traumatised young adults following their HSC English exam.

The good news? 'Belonging' is out as a broad theme when analysing syllabus texts for more than 70,000 NSW Year 12 students walking into their first exam on Monday.

Gone, too, are nebulous thinkpiece terms such as 'change' and 'journeys'.

The bad news? 'Discovery' is in. Yep. Discovery. Good luck discovering discovery in discovered texts. And for years to come.

For the next four years, all students will spend months of their final year answering almost identical questions about ‘how discovery is represented within their texts,’ over-analysing their prescribed books and films until they can't think straight.

It's already causing problems.

The past fifteen years’ themes of ‘Change,’ ‘Journeys’ and ‘Belonging’ still plague high-school graduates to this day.

Some items in the new exam that students may never be able to stomach again include Che Guevera’s ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’, acclaimed 2012 film The Life of Pi, as well as the poetry of Robert Frost, Robert Gray and Rosemary Dobson.

Trigger warnings may also need to be applied to Michael Gow’s ‘Away,’ Kate Chopin’s ‘The Awakening’ and Bill Bryson’s ‘A short History of Nearly Everything.’

The reminder of today's exam has re-opened old wounds for some.

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