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Exam prep: your last minute guide to Studies of Religion

By Larissa Grinsell on 4 August 2016HSIEExam adviceHSCNSWblog

Studies of Religion can get a pretty harsh rap. It’s boring, it’s dry, it’s literally just remembering Bible quotes. For the Catholic schools kids out there, being forced to do it alone can leave a sour taste in the mouth. But having SOR under your belt has its advantages.

In addition to there being WAY more sacred texts than just the Bible, the straight-forward nature of the course is a true blessing in disguise.

More so than most other humanities subjects that leave you somewhat guessing, SOR has a clear, and somewhat delightfully limited, syllabus that means you can walk into the exam room feeling well and truly prepared.

Here’s how:

Structure is everything

One of the absolute gold perks about SOR is that the exam paper sticks really closely to the syllabus – and the syllabus isn’t very long.

This means that you’re not stuck behind a blindfold trying to feel your way through the possible exam questions they could conjure up, all you need to do is structure everything to address the syllabus. This means not only syllabus-based notes, but templates that structure your potensh essays paragraph by paragraph.

For the details on how to do this, Atomi has an application video running you through how to structure an essay for EVERY section of the Depth Study syllabus.

Talk about effective study.

Overlap is key

Yet again, SOR fulfils even the laziest studier’s dreams by having heaps of places where a cheeky overlap of content is completely doable.

This works best if you’re lucky enough to be covering Judaism and Christianity – reusing the same Old Testament quotes, here I come – but there’s also heaps of links that can be made in the Post 1945 section and Religion and Peace, if you’re a 2 Unit kid.

Go through your notes with a comb and see if you’re using very similar content in more than one place. It’s always better to use one quote multiple times than to use multiple quotes one time.

It’s all about efficiency.

Less is more

SOR sets itself apart again by having 3 sections if you’re in 1 unit, or 6 sections for 2 Unit on the paper. While this would seem like more work, it actually just means that you need to know less for each section.

The most critical mistake to make is to have 348 pages of detailed and immaculately colour coded study notes, 90% of which you will never even have time to use on the exam, and that’s if you can remember it all to begin with. If the most you can possibly get asked on it is a 5 marker, your notes should only have 5 marks worth of stuff, max. If you can only get asked an essay question on impact or contribution, you don’t need a page of kind-of-related-but-not-really background info.

Keep your notes tight and reap the benefits.

If you’re smart about it, SOR can be one of the best little (or big) boosts to your ATAR. And, in a world like ours, it can be a really valuable way of learning about the vast diversity and unity that links all religions together.


Feeling inspired?

Head straight on over to the goldmine of HSC Hub videos that Atomi has for you on Post 1945, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Religion and Peace. Score.

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