Case Studies

Recommended Case Studies for HSC Visual Art students can be accessed at STAGESIX.

Emily Portmann also has an excellent selection at HSC Visual Art Resources

Strategies for essay writing, study and mnenomics.

Having trouble working out how to best remember all the things you need to?

Here’s some useful advice from Linda Bress Silbert, Ph.D. and Alvin J. Silbert, Ed.D.


Useful Links

Strategies for Effective Learning

Time Management

Managing Stress

Art Terms MoMA

The Essential Vermeer Glosary

Glossary of Art Terms

Exam Preparation Tips

  • Start studying and reviewing early and stay current with the material.
  • Review current techniques being stressed in the class.
  • Assemble a compact list of the most important information, to serve as a quick study sheet.
  • Review and practice past exam papers.
  • Get feedback from your teacher.
  • Attend as many theory lessons as you can, listen carefully and take notes
  • Review your case studies, and re-work unpacking Section 1 examples from previous lessons.

Right before the exam…

  • Get plenty of rest the night before.
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Stay away from people who are either stressed or too unconcerned! about the exam.

During the exam itself…

General Advice

  • Quickly read through the exam paper first and make any relevant notes.
  • Stay calm.
  • Think about what you know and answer those questions first.
  • Skip questions you do not know and come back to them later.

sourced in part@

Preliminary and HSC Art specific advice;

  • If you have targeted a question type for Section 2 and don’t feel confident with the questions presented look for another question that will allow you to effectively use the same Case Studies.
  • Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the demands of the question.
  • Think about your answers to see if they consistently address the question. Try not to wander off topic.

After the exam;

  • When you get your exam paper back, go over it and review any feedback given to you.
  • Determine if the problems you experienced were due to misreading or misunderstanding the question.
  • Review your responses and identify where you strayed from addressing the question.
  • During class, after the papers have been marked and returned, you will be taken through the questions and given guidance on what was required. Make appropriate notes on your paper so that you can use it as a study tool for the next exam.

My advice in italics.


ALARM: A Learning and Responding Matrix

This approach works exceptionally well in terms of helping you to identify the demands of a question and formulate an appropriate response.

Common HSC question types;

  • Name and / or define
  1. Clarify
  2. Define
  3. Identify
  4. Recall
  5. Recount
  6. Summarize
  • Describe: Demonstrate an understanding of and/or list features or attributes
  1. Demonstrate
  2. Distinguish
  3. Extract
  4. Outline
  5. Classify
  6. Desiribe
  • Explain: Demonstrate cause and effect / impact, purpose or function.
  1. Describe
  2. Demonstrate
  3. Distinguish
  4. Outline
  5. Extract
  6. Clarify
  • Analyse: Relationships between various components., how something impacts or affects
  1. Analyze how or why
  2. Interpret
  3. Synthesise
  • Critically Analyse
  • Evaluate


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