QCS Preparation Program

St Mary’s College Queensland Core Skills Preparation Program

In Class Preparation

The best preparation for the QCS test occurs in class. The QCS test assesses the Common Curriculum Elements and these are taught and assessed every day, in every class. The best preparation for the QCS test occurs by actively engaging in learning in every subject area, every lesson. It includes attempting all set tasks in class, engaging in learning at home and reading widely to ensure a good general knowledge of current events, politics and economics.

Self–Directed and Small Group Independent Preparation

Self-directed preparation individually or with a group of friends is also very beneficial for students. The College has numerous past papers and available for students to borrow from the library, or from the Curriculum office.  Past papers are also available on this page, marking schemes and model responses are also available from the Retrospectives, published on the QSA website (www.qsa.qld.edu.au).

 

Bolt On Preparation

Year 10 Preparation

In Year 10, all students considering an OP pathway are introduced to the types of problems that they will be faced with in the QCS test. They are introduced to the format of the test and the expectation of each of the four sub-tests. Students engage with publications including Smart Solutions to Problem Solving. These publications focus on developing and explicitly teaching the literacy, numeracy and visual literacy skills examined in the test. This preparation occurs in Term 4 of Year 10.

Year 11 Preparation

In Year 11, all OP eligible students undertake QCS preparation for one lesson per fortnight (on average). Students use the Smart Solutions to Problem Solving to continue to hone their skills in the areas of literacy, numeracy and visual literacy in the first semester. In the second semester, students continue to engage with more difficult problems and problem-solving techniques, as well as time management skills and exam techniques to ensure they are well on their way to success in the area of QCS preparation. Students will also engage in specific tuition around preparing for the Writing Task to ensure they are well-prepared for this section of the test. In the final term of Year 11, students undertake an intensive period of preparation on Wednesday afternoons to ensure they are well-placed for success as they move into Year 12.

 

Year 12 Preparation

In Year 12, students undertake a regimented and multifaceted approach to QCS preparation.

QCS Lessons

Students undertake one lesson per fortnight (on average). This lesson is broken up across the term in Writing Task, Multiple Choice and Short Response lessons. This lesson uses the Pathways to Success books to ensure that students are honing their skills throughout the term in all areas of the QCS test.

Term Three Intensive Preparation

In place of sport during Term Three, all Year 12 OP Eligible students will partake in a final intensive burst of Queensland Core Skills Test preparation. The sessions aim to hone students’ skills in the areas that will be assessed and to revise key ideas. The topics include:

  • Numeracy - speed, volume, density, averages
  • Numeracy - Rounding, Compass usage, Variables, Power notation
  • Writing Task - Planning for your chosen genre. – Using linking sentences, vocabulary and motifs to reference stimulus and ensure responsivenesss.
  • Writing Task - Literacy - Recap of spelling rules, full stops, capitals, apostrophes, commas.
  • Writing Task - How to proofread and edit your work- using the last 20 minutes wisely.
  • Visual Literacy - Components of image analysis
  • Visual Literacy - Writing a paragraph/ extended response.
  • Visual Literacy - Symbolism in images.
  • Literacy – Analysis of figurative language and poetic devices
  • Visual Literacy - Writing about aesthetic features.

 

Whole Day Workshops

Students in Year 12 take part in two whole-day, externally- facilitated workshops that aim to offer students a range of skills and strategies for the test. These take place in Term One and Term Three. Throughout the workshops, strategies for all of the subtests are covered and explicitly taught. Students actively engage with questions from past papers as well as marking schemes and retrospectives.

Whole Test Practices

All Year 12 students will undertake two full practices of the QCS test in Year 12 before they sit the test in September. These occur at the beginning of Year 12 and in the middle of the year. These tests are professionally marked and students are given quality detailed feedback (both written and verbal) on their performance. Their performance on these tests is also discussed with a member of the College Leadership Team during Academic Interview in Term One and Term Three. Parents also receive notification of their child’s performance in these tests by mail.

 


Past Papers

2010

Multiple Choice I

Multiple Choice II

Short Response

Writing Task

2009

Multiple Choice I

Multiple Choice II

Short Response

Writing Task

2008

Multiple Choice I

Multiple Choice II

Short Response

Writing Task

 

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