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Studying HSC PDHPE

Studying HSC PDHPE
Written by Ashlee Negrone

PDHPE exams can be deceiving – the content is pretty straightforward, but answering questions well is another matter altogether. It is important to keep going through practice papers and recognizing certain question types to maximize your marks. Here are some ways to study for HSC PDHPE.

  • Syllabus flashcards.

There is a lot of content in the PDH syllabus – not only that, but there’s a lot of potential to go down heaps of different rabbit holes and get way too caught up in detail. When making your notes, especially for this subject, try and be as brief as possible because you can really go on unnecessary tangents. You should always use the syllabus as a framework for subjects, but more than most for PDH. Most of the time in questions, markers need you to repeat the dotpoints under a syllabus heading. So it is really useful to have a set of flashcards that on one side say a broad dotpoint, and on the other side the corresponding subheadings. For example,

That way, when you answer questions, you can identify the key word in the question and link that to the corresponding heading in the syllabus. Double check marking criteria to see what you need to mention.

  • Base definitions.

Structure in answering technique is everything in this subject. The way that my teacher taught was, in at least 3-4 mark questions, define any key words, answer the question and then give an example or two. For instance, with Ottawa Charter questions. You should have some really basic definitions that you can write down whenever you see these types of questions. This also goes for headings such as skills (coordination, balance, etc.) or fitness (strength, endurance, flexibility). In those longer questions, you can write down these definitions and demonstrate an understanding of your subject.

  • Chuck in examples.

It’s so so so important to have great examples- especially for topic on epidemiology and Australian health. Knowing some public health campaigns examples that you can draw on is a super useful tool. It’s even better if these examples are extensive, for example BeyondBlue can be linked to all of the different areas of the Ottawa Charter. I would suggest knowing one company or campaign in full and how they link to the areas of the Ottawa Charter (this could be an assessment) and using this for any high-mark questions. Then have some campaigns up your sleeve for the different health issues – such as ageing. Always have examples when you can throw them in! They are great at showing that you know how to link concepts to real life situations.

  • Practice papers!

Practicing all of these tips is super important. I found that my first few practice papers weren’t that great, purely because there are little slip-ups that catch you and take one or two marks off. These add up pretty quickly, and even though you can do well in each question, it can be hard to push 90 in PDH. So keep practicing and learn the little areas to improve, and you’ll get there!

Good luck!

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Author: Ashlee Negrone

Ash studies Pre-Medicine at the University of Technology Sydney. She gradutated in 2016 with an ATAR of 95.3 with the subjects Biology, Adv English, PDHPE, English Ext 1, Design and Technology and Studies of Religion 2U.
Contact for tutoring inquiries.

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