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Year 9 English - Term 3 2017


Students currently in Year 9 will be the first cohort to complete the new senior assessment and tertiary entrance system, beginning in Queensland with students entering Year 11 in 2019.


The new systems include:


  • a model that uses school-based assessment and external assessment
  • processes that strengthen the quality and comparability of school-based assessment
  • introducing the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).


The change to an education system which features external assessment is a significant shift in the way teaching and learning will be conducted in Queensland. Students will be required to complete unseen external assessment tests for every general subject at the end of Year 12, similar to the VCE and HSC systems in Victoria and New South Wales.


To prepare students for this transition, the Benowa State High School English Department has developed a standardised, unseen exam for Year 9 students in Term 3. Details of the exam are as follows:


Year 9 English Unseen Poetry Exam

Where: Sports Hall

When: Thursday, 10  August 2017 (Week 5, Term 3), 8:40am-10:40am


The cover sheet of the exam, including the exam question, will be as follows:

Question book

Year 9 English Unseen Poetry Exam

Thursday 10 August 2017, 8:40am

Do not open this book until you are directed to do so.


THREE poems are contained within this booklet. They are all related to the topic of the environment. During reading and planning time, read each of them to consider their message and use of poetic techniques.

Choose ONE of these poems to answer the following question.

Question: How does this poem develop a message about the environment through the use of poetic techniques and language features?

Answer this question in an analytical essay. Make sure you:

  • start with an introduction
  • write arguments that analyse how the poet develops a message about the environment
  • finish with a conclusion.


Your essay should be approximately 400-500 words. This length is a guide only.

Time allowed

  • reading and planning time – 20 minutes
  • writing time – 80 minutes


General instructions

  • Write using black or blue pen
  • The question is to be answered in the response book
  • Planning paper and this question book will not be marked


It outlines the instructions and conditions for the task. The three poems will only be provided within the exam, to help students prepare for a system where unseen tasks occur more frequently.


Students will be taught a five-week unit in Term 3 that prepares them for this exam. This unit covers explicit teaching of the reading and writing skills required to analyse poems and meet the requirements of the task. A practice exam will also be provided, allowing for students to improve their skills and receive individual feedback from teachers.

As always, it is crucial that students attend school every day so that they do not miss essential preparation and learning for this task.


We encourage parents and guardians to be actively involved with student progress and preparation during this unit, as we generate a stronger study, revision, improvement and extension learning culture, particularly through homework. Part of this can include students completing WordFlyers activities online to learn, consolidate and improve reading comprehension, grammar, spelling, punctuation and writing skills.


All Year 9 students currently have their own unique login and password to access WordFlyers at at home on desktops, laptops and tablets. This interactive site also features some poetry analysis activities that can further prepare students for this exam.


If you have any queries regarding this task and unit, please contact Matt Pickersgill (Head of Department – English) or your child’s English teacher.​