Year 12 HSC Common Module: Texts and Human Experiences Practice Questions

Can’t find any helpful questions for HSC Module Text and Human Experience? Here are 10 brand new questions for you!

TutorTime would like to help you prepare for the HSC English Common Module (paper 1). 

A great place to start is to understand what you have to demonstrate-you can find it here straight from NESA:

“In this common module students deepen their understanding of how texts represent individual and collective human experiences. They examine how texts represent human qualities and emotions associated with, or arising from, these experiences. Students appreciate, explore, interpret, analyse and evaluate the ways language is used to shape these representations in a range of texts in a variety of forms, modes and media.

Students explore how texts may give insight into the anomalies, paradoxes and inconsistencies in human behaviour and motivations, inviting the responder to see the world differently, to challenge assumptions, ignite new ideas or reflect personally. They may also consider the role of storytelling throughout time to express and reflect particular lives and cultures. By responding to a range of texts they further develop skills and confidence using various literary devices, language concepts, modes and media to formulate a considered response to texts.

Students study one prescribed text and a range of short texts that provide rich opportunities to further explore representations of human experiences illuminated in texts. They make increasingly informed judgements about how aspects of these texts, for example context, purpose, structure, stylistic and grammatical features, and form shape meaning. In addition, students select one related text and draw from personal experience to make connections between themselves, the world of the text and their wider world.

By responding and composing throughout the module students further develop a repertoire of skills in comprehending, interpreting and analysing complex texts. They examine how different modes and media use visual, verbal and/or digital language elements. They communicate ideas using figurative language to express universal themes and evaluative language to make informed judgements about texts. Students further develop skills in using metalanguage, correct grammar and syntax to analyse language and express a personal perspective about a text.”

Read more about the NESA English syllabus here:


Here are some general essay tips:

  1. Time your essays. You should allow 40 minutes to write the essay and don’t forget to add in the rubric words.
  2. Hand write your essay, get writing fit, you won’t be able to type your essay in the HSC!
  3. Don’t forget to answer the question in your introduction.
  4. Write in clear paragraphs with obvious spacing. 
  5. Edit your work. 
  6. Good luck!

Some Common Module Questions

1. ‘Representations of historical collective human experiences influences how individuals live their lives today.’

Discuss this statement with reference to the text you have studied.

2. ‘Without love, there can be no hate. Without lies, there can be no truth. Without deceit, there can be no honour.’

How has the text you have studied explored the paradoxical truths of the human experience?

3. ‘Transgressions, lies and deceit form a fundamental part of the human experience. Composers aim to highlight how responding to such tribulations can shape the way individuals view the wider world.’

How has the text you have studied explored this idea?

4. ‘Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely’. 

With reference to the above statement and your prescribed text, to what extent do you believe the individual human experience is defined by one’s struggle with power? 

5. ‘Humans are inconsistent creatures. We love, we envy, we hate. There is no formula to life’. 

To what extent has your understanding of your prescribed text informed your opinion of the above statement? 

6. ‘The one thing that I know for sure is that I don’t know anything for sure’.

How have the paradoxes inherent to the human experience informed your understanding of your prescribed text? Reference the above quote in your answer. 

7. With reference to your prescribed text, to what extent can literature truly capture the inconsistent realities of the human experience? 

8. ‘Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so’.

Evaluate the above statement in line with your understanding of your prescribed text. 

9. To what extent does your prescribed text suggest desperation to be an innate aspect of the human experience?

10. ‘We only reveal our true selves in moments of difficulty’

To what extent is the human experience defined individual suffering? Answer this question with reference to the above statement and your prescribed text.

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