Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this site for?

Students (current or past), teachers, tutors... any member of the VCE community is welcome! Our vision is to provide the leading knowledge base of VCE information, to improve the accessibility of education to anyone. Our goal is to reduce the tyranny of distance associated with traditional learning services. We wish to enlist, you, the community, to help us to create the perfect place to ask your VCE questions!

What kinds of questions can I ask?

Any question about the VCE is welcome. It can be about general VCE advice, specific subjects like Chemistry or English, or about how the VCE works. Even questions about university are okay!

You may also ask questions about Merspi itself, like What does 'community wiki' mean?, but please tag it with the tag.

Make your question detailed and specific, and write clearly and simply. You'll attract better answers.

When you ask a question, the software will automatically show you a list of similar questions. Take a moment to check if someone else has asked or answered the same question before you ask! If you end up asking a question that has been asked before, that is OK and deliberately allowed. Other users will add in links to related or similar questions to help future visitors find their way.

It's also perfectly fine to ask and answer your own question, even if you already have an answer in mind – just remember to phrase it in the form of a question.

What kinds of answers should I give?

Be Respectful

Treat others with the same respect you'd want them to treat you. We're all here to learn together. Be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know. Bring your sense of humor.

Be Honest

Above all, be honest. If you see misinformation, vote it down. Insert comments indicating what, specifically, is wrong. Even better — edit and improve the information! Provide stronger, faster, superior answers of your own!

Be Open-Minded

When it comes to studying and learning, there is usually no "right" answer. At times there will be opposing theories and strategies that are both appropriate for different students and educators. It's okay to disagree, providing evidence and avoiding personal attacks.

What's the difference between a question and a comment?

Merspi is not like a discussion forum! Unlike discussion forums, we highly encourage that Merspi users stay on one key topic ("question") for each thread. If you have a slightly off-topic question related to the question, we encourage users to use the comment functionality rather than post another answer. This ensures that other users viewing the website in the future can easily distinguish between answers and comments (which usually has a much lighter tone and isn't directly related to answering the question.)

Do I have to log in or create an account?

Nope. You can answer and ask questions to your heart's content as an anonymous user, much like Wikipedia. However, there are some things you won't be able to do on the site without registering. But it's easy to register if you want to.

What is reputation?

Reputation is completely optional. Normal use of Merspi — that is, asking and answering questions — does not require any reputation whatsoever.

Remember, Merspi is run by you! If you want to help us run the site, you'll need reputation first. Reputation is a rough measurement of how much the Merspi community trusts you. Reputation is never given, it is earned by convincing other Merspi users that you know what you're talking about.

Here's how it works: if you post a good question or helpful answer, it will be voted up by your peers: you gain 10 reputation points. If you post something that's off topic or incorrect, it will be voted down: you lose 2 reputation points. You can earn up to 200 reputation per day, but no more. (Note that votes for any posts marked "community wiki" do not generate reputation.)

Amass enough reputation points and Merspi will allow you to go beyond simply asking and answering questions:

15 Vote up
15 Flag offensive
50 Leave comments
100 Vote down (costs 1 rep)
100 Edit community wiki posts
200 Reduced site tips and advertising
250 Vote to close or reopen your questions
250 Create new tags
500 Retag questions
2000 Edit other people's posts
3000 Vote to close or reopen any questions
10000 Delete closed questions, access to moderation tools

At the high end of this reputation spectrum there is little difference between users with high reputation and moderators. That is very much intentional. We don't run Merspi. The community does.

What if I don't get a good answer?

In order to get good answers, you have to put some effort into the question. Edit your question to provide status and progress updates. Document your own continued efforts to answer your question. This will naturally bump your question and get more people interested in it.

If, after 2 days, you still don't have an answer you like, you can offer a bounty. Slice off a bit of your own hard-earned reputation -- anywhere from 50 to 500 -- and attach it to the question as a bounty. We'll even throw in 50 reputation to sweeten the deal. The bountied question will appear with a special icon in all question lists, and it will also be visible on the home page Featured tab.

Once initiated, the bounty period lasts 7 days. If you mark an accepted answer, your bounty is awarded to the answerer (do note that accepted bounty answers are permanent and cannot be changed). If you do not accept an answer in 7 days, here is what happens at the end of the bounty period:

  • The highest voted answer created after the bounty started with at least 2 upvotes will be automatically accepted. Half the bounty will be awarded to the owner of that answer.
  • If there is no answer meeting the above criteria, and you as the question owner have not opted to accept an answer, you forfeit your right to ever accept an answer to your question.

In any case, you will always give up the amount of reputation specified in the bounty, so if you start a bounty, be sure to follow up and accept the best answer!

Of course, bounty awards, like all accepted answers, are immune to the daily reputation cap and community wiki mode.

Why are some questions closed?

Questions that are deemed sufficiently off-topic may be closed by the community. Users with 3000 reputation can cast a limited number of close votes per day. When a question reaches 5 close votes, it is marked as closed, and will no longer accept answers. Closed questions may be opened by casting reopen votes in the same manner. However, you may only vote to close or reopen a question once.

Other people can edit my stuff?!

Like Wikipedia, this site is collaboratively edited, and all edits are tracked. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your questions and answers being edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.

How can I help out?

Thanks for becoming a regular member of our community — every user is valued for sharing their unique knowledge and talents with the Merspi community!

You can help to grow the community further by promoting Merspi to your friends and family. Tell your friends about Merspi, print out a flyer and hand them out to your classmates and teachers, become a fan on Facebook and invite your friends, or follow us on Twitter. Help us spread the word and our community will grow, and so together we can learn more!

Whenever you come across great material relating to VCE, you can Merspify it! Simply post it as a question, and if you've got the answer, you can answer it too! You can help Merspi become the leading archive of knowledge for VCE students and teachers.

What about...

If you're looking for more information, you can get it directly from us at info@merspi.com.au. Also remember to check out our constantly evolving knowledge base of questions related to .