The English Department Guide. To doing well in your. English GCSE Exams

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1 The English Department Guide To doing well in your English GCSE Exams 1

2 WJEC English/English Language The date of your exams Tuesday 10 th January Unit 1 (Reading) 9am Unit 2 (Writing) 10am 2

3 Unit 1 Reading Non-fiction texts 1 hour What to expect You will be asked to read two non-fiction extracts of different styles on a common theme. This could be a newspaper article, a web page, a leaflet, a fact sheet, an advert, an essay or a letter. Example question types are as follows: o Information retrieval List facts the article tells the reader about o Impressions What impressions do you get of o How How does the writer try to show that. These questions require you to comment on persuasive techniques. o Viewpoint and attitude or thoughts and feelings What are the writer s thoughts and feelings about o Evidence and views What evidence does the writer use to show or What are the writer s views o Comparison of texts this will be the last question Compare and contrast what the writers say about. Unit 1 -Top Tips When answering the questions Read the section of the text you are directed to for each question. Take your time to read the question carefully, underline the key words and make sure you answer the question with every point you make. Familiarize yourself with the possible question types. If you are asked to retrieve information highlight the text as you read it. Only use bullet points or a list in your answer if you are told to, otherwise write in sentences and paragraphs. 3

4 If bullet points are given use them to structure your answer. Do not write generalized comments e.g. The impression is good. Support your answers with short quotations and use inference to say what they suggest. Instead say The writer describes the city as vibrant which gives the impression it is lively and bustling. When you are asked to compare the two texts, make sure that you write an equal amount about each. Use whereas, in contrast, on the other hand, also, to make sure you compare. Spend 15 minutes ONLY on each question. When answering the How question, make sure that you explain the effect of the persuasive or language techniques you identify. Always use quotes from the text when you are answering questions in this section Unit 2 Writing Non fiction texts What to expect You will be given 2 writing tasks to complete in 1 hour, spend 30 minutes on each question. The questions can vary in format and purpose. Use FLAP to make sure you have this right. Use INAFOREST to ensure your use a variety of language devices. Potential formats Letters (formal or informal) Reports 4 Articles/ reviews Leaflets Speech

5 FLAP Format set formal and informal letters out correctly. A speech must address the audience etc Language formal, informal INAFOREST Audience teenagers, older people, the editor of a newspaper Purpose to persuade, to oppose or support, to advise and inform How to raise you marks There are 7 marks for technical accuracy. Use simple compound and complex sentences, accurate punctuation and spelling. There are 13 marks for structure and content, write in detail and use varied vocabulary. Paragraphs must be used. Begin them with connectives or topic sentences, e.g. Firstly, furthermore, Plan your work. Think about a 5 part plan. Introduction, a minimum of 3 detailed paragraphs and a clear bold conclusion. Example questions: Formal letter Many people think that we should take holidays in Britain rather than travel abroad. Write a letter to a newspaper giving your views on this issue. Informal letter You have a friend who has decided to run in the London Marathon. Write a letter to your friend giving your opinion. Article Write an article for a travel magazine about a place that you think will be good to visit for a holiday. Review Write a review of a recent television programme you enjoyed. Speech You have the opportunity to use a school assembly to persuade the pupils to support a charity. Write what you would say. Unit 2 Top Tips when writing your responses You must write between one and two sides for each question. 5

6 7 out of 20 marks are given for accuracy e.g. spelling, punctuation, capitals letters and sentence variation. Allow time to proof read at the end. You must answer the question in the format requested e.g. Newspaper article, Letter, speech etc. You must read the question carefully. Make sure you are aware of the specific layout of all the different formats before the exam e.g. Letter, Article, Report, Leaflet, Speech and Review. Make sure that you write your response with the correct formality level to match the intended audience. E.g. Letter to friends, Letter to an MP, etc. Try to impress the examiner by using effective persuasive techniques INAFOREST e.g. rhetorical questions, repetition, facts, emotive language, statistics, etc. Read the question closely to make sure that you understand the purpose of the task you have been asked to do. E.g. Are you trying to review/persuade? Make sure that the tone of your writing is appropriate e.g. polite, frustrated Take particular care with presentation e.g. neat handwriting, clear paragraphs of varied lengths. Lay your work out correctly and use clear headings, etc. Good luck from all of the English Department 6

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