GCSE LITERATURE: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FORM AND STRUCTURE?

As you know (because you’re probably dreaming about assessment objectives right now – don’t worry, it won’t last forever), AO2 will examine you on how well you understand language, form and structure. When it comes to be tested on form and structure, what our friendly examiner is looking for is how well you understand the [...]

SECTION B AQA ENGLISH LANGUAGE: HOW TO TAKE A BORING PHOTO AND WRITE AN INTERESTING RESPONSE

This is the section that most students don’t prepare for (I mean, how to you prepare for a writing task that you haven’t seen before?) However, if you make sure you tick the boxes the examiner wants to see, you’ll be a long way ahead of most of the others who take this exam. And [...]

THE 3 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE STUDENTS

One of my all-time favourite business productivity books is Steven Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. It’s why almost every blog post and Buzzfeed article now has a title like this: ‘The ten ways I totally changed my life’ or ‘Seventeen things that tell you your boyfriend is an alien’. It can get [...]

AQA ENGLISH LIT PAPER 1 QUESTION 1: SHAKESPEARE

QUESTION 1: SHAKESPEARE As a reminder, the question will give you an extract and ask you to answer the question based on both the extract, and the play as a whole. As we work through this first question you should be able to see how we go about this. There is a specific approach to [...]

AQA ENGLISH LANGUAGE PAPER 1 QUESTION 4: THE BIG ONE

This is the big one. The one you should spend 20 full minutes on. Not the one you rush through because you’ve taken too long on questions 1-3 (I really cannot stress this enough). This question is asking you to state your opinion on a statement, based on the evidence from the text. Now, in [...]

AQA LANGUAGE PAPER 1 QUESTION 3: IT’S MOVIE TIME

On to the first ‘whole of the passage’ questions, which is pretty tough considering the fact that this is still only worth 8 marks. We can question the examiner’s motives here for a moment, but there’s no point in getting too hung up on this, as we have a job to do. You now need [...]

Question 2: getting tougher…

OK, this is where the road starts to get bumpier. As this questions is asking you to explain, in your own words, about how the writer creates certain effects (in other words, how the writer is trying to make you feel about something). Don’t worry if you feel nothing yourself as you read (other than [...]

AQA Paper 1 Question 1: boring but important

OK, let's look at how we might tackle question 1 so it's over with as quickly as possible. We want this one over and done with asap as it’s worth a measly 4 marks. Let’s look at the question from the practice paper:   Read again the first part of the Source from lines 1 [...]

AQA Paper 1: learning how to read

So, how to put those 8 hacks from the last post into practice? Let's think about how to read like an examiner. Because the AQA syllabus is new, there’s currently only one official practice paper on the website. Which I personally think is a bit lazy of AQA but what do I know? I’m not [...]

The Grateful 8: 8 ways to improve your GCSE language grade without really trying.

I know. You're probably bored with seeing these 'how to' hacks - as if reading 8 things can change your life or whatever. And you also probably know that you should be revising, not reading other people telling you how to revise or get a grade 9. But bear with me. Because I  think that [...]