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Best way to answer AQA English Lit questions?

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    Hi. I'm aiming for an A* in my English Literature GCSE.

    I've noticed that a the questions on the modern text paper, have parts A and B, but they seem to be marked collectively out of 30.

    Do you think it would be a good idea to write one essay answering both questions at the same time, or separate parts A and B into different sections?

    I just feel that I can be more sophisticated if I write it as one essay, and my writing tends to flow better. The one thing that is putting me off is that it says 'Part (a) and then Part (b)', which leads me to believe that they should be answered separately. The different teachers at my school seem to be saying different things, so anyone have any advice?

    My exam is in a couple weeks. Thanks.
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    (Original post by cazmasetro)
    Hi. I'm aiming for an A* in my English Literature GCSE.

    I've noticed that a the questions on the modern text paper, have parts A and B, but they seem to be marked collectively out of 30.

    Do you think it would be a good idea to write one essay answering both questions at the same time, or separate parts A and B into different sections?

    I just feel that I can be more sophisticated if I write it as one essay, and my writing tends to flow better. The one thing that is putting me off is that it says 'Part (a) and then Part (b)', which leads me to believe that they should be answered separately. The different teachers at my school seem to be saying different things, so anyone have any advice?

    My exam is in a couple weeks. Thanks.
    Can you give me a link to a past paper question so I can see what you mean? Also to see the type of questions they give.
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    (Original post by Jhyzone)
    Can you give me a link to a past paper question so I can see what you mean? Also to see the type of questions they give.
    Here you go, this is the one that I completed recently:

    http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/newgcse...W-QP-JUN11.PDF

    Just to let you know, I would be completing either question 1 or 2, and then question 21.

    PS: I just completed a poetry question. Damn timed conditions. I just read it back and if I had just 10 more minutes to plan my answers would be far better imo.
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    (Original post by cazmasetro)
    Here you go, this is the one that I completed recently:

    http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/newgcse...W-QP-JUN11.PDF

    Just to let you know, I would be completing either question 1 or 2, and then question 21.

    PS: I just completed a poetry question. Damn timed conditions. I just read it back and if I had just 10 more minutes to plan my answers would be far better imo.
    Yes, IMHO you should answer it as a whole question. Don't mind the parts. Like you said, it will make your essay flow nicely, thus more cohesive and coherent.

    Another thing as well, you need to get used to writing under timed conditions. Make sure you have 5-10 minutes to plan. When you are revising, it is good to write essay plan for each question and if you have time write them under timed conditions without stopping then ask someone to mark it (your teacher?) or leave it for a day and mark it against a mark scheme.

    Make sure you highlight the key words of the question too and focus on it. Don't stray away - every sentence must answer the question

    Use varied and complex vocabulary

    Hope this helps.
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    (Original post by cazmasetro)
    Hi. I'm aiming for an A* in my English Literature GCSE.

    I've noticed that a the questions on the modern text paper, have parts A and B, but they seem to be marked collectively out of 30.

    Do you think it would be a good idea to write one essay answering both questions at the same time, or separate parts A and B into different sections?

    I just feel that I can be more sophisticated if I write it as one essay, and my writing tends to flow better. The one thing that is putting me off is that it says 'Part (a) and then Part (b)', which leads me to believe that they should be answered separately. The different teachers at my school seem to be saying different things, so anyone have any advice?

    My exam is in a couple weeks. Thanks.
    You answer them separately.
    No need to compare either.

    I'm doing that too, on the 22nd I think?
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    (Original post by _OliviaTheOwl)
    You answer them separately.
    No need to compare either.

    I'm doing that too, on the 22nd I think?
    Correct me if I am wrong since it has been 3 years since I sat my GCSE AQA English Literature exam.

    It is a higher level skill to be able to integrate the two questions together and compare them as not only you are talking about one novel but the other as well. You can give your own perspective and analysis and thus gain a higher mark. I can extrapolate from the paper that you don't necessarily have to answer them separately as the question is worth 30 marks not 15 marks separately.

    That's what I would do anyway.

    On the other hand, it might help the examiner see where to award you mark for each section though. I think just do what you think it's best approached. There is no right or wrong answer - as long as you answer the question thoroughly to the best of your ability then there's nothing more you can do
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    You should answer them seperately, as they are two different questions. I am sitting the same exam as you are.
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    (Original post by Jhyzone)
    Yes, IMHO you should answer it as a whole question. Don't mind the parts. Like you said, it will make your essay flow nicely, thus more cohesive and coherent.

    Another thing as well, you need to get used to writing under timed conditions. Make sure you have 5-10 minutes to plan. When you are revising, it is good to write essay plan for each question and if you have time write them under timed conditions without stopping then ask someone to mark it (your teacher?) or leave it for a day and mark it against a mark scheme.

    Make sure you highlight the key words of the question too and focus on it. Don't stray away - every sentence must answer the question

    Use varied and complex vocabulary

    Hope this helps.
    I've been doing just that! We're on study leave, and I've already asked my teachers to do enough marking of my essays (no need to waste any more of their time) but the consensus has always been the same. I have two issues:

    1. My planning in the first 5-10 minutes is usually unproductive and I tend to just draw a blank. My best ideas usually come in the middle of my writing, which sometimes leads to a nicely flowing essay but that leads to my second problem-

    2. I don't always stay on task. It's just a horrible feeling when you have that awesome thing to say about a poem, or a passage of prose and it just has nothing to do with the question. It makes you die a little inside. It also wastes some more precious time.

    Thanks for your advice though. I'm sure I'll get better if I just keep writing and reading it back.

    (Original post by _OliviaTheOwl)
    You answer them separately.
    No need to compare either.

    I'm doing that too, on the 22nd I think?
    Yeah same! Good luck! I know you don't need to compare them (we're talking about the first question here right?). I kinda worked that out when it said in the mark scheme that this exam isn't marking A03.
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    (Original post by Jhyzone)
    Correct me if I am wrong since it has been 3 years since I sat my GCSE AQA English Literature exam.

    It is a higher level skill to be able to integrate the two questions together and compare them as not only you are talking about one novel but the other as well. You can give your own perspective and analysis and thus gain a higher mark. I can extrapolate from the paper that you don't necessarily have to answer them separately as the question is worth 30 marks not 15 marks separately.

    That's what I would do anyway.
    No you are talking about two separate short stories and you do not compare them.
    You gain no extra marks for comparing them. This is not a test of A03 (your ability to compare)

    "There is no requirement to compare, so parts (a) and (b) should be treated separately, although
    the question will be marked holistically."
    - AQA
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    No definatley answer them seperatley, doing one is too risky, there are two questions so the examiner is expecting to mark two answers. Im doing the same exam, im doing a practice paper now actually! I am doing To Kill A Mockingbird what are you doing?
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    You answer them separately. You only compare two texts (A03) in the poetry exam (Unit 2), not this Unit 1 exam.

    Edit: Ninja'd so many times :/
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    (Original post by cazmasetro)
    Yeah same! Good luck! I know you don't need to compare them (we're talking about the first question here right?). I kinda worked that out when it said in the mark scheme that this exam isn't marking A03.
    Good luck to you too
    Yeah I was talking about the first question too.

    Um, you just answer them separately
    http://dhsbookbabes.wordpress.com/20...ision-essay-1/ << these are some examples I found online.. hope this answers your original question
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    (Original post by shyamshah)
    You should answer them seperately, as they are two different questions. I am sitting the same exam as you are.
    Hey, good luck! I feel that I will probably answer them in one though. I feel more comfortable writing that way, and will probably save me time.

    The reason I say this is, for example, on the Of Mice and Men question, when I read a passage I come up with ideas to do with both character analysis and the stories cultural background. I think attempting to separate them into two parts would go against how my brain works, and would just make it look a bit clunky and basic imo.
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    I'm doing a paper atm, how would you answer the question 'What methods does Steinbeck use in this passage to present Candy?' I'm mainly stuck on methods, because i dont really understand what it means. Thank you
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    (Original post by cazmasetro)
    Hey, good luck! I feel that I will probably answer them in one though. I feel more comfortable writing that way, and will probably save me time.

    The reason I say this is, for example, on the Of Mice and Men question, when I read a passage I come up with ideas to do with both character analysis and the stories cultural background. I think attempting to separate them into two parts would go against how my brain works, and would just make it look a bit clunky and basic imo.
    Yeah I understand what you mean, I'm doing Of Mice and Men too and yeah the questions are similar. Good luck
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    (Original post by cazmasetro)
    Hey, good luck! I feel that I will probably answer them in one though. I feel more comfortable writing that way, and will probably save me time.

    The reason I say this is, for example, on the Of Mice and Men question, when I read a passage I come up with ideas to do with both character analysis and the stories cultural background. I think attempting to separate them into two parts would go against how my brain works, and would just make it look a bit clunky and basic imo.
    Lol at the way most people on the here say seperatley and you're doing one!
    Its completley up to you my honest advice is seperatley but if you feel that one
    essay will help you in acheiving your a*, then by all means go with your gut feeling.
    Best of luck
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    (Original post by shyamshah)
    I'm doing a paper atm, how would you answer the question 'What methods does Steinbeck use in this passage to present Candy?' I'm mainly stuck on methods, because i dont really understand what it means. Thank you
    I think probably the way he speaks, his actions and the way Steinbeck describes him.
    Also the way other people talk about him too.

    - hope this helped
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    (Original post by _OliviaTheOwl)
    Good luck to you too
    Yeah I was talking about the first question too.

    Um, you just answer them separately
    http://dhsbookbabes.wordpress.com/20...ision-essay-1/ << these are some examples I found online.. hope this answers your original question
    (Original post by Epic Flawless)
    You answer them separately. You only compare two texts (A03) in the poetry exam (Unit 2), not this Unit 1 exam.

    Edit: Ninja'd so many times :/
    Ninja'd?

    Anyway, let's not get jumblied peoples. For the 1st question I can understand writing them separately. But for the 2nd question (Of Mice and Men), you can write a cohesive single essay answer without comparing. I'm not attempting to compare. SO DON'T GET IT TWISTED (it ain't a plea that I am coppin')

    (Original post by sophie5)
    No definatley answer them seperatley, doing one is too risky, their are two questions so the examiner is expecting to mark two answers. Im doing the same exam, im doing a practice paper now actually! I am doing To Kill A Mockingbird what are you doing?
    I'm doing Of Mice and Men. We did it for Controlled Assessment so I presume our school thought it would be simple to just continue that on for the exam. As if this year's English GCSE wasn't packed with enough content as it is. We barely finished all the content in English Lit and spent almost no time on exam prep. I don't think they organised it very well, all the time spent on Controlled Assessment wasted time for other stuff. I won't complain though, because I've done pretty well so far :P.
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    In my school's English department every teacher says do them separately... In fact, don't think I've ever come across anyone wanting to do them all as one chunk I wouldn't take the risk: do them separately as these questions aren't for comparison, the poetry ones are. Good luck in your exam by the way! I've got the same thing and am really hoping for a similar result
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    (Original post by _OliviaTheOwl)
    I think probably the way he speaks, his actions and the way Steinbeck describes him.
    Also the way other people talk about him too.

    - hope this helped

    Yeah I think this is probably what it means.
    Thank you

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