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AQA GCSE English Literature Exam Tips

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    I'm really struggling to understand how to answer the questions effectively. I think I know the information behind each character of Inspector Calls and OMAM but I'm finding it hard to answer the questions. Any tips?

    (Original post by CaptErin)
    You're assessed using assessment objectives 1, 2 and 4 in this exam:
    AO1 = response to the text ('points'
    AO2 = language/structural features, effect on audience
    AO4 = context

    You're measured on your use of AO1 and AO2 for the first section (Sunglight on The Grass) and AO1, AO2 and AO4 for the second section (Of Mice and Men), so you only need to include context for the second section. In order to attain a strong grade, you'll need to show an ability to fulfil all of the assessment objectives.

    In order to do this, we were taught to use 'PEECKLE' to structure each of our paragraphs:
    Key word
    Language feature
    Effect on audience

    Make a point, such as 'Steinbeck presents Curley's wife as inferior to the men in the novella', then use a quote as evidence, 'This can be seen through the repeated referral to her as nothing more than 'Curley's Wife'', and explain why the quote is significant using the language feature, 'This passive tone and possessive language implies that she belongs to Curley and is only valuable in relation to her husband. Then link this to the context using a key word, 'Steinbeck has done this to cleverly comment on the sexist views held by many in 1930s America'. Finally, comment on the effect this has on the reader, 'As a result, the reader responds with sympathy to Curley's wife because her treatment would be unacceptable in modern day'.

    Try to expand as much as possible in your paragraphs and use connectives, the above wouldn't count as a strong paragraph but those are the parts that would get you the marks. You could expand by saying how this shows that Curley's wife's American Dream was never really attainable because she's not valued and has less opportunity than the men, or discussing how her negative treatment of Crooks could be an attempt to regain some of the power she isn't allowed by the other men.

    You'll want to do 3-5 paragraphs in response to each question, but remember that quality is far more important than quantity, so if you're struggling to come up with points focus on doing 3 paragraphs really well. If you have loads of points, select your best and don't go over 5 paragraphs, because if you do you'll drop on quality.

    It's also recommended that you do a short introduction and conclusion for each question to summarise your thoughts to the examiner. This should only be 2-3 lines long, but use it as an opportunity to introduce your thoughts to the examiner and assure them that you have read the question correctly and intend to stick to it in your answer.

    I hope that helps a bit, I can try and do an example paragraph for OMaM if that would be beneficial - good luck in the exam!
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