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Cambridge IGCSE English Language (May 3rd 2016) official thread watch

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    I think I got a B in my coursework & E in speaking and listening. (I don't know the figures) I am doing a core paper tomorrow so the highest grade I can get is a C overall. Can someone tell me how many marks do I need roughly in the exam to get a C overall!!
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    (Original post by tamanna___)
    Ohh right yeah it makes sense now, thanks😊
    What did you get in coursework and speaking and listening?
    CW I got 47/50 and Speaking and Listening I got 29/30. However, I did the qualification in Year 10 last year as well and our coursework and speaking assessments were marked down to 43/50 and 27/30 (23/25) so I only managed to get a high B overall. Hopefully can get an A this time though!
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    (Original post by ad4m)
    Formal report is a very difficult one. You need to write from a more formal perspective than a newspaper report for example. This means that ideas need to be more justified. I don't think it will come up though!

    For Q2 you need an overview. To get 10/10 follow this simple structure:

    Overview of paragraph 1

    Word 1
    Dictionary Definition of word 1
    Effect of word 1 in context
    [repeat for 4 words in paragraph 1]

    repeat whole thing for 4 words in paragraph 2

    Many people might think that explorative and randomly sequenced versions will get you 10/10. But no, if you write this like an english literature essay you will get about 4/6 marks depending on how good it is. The examiner is simply looking for the structure above. However, the reason why this is very difficult to get is because its hard to get the same effect as the mark scheme!


    My English teacher is an iGCSE examiner and she said that even though question 2 asks specifically for 4 points, it is better to write 5 as marks are not deducted; they are added up (if one point out of five is sub par, you can still get full marks)
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    (Original post by 1Dforever0976543)
    I think I got a B in my coursework & E in speaking and listening. (I don't know the figures) I am doing a core paper tomorrow so the highest grade I can get is a C overall. Can someone tell me how many marks do I need roughly in the exam to get a C overall!!
    Mid 30s is the best guess. Grade boundaries could change though.
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    (Original post by Mose109)
    My English teacher is an iGCSE examiner and she said that even though question 2 asks specifically for 4 points, it is better to write 5 as marks are not deducted; they are added up (if one point out of five is sub par, you can still get full marks)
    Yeah I've been told that as well from someone. I would do it if I had time but it can sometimes mean that you have less time for the other questions.
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    (Original post by suryyyyynn)
    i spend about 20 mins planning for q1 as im quite a fast writer, is that alright?
    also do i need to ask for additional paper to plan on
    Do the plan wherever, as long as you cross it out clearly (big X through it), examiners will just ignore it.

    I only advise 15 minutes, 20 minutes would still leave you 30 minutes to bash it out - do what works for you (practice before exam). Question 1 does require meticulous planning so this might work out better for you.
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    (Original post by suryyyyynn)
    i spend about 20 mins planning for q1 as im quite a fast writer, is that alright?
    also do i need to ask for additional paper to plan on
    Plan on the reading insert as this is not scanned for marking.
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    (Original post by ad4m)
    Yeah I've been told that as well from someone. I would do it if I had time but it can sometimes mean that you have less time for the other questions.
    Im starting with q3 then q1 and then q2. So I would be able to tell if I have enough time to do 5 for each paragraph. Are you starting in the normal order?
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    Since the exam is tomorrow and I'm really nervous. Does anyone have any predictions as to what format will come up in Q1 based on what has come up on previous years.
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    Everyone seems to be speculating on what type of a question will come up for question 1. In essence, it matters not - though the consensus is a formal report.

    You will have to write in a formal style, and use as much advanced vocabulary as possible. If it's a letter, you'll need to know how to start formally (and informally - but that's self -explanatory). If it's a journal, don't start with: "Dear Diary" as it makes people prone to suicide. If it's a newpaper report, don't split your work into columns (don't try to replicate a newspaper format) as it won't get you extra marks. If it's an interview, make sure you establish a voice for every character involved and maintain it throughout. If it's a formal report, use facts and stats and implement eye witness accounts.

    Also one thing to remember is you need to be aware if your question wants you to be unbisaed in your account, or pick a side (newspaper for example).
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    How do we write a formal report?
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    it's tomorrow guys! aargh so scary to think that we're actually starting GCSEs now- yesterday it seems I was in year 7 and thought these would never happen to me! GOOD LUCK EVERYONE YOU'LL ALL DO GREAT xxx
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    (Original post by ad4m)
    Question 3 is only about Passage B, just one text!

    Sometimes the question for Question 3 will be in 2 parts. For example: How is a bird adapted and what threatens its existence? or sometimes there will be 1 part. For example: What are the benefits of learning a new language?

    Write your summary in continuous form, you can decide personally if you want to write it all as one paragraph or as 2 smaller ones.
    Okay thanks!!
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    This is from my English department- I found it very helpful so I thought I'd post it here

    Below we provide advice on answering the English Language exam paper. For an overview of the course (exam + coursework) click on the globe above.IGCSE English Language - Exam technique checklistEquipment: - Three different coloured highlighters (which aren’t in danger of running out!) for text transformation. - Two coloured pens for underlining details for summary. - Black pen(s) for writing answers.Timings:· Text transformation : 10 mins reading, highlighting and identifying scope for development; 1-2 mins, if appropriate, thinking about the voice(s) you need to capture; 8-10 mins making notes from highlighted phrases and planning piece; 25 minutes writing final piece. Total – 45 mins.· Analysis: 25 mins. No need for planning. You will need to analyse 4 or 5 words/phrases from each paragraph. i.e. 2½ mins per word/phrase.· Summary: 10 mins reading and underlining; 10 minutes writing bullet points; 5 minutes planning; 20 minutes writing final piece. Total – 45 mins.This leaves you with five minutes when you can, if necessary, go back to complete an unfinished section or check through what you have written. Do not ignore these timings in order to “finish” one section. Imagine you have 15 minutes more work to do on your text transformation at the end of 45 minutes. By completing it, you might gain two or three extra marks, but cut so much time off your summary that you barely have time to start writing the final piece and thus lose all five marks...!Preparation and planning: This exam has been designed with the assumption that no one can write a successful answer to the first and last section without making notes and planning. The timings above are suggested by the Principal Examiner (the woman who sets the paper and oversees the marking). It therefore makes just a little sense to follow her advice and not launch straight into your answer after reading once through the passages!Importance of each piece:Now I’m not suggesting that any section is unimportant, but the first question - text transformation - is by far the most difficult. If you follow the steps outlined below, it is relatively straightforward to get full marks in the summary (Q3) and not that difficult to get full marks in the analysis (Q2). Don’t throw marks away stupidly by ignoring some of the “rules” which follow.Question 1. Text Transformation – Suggested Steps1. Read the passage once to get the general gist.2. Read the question and note what information you are required to incorporate into your final piece.3. Re-read the passage, more carefully this time, highlighting or underlining the relevant points. Assign a different coloured highlighter to each bullet point. Each bullet point will probably yield 6-10 details. If you haven’t got this many, go back and look again; they’ll have been planted in the piece for you. Remember that you will have to use your own words in the finished piece. In the margin of the original, note where you might develop some of the points. (The areas for development are almost always; (i) showing the likely emotions/voice of a key character or key character and (ii) the future implications of some of the events/actions you write about.)4. If you have to capture a character’s voice, write down 2 or 3 adjectives to describe the character(s) you have to “use” in transforming the piece. Think about how such a person/people will speak or write, what their opinions will be, etc.5. Think about the tone and register you need for the genre specified in the question. (E.g. formal and factual for a report, persuasive for a speech, formal but with human interest for a magazine article...)6. Plan the piece in note form, putting down the ideas you infer from your highlighted phrases.7. Write the final piece, putting the ideas into the appropriate genre and, if necessary, the voice(s) you are instructed to use..Different genres in which you might be instructed to write:· Formal letter. You will need something of the character’s voice, but this is secondary to the need to write clearly, using formal terms.· Informal letter. The character’s voice is central to this. If the character allows it, you can afford to be more colloquial, but be careful to think about the character’s age; don’t put teenage expressions into a middle-aged mouth!· Newspaper report. First paragraph: Who? What? When? Where? Why? You then need to present the events in an interesting “newsworthy” style. You should include references to interviews with eye-witnesses along with very brief quotations in their voice.· Interview. The character’s voice is again central to this. There probably won’t be too much scope for colloquialism, though, as the paper usually specifies a fairly formal context for the interview. Do not add your own questions. Stage directions are best avoided.· Journal. Probably the one where the voice is most important, although they will specify that the journal is intended to be read (by a specific person/group of people). There will probably be the freedom to voice opinions of other characters without worrying that they will read them.· Speech. This will almost certainly be formal, but the character’s voice should be there. Absolutely central to this will be the need for the sort of rhetorical devices you used in your argumentative coursework.· Dialogue. You need to think carefully about the voice of each character and their relationship with each other. Make sure that most of the dialogue consists of extended contributions (4-5 sentences each) from each character, not single sentence speeches. Stage directions are best avoided. Try to conclude the dialogue with some sort of agreement between the characters.· Formal report. This is the one where the character’s voice is least important, but you will need to understand their opinions on relevant matters. The character will almost certainly be criticising things (though the report is unlikely to be entirely critical). It is important to focus on specific details, not just make vague generalisations. E.g. if writing about a school inspector, you might see in the passage that there are holes in the plaster of the walls and the windows don’t fit properly, not just that the buildings are shabby/falling down.Question 2. Analysis Question – guidelinesThis question advises you to write 200-300 words. This is advice, not a strict instruction. You are very unlikely to write fewer than 200 words, and there is absolutely nothing in the mark scheme instructing examiners to penalize you for writing more than 300 (Stick to the suggested timings above). There are very clear instructions to assess the quality of your analysis and not to stick to a quota of examples.The number of examples you must give will be specified in the question (probably four or five examples from each paragraph); don't waste time writing about more examples than the number specified. Most quotations will be no longer than three words, although some of the images may need longer phrases. If you have to draw on "interesting words" because you have run out of images (see below), many of these will only be one word.Start with the images (i.e. similes/metaphors/personification), then look for “interesting language”. (Remember that this is an IGCSE exam, and part of the test is literal understanding; therefore look for words/phrases which would be difficult to non-native speakers.) You must identify images as such; e.g. The image, "..." suggests that ... and has the effect of ...There is no need to follow the "point-quotation-analysis" pattern which is so important in literature essays; just focus on the quotation and analysis. However, you may wish to start each of your two paragraphs with an "overview sentence" (see below) about the paragraph you are analysing.Read each word of the question very carefully. You are sometimes asked to write about, for example, how the language is effective in conveying a character's appearance. If you choose examples about the way that character speaks or the loud stamping of his/her feet, you will not earn any marks for analysing them.This question is marked out of 10, as follow:1-3 for literal understanding.4-6 for understanding of implications.7-9 for analysis of effects. (For example, ask yourself why the writer has chosen one word over another.)10th mark for a brief (one short sentence) overview of the tone/effect of each paragraph.Question 3. Summary Skills – Suggested StepsSee also this document.This question tells you to write 200-250 words. Unlike the advised word count for question 2, for question 3 this is an instruction. With fewer than 200 words you are unlikely to have made enough points/covered enough detail; equally, if you write more than 250 you cannot score more than 2/5 in the writing mark.1. Read the title and identify the information you have to find.2. Read the article/extract, underlining relevant points.3. Fill in the list of bullet points. Don't worry about using your own words here - you can lift phrases directly from the passage, but only those that are directly relevant. You need 15 points for 15 marks! If you can see more than 15, try to decide which is least likely to be considered relevant, or is so close to another point that it will be considered repetition. If you are still left with more than 15, try to merge two points into one.4. Write your summary in rough. Use one of the additional pages for this from your notes. Try to organise the material so that it becomes your own; don’t just rely on the order of the original. (If you rely on the order of the original, you cannot get more than 3/5 for writing.)5. Count your words. If you have written fewer than 200, you’ve probably missed some important details; if you’ve written more than 250, you’ve probably included irrelevant details and/or repeated points, and you will be penalised (i.e. unable to score more than 2/5 for writing). Edit your piece as necessary to fit within the word limit and write up a "best" copy in the Section C space.
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    (Original post by DamnDaniel2)
    Im starting with q3 then q1 and then q2. So I would be able to tell if I have enough time to do 5 for each paragraph. Are you starting in the normal order?
    yes, if you only have 30 mins then do 4 in more depth (not too much depth though (stick to the markscheme)). im doing 3, 1 2 or 123 idk yet.


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    hello, i have a few questions..um in Q3b should my summary be in order according to 3a? because sometimes the ideas themselves aren't in order in 3a so my summary isn't sensible sometimes. also, in Q1, shall my bullets be in order too? or i can mix btwn bullet 1 and 1 in a paragraph? plus is it normal to fill the 2 and a half papers given for Q1? lastly, its written on the paper that highlight pens aren't allowed, why do some people recommend them? (tbh i wish if i was allowed to use them)
    aaaaand any advice on what to do on the exam's night?
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    (Original post by ad4m)
    CW I got 47/50 and Speaking and Listening I got 29/30. However, I did the qualification in Year 10 last year as well and our coursework and speaking assessments were marked down to 43/50 and 27/30 (23/25) so I only managed to get a high B overall. Hopefully can get an A this time though!
    What mark/grade did you get in the question paper?
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    (Original post by HouseOfRichman)
    What mark/grade did you get in the question paper?
    27/50 which was a bit of a shock considering in all mocks i got 35+. however you just have to be prepared that the examiners know what they want to see and if you dont give them that then you wont get good marks.


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    Ahh okay. Well good luck for tomorrow
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    (Original post by hipsterwolf)
    hello, i have a few questions..um in Q3b should my summary be in order according to 3a? because sometimes the ideas themselves aren't in order in 3a so my summary isn't sensible sometimes. also, in Q1, shall my bullets be in order too? or i can mix btwn bullet 1 and 1 in a paragraph? plus is it normal to fill the 2 and a half papers given for Q1? lastly, its written on the paper that highlight pens aren't allowed, why do some people recommend them? (tbh i wish if i was allowed to use them)
    aaaaand any advice on what to do on the exam's night?
    you are allowed highlighters on the insert but not the answer booklet. the insert isnt scanned just goes straight in the bin and your examiner wont see it so use highlighters for that. highlighting questions can sometimes effect scanning but i dont know if it does for cambridge. Q3b needs to be ordered so that it flows well as a summary so whatever you see fit. keeping Q1 separate might make it easier for the examiner but you wont get penalised if you mix. for example if a point from bp3 flows well in your first paragraph then use it! the space given on the paper is the amount of space you should be filling. for Q1 the average is the whole space even though 1 ½ is recommended.

    tonight dont start any past papers after 5pm, you wont be able to concentrate and your results will be lower than usual which will keep you in a bad state of mind for the exam. and dont go overboard on practice papers today and tomorrow morning. do between 1 and 3.


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