English Literature A-level.. the dreaded AOs (mark scheme)

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duskflower
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I got a B in My English lit AS exam this year. Thankfully, my coursework was a high A (77 out of 80) and this pulled up my grade to an A overall.

English Literature was also my only A at GCSE, and both times round, my teachers have been really really shocked. I don't mean to sound cocky and arrogant, but I really am top of my class in English and my essays are used as examples for the others and my understanding is supposedly good. So why is it that I can't knock out these exams?

So I wanted to ask:

1) The official mark scheme thingy says
AO1: articulate creative, informed and relevant responses to literary texts using appropriate terminology and concepts and coherent accurate written expression
AO2: Demonstrate detailed critical understanding in analysing the ways in which structure, form and language shape meanings in literary texts
AO3: Explore connections and comparisons between different literary texts, informed by interpretations of other readers

But what do the AOs ACTUALLY mean? & can you give me examples of what would be appropriate to write for each AO?

2) How MUCH do we need to write for each AO (i.e. how many points for each AO) and how many paragraphs for the essay altogether?

I am so frustrated with my inability to do english exams, especially because it's meant to be my favourite subject :eek3:
Thanks x
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Planar
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Is it a really ****** class?
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UnderControl
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Hi, I don't know which exam board you take, I'm WJEC and they sound very similar to ours.
The AO1 should be the easiest as its basically how well you write (fluently and coherently) but expressed using lots of technical terms (asyndeton, ceasura etc)
AO2 means you have to specifically look at the language and structure (i.e. in poetry what form has been used) to see how the author has highlighted meaning. I would set yourself a checklist and aim to include 3-4 points on this in an essay - eg "so and so uses the word 'such and such' to evoke this particular feeling"
AO3 needs you to do some further reading and try to gather a few choice critical quotes on your authors/texts which you can include in practically any essay. Also dont be afraid to challenge the view in the quote eg "this critic says Larkin is depressing and pessimistic in his portaryl of love however in poems such as 'blah' he presents a more traditional view"

ask if anything is still unclear x
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OneInSolidarity
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I'm on AQA this year; something was ******. More people got FULL MARKS last year than got A's this year. I was supposed to get an A in the exam but got a D - I can't comprehend how it went that badly. I've spoken to people from other schools who have said their schools are experiencing the same.
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travestial
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(Original post by OneInSolidarity)
I'm on AQA this year; something was ******. More people got FULL MARKS last year than got A's this year. I was supposed to get an A in the exam but got a D - I can't comprehend how it went that badly. I've spoken to people from other schools who have said their schools are experiencing the same.

I'm doing AQA English Lit too... I'm in Year 12 though. I'm assuming you did Spec B and the Aspects of Narrative stuff? My teacher said she went on a conference about last year's results and showed examples of who got an A and who got an E. She said that it was clear the E grade candidate understood the text better, but they didn't focus on the narrative aspects of the texts. I'm not assuming you didn't or anything like that, but obviously many excellent candidates didn't get the grades they deserve.
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lattywatty
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AO1 you should be hitting all the time, naturally in your essays. As you're supposedly top of the class I don't expect you have any trouble with this.

AO2 is just your understanding of the text, as well as the question. Making answers relevant with plenty of support from quotations from your novel will make sure you hit this AO easily.

AO3 is a bit trickier and I suspect is where you're losing your marks. You need to include different critical interpretations (Feminist, Marxist etc.) of novels and include quotations from specific critics. This AO also includes the comparison aspect which should be present at every point you make.
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OneInSolidarity
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(Original post by travestial)
I'm doing AQA English Lit too... I'm in Year 12 though. I'm assuming you did Spec B and the Aspects of Narrative stuff? My teacher said she went on a conference about last year's results and showed examples of who got an A and who got an E. She said that it was clear the E grade candidate understood the text better, but they didn't focus on the narrative aspects of the texts. I'm not assuming you didn't or anything like that, but obviously many excellent candidates didn't get the grades they deserve.
Yeah I am doing spec B. I'd assume that i'd done something like that if such a large number in my college hadn't dropped grades also!

Plus all the mock exams I did came back A/B's
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EnVogue
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AQA English Lit was ****** up this year, apparently WJEC was as well. The whole lack of consistency is why I dropped English
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UnderControl
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(Original post by EnVogue)
AQA English Lit was ****** up this year, apparently WJEC was as well. The whole lack of consistency is why I dropped English
It's true - you never know where you are after an exam. I was lucky this year (got a decent A) but I never feel confident even if I've been doing well all year because that one exam could be completely different
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flywithemma
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yeah, my English Lit class got weird results too (AQA aspects of narrative)...myself and 2 other people got full UMS, (after I only got a middle A at GCSE despite constantly getting A*s in the year...) but then people who were also predicted As got low Bs/Cs, and then a few people JUST scraped Ds when they'd been predicted Cs all year...oh well. maybe it's down to how subjective English is as a subject? and how much it really is down to the person who's marking it? or that people have off days? confusinggg...
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max_123
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I got 108/120 in my AS exam in June 2010 and 77/80 in cwk. I was the only A in the exam in my school, which was a massive shock to everyone. Although it was probably a fluke as the exam is so subjective and reliant on a nice examiner, I did make sure I followed the mark scheme on the AQA website and after results day it turned out I was the only one who'd read it. It does seem mean on you and the same happened to the top two in our year who got a C and a D respectively - I hope your A2 goes more to plan
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S.K.F
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I'm doing an essay on The Reluctant Fundamentalist for my course work but my teacher on this half of the course never taught us any terminology. What do I do?
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