AS Classical Civilisations AQA Odyssey exam skills help!!

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After having some past papers marked by a different teacher who is a marker for AQA, I've been told that my other teacher has taught us the exam skills for the paper tomorrow wrong in all essences.

My teacher has told use that during the exam, we need to simply answer the questions as follows:

10 mark- 10 points only needed apparently :mad:
20 mark- no counter argument is needed apparently :mad:
30 mark- no advice at all!! :mad:

Whereas the other teacher (who I think is correct) has said:

10 marks- literature points i.e. similes, metaphors etc
20 marks- a counter-argument IS needed
30 marks- to be analytical in the structure etc...

I know that it is exceedingly short notice but are there any good tips and exam skills which I should know about for the exam tomorrow? HELP PLEASE
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Norton1
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So...it looks like what you're saying is that for the 10 and 20 mark questions you've been taught to do it better than you need to? Is this a problem?
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(Original post by Norton1)
So...it looks like what you're saying is that for the 10 and 20 mark questions you've been taught to do it better than you need to? Is this a problem?
No. My proper teacher has said that we don't need a counter argument for 20 mark and then 10 mark just simply needs 10 points.
BUT the other teacher has said the exact opposite of this.

If I had been taught to do it better, then I wouldn't have begun this thread
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Cania
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A2 Classics student on the AQA board here, hope I can help

5 marks (first two questions) - one point = one mark, simple!

10 marks - Comment on the use of English, particularly simile (there are lots in homer, if that comes up you're golden!) Focus on particular words, phrases, and link to the rest of the poem if the opportunity presents itself, while still bearing in mind that the focus is the passage. Make sure you consider the intended audience, so you could say that rural simile is used as it would be easy for them to relate to otherwise foreign images, etc.

20 marks - While a counter argument is ideal, it is not always possible! If it's an extremely straightforward question, there may not be two sides and it's better to exclude the counter argument than make an extremely weak one. In most cases, however, you should be able to argue two sides (sometimes more) and make a clear conclusion.

30 marks - Advice as above, but again you'll almost always be able to write two different perspectives and should really try to do so. Follow the PEE (point, evidence, explanation) structure for all questions. Be thematic in your approach - this is very important. You score very highly if your knowledge of the poem is extremely precise. Try and make a mental note of quirky facts that other students might not remember! And always consider the intended audience and Greek attitudes - this is vital. It may be appropriate to contrast this with the attitude of a modern audience, but don't dwell too much on that.
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(Original post by Cania)
A2 Classics student on the AQA board here, hope I can help

30 marks - Advice as above, but again you'll almost always be able to write two different perspectives and should really try to do so. Follow the PEE (point, evidence, explanation) structure for all questions. Be thematic in your approach - this is very important. You score very highly if your knowledge of the poem is extremely precise. Try and make a mental note of quirky facts that other students might not remember! And always consider the intended audience and Greek attitudes - this is vital. It may be appropriate to contrast this with the attitude of a modern audience, but don't dwell too much on that.
Thanks for your reply! V.useful

To be 'thematic', I assume that this means to analyse the plot and themes together with regard to the thirty mark question?

E.g. importance of xenia
1. Telemachus is shown to be a good lad and is ALSO linked to revenge
2. Power of the gods and how they react during the odyssey is ALSO linked to immortal power
3. Time on Phaeacia ALSO shows Odysseus’ homecoming
4. Everything to do with the suitors is ALSO linked to revenge

Thanks again
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Cania
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ETA: Just saw your point, I've given an example of what I've been taught is a thematic approach for you to look at and will take a look at your example now!

"To what extent do all the Suitors deserve what happens to them? Give reasons for
your answer and refer to the books of the Odyssey you have read."

You might include discussion of

the introduction of the Suitors in Book 1
differences between the Suitors
the views of Athene and Eumaeus about the Suitors in Books 13 and 14
the Suitors’ attitudes to Penelope and Telemachus in Book 16
their treatment of the disguised Odysseus in Book 21
the events of Book 22.
(30 marks)



Here, I'd immediately try and break my answer down into themes.
1. A modern view of the characters (in my opinion, more forgiving, but you don't have to agree!) - may not deserve it.
2. A Greek view of the characters (less forgiving, but far more valuable. I would spend more time on this point, excellent way of showing your contextual understanding, importance of Xenia, how it relates to Zeus etc.) - do deserve it
3. What the view of the other characters in the poem tells us - that it is largely negative suggests that we should feel they deserve it. Does this mean Homer wants us to think they deserve it?
BUT there are positive aspects. May suggest otherwise. (Amphin?)
Do actions of Ody outweigh their actions? He's been away, does not listen to pleas, torture occurs etc.
HOWEVER Homer addresses these and stresses that it must be done, would still place blame on their shoulders. Gods directly excuse Ody.
CONCLUDE

Might look like a short plan, but there is a lot you can put in there and you only have 45 minutes or so.

What you desperately need to avoid is using the bullet points they supply like a checklist. That kind of approach scores very few marks - they're mostly suggestions for examples, really, and prompt ideas.
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Cania
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(Original post by Enter name here...)
Thanks for your reply! V.useful

To be 'thematic', I assume that this means to analyse the plot and themes together with regard to the thirty mark question?

E.g. importance of xenia
1. Telemachus is shown to be a good lad and is ALSO linked to revenge
2. Power of the gods and how they react during the odyssey is ALSO linked to immortal power
3. Time on Phaeacia ALSO shows Odysseus’ homecoming
4. Everything to do with the suitors is ALSO linked to revenge

Thanks again
That wasn't exactly what I had in mind (may just be the way I've been taught though, I've not had any problems from examiners though maybe thematic wasn't the best word for me to use!) but the way you've linked examples to significant themes within the poem is extremely important. If you can make connections like that in your exam, you'll produce a very complex and interesting answer (assuming you show detailed knowledge and all the rest!) And you do well to show bridges between multiple themes.


ETA: I suppose I meant themes within my answer, as opposed to the themes of the poem. My bad, poor choice of words.
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(Original post by Cania)
That wasn't exactly what I had in mind (may just be the way I've been taught though, I've not had any problems from examiners though maybe thematic wasn't the best word for me to use!) but the way you've linked examples to significant themes within the poem is extremely important. If you can make connections like that in your exam, you'll produce a very complex and interesting answer (assuming you show detailed knowledge and all the rest!) And you do well to show bridges between multiple themes.


ETA: I suppose I meant themes within my answer, as opposed to the themes of the poem. My bad, poor choice of words.
I'll quote this one but I am replying to both your comments- thank you. I must admit, your way seems slightly confusing to me but I will read it over again. Thank-you
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(Original post by Enter name here...)
I'll quote this one but I am replying to both your comments- thank you. I must admit, your way seems slightly confusing to me but I will read it over again. Thank-you
No worries. Sorry, I know it is quite confusing - if it helps the second teacher you mentioned definitely seemed to know what they were talking about. My has become far more refined in the second year as we have to gain an extra ten marks in the same amount of time for the final essay :rolleyes:

You basically need to avoid just going..
In book 1 this happened and it means this.
In book 2 this happened and it means that.

If you were to be given a question about the role of the gods, for example, you'd be making your point about what they actually do rather than saying "Zeus does this, Athene does that..." and going through each one individually.


As long as you make clear points, ensure your essay is well structured and present both complex ideas and a good understanding of context, you'll score highly. You clearly understand the themes of the poem well and are able to talk about them in a way that doesn't exclude other aspects - I'm confident that you can score highly based on that. Better to work in a way you're happy with that try to adopt my structure if it really doesn't suit you.

Best of luck tomorrow!
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alexavard
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Hey cania,
I dont know if your'e still here but I would really appreciate some help with the ten markers.
How many paragraphs do you do? My teacher said 3 but I seriously struggle with that; I think with 2 I can go into much more detail and analysis and am never stuck for another literary technique as I only need to find and look at 2 this way.
Let me know,
Thanks
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Cania
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(Original post by alexavard)
Hey cania,
I dont know if your'e still here but I would really appreciate some help with the ten markers.
How many paragraphs do you do? My teacher said 3 but I seriously struggle with that; I think with 2 I can go into much more detail and analysis and am never stuck for another literary technique as I only need to find and look at 2 this way.
Let me know,
Thanks
I signed in completely at random today, how fortunate.

I used to write about a page, I think. So you struggle to write 3 because you run our of time, or because you can't think of three paragraphs worth to write? If I remember correctly, you have about 12 minutes to answer the 10 mark question.


What do you mean, "I only need to find and look at 2 this way"? In my answer, I looked at every literary technique presented in the extract, hence using about a page. I actually scored 100% in this exam somehow, for what it's worth.


Quote for a reply, or I might forget to check back
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(Original post by Cania)
I signed in completely at random today, how fortunate.

I used to write about a page, I think. So you struggle to write 3 because you run our of time, or because you can't think of three paragraphs worth to write? If I remember correctly, you have about 12 minutes to answer the 10 mark question.


What do you mean, "I only need to find and look at 2 this way"? In my answer, I looked at every literary technique presented in the extract, hence using about a page. I actually scored 100% in this exam somehow, for what it's worth.


Quote for a reply, or I might forget to check back

I mean that I can write two longer, quality paragraphs instead of 3 brief ones that don't go into enough analysis. Did you paragraph at all then?
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(Original post by alexavard)
I mean that I can write two longer, quality paragraphs instead of 3 brief ones that don't go into enough analysis. Did you paragraph at all then?
Oh, I see what you mean. I do paragraph. Can you not split your existing work up a bit? From the examiner's point of view, reading two paragraphs that are half a page each isn't easy on the eyes, and they're liable to be harsher with your marks if they're in a bad mood...

I used to split my work into paragraphs by themes, generally.
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(Original post by Cania)
Oh, I see what you mean. I do paragraph. Can you not split your existing work up a bit? From the examiner's point of view, reading two paragraphs that are half a page each isn't easy on the eyes, and they're liable to be harsher with your marks if they're in a bad mood...

I used to split my work into paragraphs by themes, generally.
IN the ten marker wouldn't you have a literary technique per paragraph as oppose to a theme per paragraph? That's what my teacher said; he said do three paragraphs each explaining one literary technique homer uses to [whatever the question asks].
Thanks for this btw
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(Original post by alexavard)
IN the ten marker wouldn't you have a literary technique per paragraph as oppose to a theme per paragraph? That's what my teacher said; he said do three paragraphs each explaining one literary technique homer uses to [whatever the question asks].
Thanks for this btw
I'm completely out of the habit of speaking the language of classics, unfortunately, my bad :P What I meant really by theme was just the general area of discussion - you are correct, that would be the literary technique!

However, I would say that I certainly wrote about more than three different literary techniques in my exam.. How odd
Do you have an example of something you've written that you could send to me? Perhaps I could give you advice more easily that way ^_^

No problem, feel free to ask away~
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(Original post by Cania)
I'm completely out of the habit of speaking the language of classics, unfortunately, my bad :P What I meant really by theme was just the general area of discussion - you are correct, that would be the literary technique!

However, I would say that I certainly wrote about more than three different literary techniques in my exam.. How odd
Do you have an example of something you've written that you could send to me? Perhaps I could give you advice more easily that way ^_^

No problem, feel free to ask away~
So in terms of structure for a typical awnser I'd say:
Para 1: Homer uses simile
Analysis
Relate back to question
Para 2: Homer uses contrast
Analysis
Relate back to question
Para 3: Homer uses direct speech
Analysis
Relate back to question

Im guessing you do more than one technique per paragraph then? If you could give me a sample that would be helpful but don't worry if you can't.
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(Original post by Cania)
I'm completely out of the habit of speaking the language of classics, unfortunately, my bad :P What I meant really by theme was just the general area of discussion - you are correct, that would be the literary technique!

However, I would say that I certainly wrote about more than three different literary techniques in my exam.. How odd
Do you have an example of something you've written that you could send to me? Perhaps I could give you advice more easily that way ^_^

No problem, feel free to ask away~
hellooooo?....
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(Original post by alexavard)
hellooooo?....
****e, sorry! I read your last post and wrote out a reply - I must have got distracted, I'm so sorry!

What I was originally going to reply with was an example of what I would write based on a past paper, but I'm home for Easter now so I can actually have a rummage and see if I can find anything for you. If not, I'll do a new answer. You'll have to give me a few days, though, I have boxes and boxes of unsorted notes from A Level. Organised, aren't I? :rolleyes:
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(Original post by Cania)
****e, sorry! I read your last post and wrote out a reply - I must have got distracted, I'm so sorry!

What I was originally going to reply with was an example of what I would write based on a past paper, but I'm home for Easter now so I can actually have a rummage and see if I can find anything for you. If not, I'll do a new answer. You'll have to give me a few days, though, I have boxes and boxes of unsorted notes from A Level. Organised, aren't I? :rolleyes:



Cool thanks
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Slightly confused about this exam...

Do we use quotes in the 10 mark, 20 mark or 30 mark essays? And should we take a balanced argument for the 30 markers? Thank you! xx


This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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