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Official WJEC English Literature GCSE Exams - 20th and 23rd May watch

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    This the the official discussion thread for the WJEC English Literature GCSE Exams on the 20th and 23rd May. I could find a thread for the WJEC - I found the one for the AQA exams - so I decided to make one.

    Is anyone doing these exams? How are you revising? Any tips for A*?
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    (Original post by Quantaˌ)
    This the the official discussion thread for the WJEC English Literature GCSE Exams on the 20th and 23rd May. I could find a thread for the WJEC - I found the one for the AQA exams - so I decided to make one.

    Is anyone doing these exams? How are you revising? Any tips for A*?
    Erm, just try to do loads of practice essays to tone your technique or do essay plans if you don't have time. I have a feeling for the Of Mice and Men paper either how effective the title of the novel is or the how does Steinbeck present the theme of -conflict, violence/harshness or loneliness. The characters that could come up is either Candy, George, Curley or Curley's Wife.
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    (Original post by krimz)
    Erm, just try to do loads of practice essays to tone your technique or do essay plans if you don't have time. I have a feeling for the Of Mice and Men paper either how effective the title of the novel is or the how does Steinbeck present the theme of -conflict, violence/harshness or loneliness. The characters that could come up is either Candy, George, Curley or Curley's Wife.
    My school's doing To Kill A Mockingbird...

    Where can you get essay questions? There's only two past papers on the WJEC website.
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    http://www.wjec.co.uk/index.php?subj...l=7&list=paper - There's far more than 2 :P. I received most of the past papers from my school, maybe you should email your English teacher if you're desperate for some? What are your other two texts? I've got An Inspector Calls and About a Boy.
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    (Original post by krimz)
    Erm, just try to do loads of practice essays to tone your technique or do essay plans if you don't have time. I have a feeling for the Of Mice and Men paper either how effective the title of the novel is or the how does Steinbeck present the theme of -conflict, violence/harshness or loneliness. The characters that could come up is either Candy, George, Curley or Curley's Wife.
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, I'd severely doubt they'd have a, what is it, 20 marker, for a mere title question. The extract question will be on the author's use of language to convey something to the reader, as for the final question, it will be either theme or character based, and under those brackets you could get an importance or 'to what extent question. For instance, you could be asked 'to what extent is Of Mice And Men a book about dreams' or 'what is the importance of the character of Curley's wife to the novel'. I'd reckon the themes likely to come up would be dreams, violence, justice (To what extent was George justified in killing Lennie et cetera) and there hasn't been a character based question in a while, which would pertain to be a range of Curley's wife, Curley, George, Candy (Not Lennie, as he was the question last year), however my bet would be on Curley's wife as there's not too much to write about Candy and George is a lot too straight forward. As for the poetry, read them, analyze their imagery, theme, meaning, context, similarities and differences, compare and contrast (Even if you have little opinion, exaggerate your beliefs, as it is a personal question, and as such you should imbue it with personal affectations, even to the degree at which if a poem has little effect on you, write that! And explain what you think the poet did wrong to emotionally disengage you! Aside from that, take your time, you don't need to write much as long as it's explained well and well thought out, make sure there's a clear judgement(They prefer it if it's partial) and be sure to memorize and utilize a range of quotes, and don't just quote and move on, base your points around your quotes and use them! The same will apply to which ever book you have chosen to do. Hope this was helpful
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    (Original post by Quantaˌ)
    My school's doing To Kill A Mockingbird...

    Where can you get essay questions? There's only two past papers on the WJEC website.
    My school's doing TKAM too. Your teacher should have past papers and essay questions, or if not, he/she should know where to get them from.

    By the way, for question b, where you usually have to write about a character's feelings at a point in the novel, Jem is the only character that hasn't been done yet, so I think it might be him this year.
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    I was also wondering, how much are we expected to write for each question? Word count wise, seeing as I use one of those new-fangled word processors, an' all
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    (Original post by Alexrose1)
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, I'd severely doubt they'd have a, what is it, 20 marker, for a mere title question. The extract question will be on the author's use of language to convey something to the reader, as for the final question, it will be either theme or character based, and under those brackets you could get an importance or 'to what extent question. For instance, you could be asked 'to what extent is Of Mice And Men a book about dreams' or 'what is the importance of the character of Curley's wife to the novel'. I'd reckon the themes likely to come up would be dreams, violence, justice (To what extent was George justified in killing Lennie et cetera) and there hasn't been a character based question in a while, which would pertain to be a range of Curley's wife, Curley, George, Candy (Not Lennie, as he was the question last year), however my bet would be on Curley's wife as there's not too much to write about Candy and George is a lot too straight forward. As for the poetry, read them, analyze their imagery, theme, meaning, context, similarities and differences, compare and contrast (Even if you have little opinion, exaggerate your beliefs, as it is a personal question, and as such you should imbue it with personal affectations, even to the degree at which if a poem has little effect on you, write that! And explain what you think the poet did wrong to emotionally disengage you! Aside from that, take your time, you don't need to write much as long as it's explained well and well thought out, make sure there's a clear judgement(They prefer it if it's partial) and be sure to memorize and utilize a range of quotes, and don't just quote and move on, base your points around your quotes and use them! The same will apply to which ever book you have chosen to do. Hope this was helpful
    Also slim was last year, but my teacher did say that any character could come up because its not an exam which you can eliminate the ones which have come up last year, it's just an exam by chance


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    (Original post by Alexrose1)
    I was also wondering, how much are we expected to write for each question? Word count wise, seeing as I use one of those new-fangled word processors, an' all
    5-6 pqa's on the global question


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    (Original post by JF2013)
    5-6 pqa's on the global question


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    Pqas? Global? What are you talking about?xD
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    (Original post by Alexrose1)
    I'd severely doubt they'd have a, what is it, 20 marker, for a mere title question.
    It has come up before in a past WJEC exam paper "The title 'Of Mice and Men' refers to dreams and plans often gone wrong. To what extent do you agree that this is an effective title for the novel? [20]" and it is very much likely it will come up again seeing as though dreams is such a popular theme and hasn't come up in a long time. If you look at all of the past papers you will be able to see patterns in the way they ask questions and you are able to see that they repeat questions. The same way they repeated the question of the theme of animals this year in January from the paper in 2006. To be honest, we can almost rule out that Slim, Lennie or the themes of strengths/weaknesses + animals will come up as they wouldn't repeat questions that are so close to eachother. However, It is important to remember for the essay question you must include a social/historical context and that is a MUST, therefore it is good to go over the Great Depression and discrimination in the 1930s. For the extract question always remember to state where the extract is from in the novel to show the examiner your understanding of context and also to use the sentence "The word "____" suggests..." to clearly show the examiner you have shown great attention to language which is important for the extract question. When writing the essay question always remember to make a plan in order to have a well structured essay and not to waffle on without making that much sense - the tip is to be clear, concise, coherent and make the essay flow fluently. The examiners are testing your knowledge of the novel as well as some original ideas to show that you understand language so use as many quotes as possible. Many English teachers will advise you to use PEE paragraphs, however for a much higher grade answers it might be better to use embedded quotes in your answer instead of continuously writing "We can tell this by..." which doesn't make the essay flow and therefore result in a lower grade. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT WRITE 'In Conclusion...' WHEN FINISHING THE ESSAY! Examiners hate this as the term has almost become a cliche. If you want to summarize just go straight into the point, although remember when writing your conclusion make sure you don't fall into the trap of repeating your points as this won't gain you any marks. During the poetry essay make sure you READ THE POEM AT LEAST TWICE. This will ensure you know exactly what the poem is about as well as any opinions you have of it. Remember not to feature spot techniques like "The poet uses enjambment" and not explain how it is effective. A better example would be "The poet uses free verse to reflect the uncertainty of the life of the speaker which clearly represents a pessimistic mood". You have one hour for the poetry exam so make sure you use it wisely by making a number of notes on your exam paper to give a clear overview on what you need to write and make sure you don't miss out anything important. Don't forget to compare and contrast the two poems and to answer the main question - what effect does the poem have on you (the reader). Make sure you read the bold text at the top of the page as this clearly shows a brief overview on what you should talk about. Examiners are looking for your skills of understanding language so again use the sentence "The word "___" suggests". They are also looking at your abilities to dissect the poems, pulling out certain information which is important, so only use short quotes instead of a big chunk of text in quotation marks. During the essay always go back to the bullet points that are on the exam paper to help you with the poetry essay and try to make sure you cover some of them like mood and the content of the poem, however it is not necessary to cover all of them. As I said before, the examiners are not looking to see if you've covered all of the points or how well you know poetic terms, they want to see whether you can read, understand and put your ideas down on paper through the attention to key specific detail of the poems, your ability to talk about the language and your ability to compare and contrast two unseen poems. They are asking for YOUR own opinion, so don't get worried, there is no right or wrong answer if you back up the points with a variety of quotes.
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    (Original post by krimz)
    It has come up before in a past WJEC exam paper "The title 'Of Mice and Men' refers to dreams and plans often gone wrong. To what extent do you agree that this is an effective title for the novel? [20]" and it is very much likely it will come up again seeing as though dreams is such a popular theme and hasn't come up in a long time. If you look at all of the past papers you will be able to see patterns in the way they ask questions and you are able to see that they repeat questions. The same way they repeated the question of the theme of animals this year in January from the paper in 2006. To be honest, we can almost rule out that Slim, Lennie or the themes of strengths/weaknesses + animals will come up as they wouldn't repeat questions that are so close to eachother. However, It is important to remember for the essay question you must include a social/historical context and that is a MUST, therefore it is good to go over the Great Depression and discrimination in the 1930s. For the extract question always remember to state where the extract is from in the novel to show the examiner your understanding of context and also to use the sentence "The word "____" suggests..." to clearly show the examiner you have shown great attention to language which is important for the extract question. When writing the essay question always remember to make a plan in order to have a well structured essay and not to waffle on without making that much sense - the tip is to be clear, concise, coherent and make the essay flow fluently. The examiners are testing your knowledge of the novel as well as some original ideas to show that you understand language so use as many quotes as possible. Many English teachers will advise you to use PEE paragraphs, however for a much higher grade answers it might be better to use embedded quotes in your answer instead of continuously writing "We can tell this by..." which doesn't make the essay flow and therefore result in a lower grade. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT WRITE 'In Conclusion...' WHEN FINISHING THE ESSAY! Examiners hate this as the term has almost become a cliche. If you want to summarize just go straight into the point, although remember when writing your conclusion make sure you don't fall into the trap of repeating your points as this won't gain you any marks. During the poetry essay make sure you READ THE POEM AT LEAST TWICE. This will ensure you know exactly what the poem is about as well as any opinions you have of it. Remember not to feature spot techniques like "The poet uses enjambment" and not explain how it is effective. A better example would be "The poet uses free verse to reflect the uncertainty of the life of the speaker which clearly represents a pessimistic mood". You have one hour for the poetry exam so make sure you use it wisely by making a number of notes on your exam paper to give a clear overview on what you need to write and make sure you don't miss out anything important. Don't forget to compare and contrast the two poems and to answer the main question - what effect does the poem have on you (the reader). Make sure you read the bold text at the top of the page as this clearly shows a brief overview on what you should talk about. Examiners are looking for your skills of understanding language so again use the sentence "The word "___" suggests". They are also looking at your abilities to dissect the poems, pulling out certain information which is important, so only use short quotes instead of a big chunk of text in quotation marks. During the essay always go back to the bullet points that are on the exam paper to help you with the poetry essay and try to make sure you cover some of them like mood and the content of the poem, however it is not necessary to cover all of them. As I said before, the examiners are not looking to see if you've covered all of the points or how well you know poetic terms, they want to see whether you can read, understand and put your ideas down on paper through the attention to key specific detail of the poems, your ability to talk about the language and your ability to compare and contrast two unseen poems. They are asking for YOUR own opinion, so don't get worried, there is no right or wrong answer if you back up the points with a variety of quotes.
    Slim came up last year, anyone can come up as its not an exam board which is predictable


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    (Original post by Alexrose1)
    Pqas? Global? What are you talking about?xD
    Point quotation and analysis...PQA's
    Global...the whole book (the question after the extract)


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    Hey...can you plz mark my essay and give me some feedback and an approximate grade plz...thank you

    The description of the bunkhouse reveals the difficuties of ranch life, in this extract. Steinbeck makes the ranchmen's bunkhouse seem very boring and bland, as the reader learns that "the bunk house was long, rectangular building...the walls were whitewashed." The word "whitewashed" immediately reveals the quality of life of the ranchmen as this word indicates the ever-lasting boredom and the way the surrounding is "whitewashed" makes the men's life seem a bit like a curse because the word "whitewashed" states that the boss has spent very little money on the ranchmen and hasn't really thought about making the bunkhouse look mroe welcoming ,more like a home. This reflects on the fact that ranch men didn't have anything interesting in life just like their colourless walls. This again links to 1930's America where ranchmen saw jobs as almost a blessing as they were so desperate to get jobs and felt lucky to have jobs because of the drought which caused men to migrate to California to find jobs. As well as the way "over each bunk there was nailed an apple box"makes this "bunk house" seem more like a jail than a place to live because everything was uniform and we know this through the use of the word "each," this also explains that ranchmen weren't seen as individuals their likes and dislikes weren't taken into consideration and they were almost treated like animals, because animals didn't choose the way they wanted their stables to look or anything. This links to the power hierarchy as ranchmen were low on the power hierarchy and therefore were more like animals.

    Another way this extract reveals the difficulties of ranch life is through the indication of the "small, square windows." This suggests that only small amount of light was allowed into the bunk house, this limitation states that the men had very little hope, as light symbolises hope and the restriction of light signifies the restrcition of any hope of fulfilling their American Dream. This is further supported through the description of the morning sunshine which is meant to be peaceful and beautiful btu in this ranch house, the sun "threw a bright dust-laden bar through one of the side windows." The word "threw" is almost aggresive and suggests that again light was being restricted. This word also states that even though the ranchmen didn't want to have unnecessary hope, the sun just "threw" hope. This foreshadows the hope Lennie and George get in Chapter 3 when Candy offers "three hunderd an' fifty bucks" to buy some land and fulfill their American Dream. This hope grows and when the men are about to fulfill their dream, , Lennie kills Curley's wife and everything gets ruined. This unnecessary hope lets all three men down.

    Another way this extract reveals the difficulty of ranchlife is through the living conditions and the description of the damages ranch life has dnoe to many ranchmen. Candy has been permanently damaged likewise Crooks. Out of Candy's "sleeve came a round stick-like wrist, but no hand." While working on the ranch Candy has lost an arm and even though likewise his name he was a sweet person ,his life was put into misery because even ranchmen who were fully fit and healthy were treated like animals and has to work extremely hard, but since Candy didn't have an arm ,he was the swamper. Candy was seen as someone useless and therefore given the worst job of all, cleaning the bunk houses and he was on the lowest section of the power hierarchy as a result of being old and having a physical disability. Additionally the harsh living conditions in the ranches made life even mroe difficult for the ranch men. The only entertainment for the ranch men was either playing card, gambling using horseshoes or going to the "cathouse". In this extract we learn that "in the middle of the room stood a big quare table littered with plaing cards." This was the only entertainment ranchmen got together and most of the time ranchmen played "solitaire" which was a one man game, just like their life where they lived alone, worked alone, travelled alone, ate alone and died alone. The men had no other possessions then their essentials in the bunk house. The word "bunk house" itself reinfroces the fact that the ranch men lived in a place which was more like a jail than a home because a home is a place of warmth, happiness and love whereas a "house" was more distant.

    As well as the lack of hygiene in this bunk house reveals the difficulties of ranch life. The reader is confronted with the disturbing,uncomfortable and harsh reality of the ranch men who didn't wash hands or cared about hygiene much as they saw the "blacksmith" who "used to wash his hands even after he ate" as a "guy" who was "as clean...as you want to meet". The word "even" clearly states that the ranchmen didn't wash their hands before or after eating. This reveals the difficulties of ranchlife as this may be hinting the lack of water supply or lack of knowledge of the importance of hygiene. Though, at this moment Steinbeck reveals the fact that some men were different to others, even though bosses and people higher in th epower hierarchy didn't notice as George is fairly hygienic because he argues with Candy, "what the hell kind of bed you giving us...we don't want no pant rabbits". The words "pant rabbits" states that George doesn't want Lennie or himself to get any lices that could affect their genital areas because this would restrict them from going to work. Even then, George still cares about their job and work in order to fufill his American DreamThis would have been very normal in 1930's as men were so grateful to even have a job so they didn't really care about anything else. This reflects to chapter one where Lennie "drank from the suface of the green pool." The word "green" suggests that the pool was covered in algae and this again explains to the audience how careless men were about hygiene.This would be regarded unacceptable in today's society as the knowledge of hygiene and its importance has grown.However, immediately Steinbeck uses George to show that not all men were the same as George did think that the water "looks kinda scummy" and therefore he wasn't "sure it's good water".
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    (Original post by 123..help me)
    Hey...can you plz mark my essay and give me some feedback and an approximate grade plz...thank you

    The description of the bunkhouse reveals the difficuties of ranch life, in this extract. Steinbeck makes the ranchmen's bunkhouse seem very boring and bland, as the reader learns that "the bunk house was long, rectangular building...the walls were whitewashed." The word "whitewashed" immediately reveals the quality of life of the ranchmen as this word indicates the ever-lasting boredom and the way the surrounding is "whitewashed" makes the men's life seem a bit like a curse because the word "whitewashed" states that the boss has spent very little money on the ranchmen and hasn't really thought about making the bunkhouse look mroe welcoming ,more like a home. This reflects on the fact that ranch men didn't have anything interesting in life just like their colourless walls. This again links to 1930's America where ranchmen saw jobs as almost a blessing as they were so desperate to get jobs and felt lucky to have jobs because of the drought which caused men to migrate to California to find jobs. As well as the way "over each bunk there was nailed an apple box"makes this "bunk house" seem more like a jail than a place to live because everything was uniform and we know this through the use of the word "each," this also explains that ranchmen weren't seen as individuals their likes and dislikes weren't taken into consideration and they were almost treated like animals, because animals didn't choose the way they wanted their stables to look or anything. This links to the power hierarchy as ranchmen were low on the power hierarchy and therefore were more like animals.

    Another way this extract reveals the difficulties of ranch life is through the indication of the "small, square windows." This suggests that only small amount of light was allowed into the bunk house, this limitation states that the men had very little hope, as light symbolises hope and the restriction of light signifies the restrcition of any hope of fulfilling their American Dream. This is further supported through the description of the morning sunshine which is meant to be peaceful and beautiful btu in this ranch house, the sun "threw a bright dust-laden bar through one of the side windows." The word "threw" is almost aggresive and suggests that again light was being restricted. This word also states that even though the ranchmen didn't want to have unnecessary hope, the sun just "threw" hope. This foreshadows the hope Lennie and George get in Chapter 3 when Candy offers "three hunderd an' fifty bucks" to buy some land and fulfill their American Dream. This hope grows and when the men are about to fulfill their dream, , Lennie kills Curley's wife and everything gets ruined. This unnecessary hope lets all three men down.

    Another way this extract reveals the difficulty of ranchlife is through the living conditions and the description of the damages ranch life has dnoe to many ranchmen. Candy has been permanently damaged likewise Crooks. Out of Candy's "sleeve came a round stick-like wrist, but no hand." While working on the ranch Candy has lost an arm and even though likewise his name he was a sweet person ,his life was put into misery because even ranchmen who were fully fit and healthy were treated like animals and has to work extremely hard, but since Candy didn't have an arm ,he was the swamper. Candy was seen as someone useless and therefore given the worst job of all, cleaning the bunk houses and he was on the lowest section of the power hierarchy as a result of being old and having a physical disability. Additionally the harsh living conditions in the ranches made life even mroe difficult for the ranch men. The only entertainment for the ranch men was either playing card, gambling using horseshoes or going to the "cathouse". In this extract we learn that "in the middle of the room stood a big quare table littered with plaing cards." This was the only entertainment ranchmen got together and most of the time ranchmen played "solitaire" which was a one man game, just like their life where they lived alone, worked alone, travelled alone, ate alone and died alone. The men had no other possessions then their essentials in the bunk house. The word "bunk house" itself reinfroces the fact that the ranch men lived in a place which was more like a jail than a home because a home is a place of warmth, happiness and love whereas a "house" was more distant.

    As well as the lack of hygiene in this bunk house reveals the difficulties of ranch life. The reader is confronted with the disturbing,uncomfortable and harsh reality of the ranch men who didn't wash hands or cared about hygiene much as they saw the "blacksmith" who "used to wash his hands even after he ate" as a "guy" who was "as clean...as you want to meet". The word "even" clearly states that the ranchmen didn't wash their hands before or after eating. This reveals the difficulties of ranchlife as this may be hinting the lack of water supply or lack of knowledge of the importance of hygiene. Though, at this moment Steinbeck reveals the fact that some men were different to others, even though bosses and people higher in th epower hierarchy didn't notice as George is fairly hygienic because he argues with Candy, "what the hell kind of bed you giving us...we don't want no pant rabbits". The words "pant rabbits" states that George doesn't want Lennie or himself to get any lices that could affect their genital areas because this would restrict them from going to work. Even then, George still cares about their job and work in order to fufill his American DreamThis would have been very normal in 1930's as men were so grateful to even have a job so they didn't really care about anything else. This reflects to chapter one where Lennie "drank from the suface of the green pool." The word "green" suggests that the pool was covered in algae and this again explains to the audience how careless men were about hygiene.This would be regarded unacceptable in today's society as the knowledge of hygiene and its importance has grown.However, immediately Steinbeck uses George to show that not all men were the same as George did think that the water "looks kinda scummy" and therefore he wasn't "sure it's good water".
    Don't waffle as you only have a possible 40 minutes on the global question just make it stand out clear to the examiner what your point is and what your going to be saying about it.
    Also do your essay systematically (basically like the chapters)


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    (Original post by JF2013)
    Don't waffle as you only have a possible 40 minutes on the global question just make it stand out clear to the examiner what your point is and what your going to be saying about it.
    Also do your essay systematically (basically like the chapters)


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    Thank you for your feedback...my examboard is OCR...it's a bit different to WJEC and AQA...we get an extract and we hav to answer the question mainly based on the extract
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    (Original post by 123..help me)
    Thank you for your feedback...my examboard is OCR...it's a bit different to WJEC and AQA...we get an extract and we hav to answer the question mainly based on the extract
    Oh well I don't know then


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    I only just started revising for this today I know a few basic quotes but what else can I do in the little time I have left? Do I need to revise poetry? and also do we need to learn characters and themes, I have no idea
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    (Original post by Alexrose1)
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, I'd severely doubt they'd have a, what is it, 20 marker, for a mere title question. The extract question will be on the author's use of language to convey something to the reader, as for the final question, it will be either theme or character based, and under those brackets you could get an importance or 'to what extent question. For instance, you could be asked 'to what extent is Of Mice And Men a book about dreams' or 'what is the importance of the character of Curley's wife to the novel'. I'd reckon the themes likely to come up would be dreams, violence, justice (To what extent was George justified in killing Lennie et cetera) and there hasn't been a character based question in a while, which would pertain to be a range of Curley's wife, Curley, George, Candy (Not Lennie, as he was the question last year), however my bet would be on Curley's wife as there's not too much to write about Candy and George is a lot too straight forward. As for the poetry, read them, analyze their imagery, theme, meaning, context, similarities and differences, compare and contrast (Even if you have little opinion, exaggerate your beliefs, as it is a personal question, and as such you should imbue it with personal affectations, even to the degree at which if a poem has little effect on you, write that! And explain what you think the poet did wrong to emotionally disengage you! Aside from that, take your time, you don't need to write much as long as it's explained well and well thought out, make sure there's a clear judgement(They prefer it if it's partial) and be sure to memorize and utilize a range of quotes, and don't just quote and move on, base your points around your quotes and use them! The same will apply to which ever book you have chosen to do. Hope this was helpful
    this is great. Do we need a conclusion for poetry questions? thanks!
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    I'm doing the exam on the 23rd, and I'm doing Heroes and An Inspector Calls. (I don't have the exam on the 20th since I did Unit 1 in January.)

    I'm not feeling confident AT ALL about this exam. I know very few quotes, so I'm going to re-read both the play and the book on the day before the exam and hope that some of it sticks in my head! I don't care too much about literature anyway, and if I completely fail this exam I'm sure I'll still get a decent overall grade because my coursework and my unit 1 grade will bring it up

    I have physics on the day of this exam and therefore I'm focusing on that rather than on literature
 
 
 
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