A-level English Language A/A* Advice! Watch

barror1
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Hey!
I got an A in my English Language A-level (AQA) and feel like I have some pretty good info to pass on about revision. It can be broken down into 2 main categories:

Content
I would seriously recommend revising straight out of the textbook for this subject. Learn cover-to-cover as much as you can cover-to-cover using active recall and re-revise the content in class to solidify the knowledge. There are also plenty of quizzes online which can be used as a secondary source of revision.

The only exception to textbook revision for me is with Accent and Dialect. There is an amazing selection of videos by 'English Like a Native' who have British dialect videos on Youtube with all of their features (eg. Scouse, West Country). I highly recommend it.

Spoiler:
Show




For anyone doing AQA, this is the textbook I used last year. It was an absolute godsend.


Essay Structure

This is where it gets fun :ahhhhh:
As with any essay subject, you need to obviously learn how to structure an essay. I am therefore going to break this down into two more categories:

Learning from writing

This is where many people fall short (and definitely the reason I did not get an A*). You need to practice questions. There are a fair few past papers available through the exam board websites now, definitely utilise them!
Be sure to use timed conditions and get a teacher to mark the papers if you can! This is applicable to all of your subjects and will be priceless in the end.

If you are unsure how to answer the questions in the first place, be sure to follow the next point!

Learning from exemplars/examiners reports

If you are nervous about answering/ structuring questions, don't worry. It is something I really struggled with (opened a mock one day and forgot how to answer the first question) but I got an A in the end. :closedeyes:

Personally, I found a bunch of exemplars and broke them down to their core to get the structure. It was by far the most helpful thing I did besides learning the content! To get the exemplars you will need to check your exam boards website, but Edexcel usually have a bunch for all of their subjects. As for AQA, you have to be a little more creative. I personally used the papers of an A* student at my school that had been requested back in the summer and photocopied for me when I needed it. It might be worth looking at your classmate's work too, and see if you can photocopy some of their exemplars (with permission of course) and annotate those. I think that though this process might be tedious, it will be extremely rewarding in the long run.

Also remember to use examiners reports, and use them carefully! They tell you exactly what the examiners what to see. They are amazingly useful :yes:

Finally, be flexible. I do not mean to scare anyone, but we were asked an out-of-curriculum question in our paper 2 last year. You need to be able to adapt your knowledge to any question you may be asked. This may be pivotal in your final exam, since you do not know what will be asked.

Best of luck with your exams this summer! :grouphugs:
Last edited by barror1; 3 weeks ago
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AAA_plz
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Hi!
Thank you so much for your tips. I'm really nervous about my A-Level English Language exams, paper 1 is on the 20th May and paper 2 is on the 4th of June. :eek: Do you have any tips for specific framework analysis / essay structure for paper 1, I consistently get grade A's in paper 2 but am struggling to get higher than a C in paper 1
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barror1
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(Original post by AAA_plz)
Hi!
Thank you so much for your tips. I'm really nervous about my A-Level English Language exams, paper 1 is on the 20th May and paper 2 is on the 4th of June. :eek: Do you have any tips for specific framework analysis / essay structure for paper 1, I consistently get grade A's in paper 2 but am struggling to get higher than a C in paper 1
For sure! Is this for AQA?
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AAA_plz
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Yes thankyouuu
(Original post by barror1)
For sure! Is this for AQA?
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barror1
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(Original post by AAA_plz)
Yes thankyouuu
You really need a balance of analysis and technical terms. So like
In text A, the author uses (lexical technique) to present the subject (in a specific way). This creates (this effect). However, (for example) this method is not used consistently, which implies...
Be sure to address key aspects of the text such as audience, tenor, etc. in order to achieve full marks. Also remember to use multiple layers of language analysis eg. complex sentences, noun phrases, transitive verbs etc. Also, try to mention graphology where it is applicable . For question 3, you just need to analyse and compare the features of the text using a similar framework.

For child language, there are 2 main traps you do not want to fall into:
a) answering using a pre-rehearsed question
b) just writing everything you know.
Try to write scientifically, and use the relevant researchers. At the very least, you should be trying to create a nature/nurture debate, with other schools of thought being secondary to these. Again, it is being able to adapt your knowledge to create an effective response. Try and reference the transcript and researchers in near equal measure.

I hope this helps!
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AAA_plz
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Thank you so much
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Tolgarda
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Now, I don't want to be too impertinent (although it's virtually impossible not to be due to the nature of this question), but if you only got an A, how can this be A*/A-grade advice? Sure, it's advice for the A grade, but it doesn't reach to the top grade, does it? You didn't attain the top grade, so how can you give advice on it?

I'm currently an A-level English language student, and I appreciate your efforts, but that just didn't seem right to me.
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barror1
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
Now, I don't want to be too impertinent (although it's virtually impossible not to be due to the nature of this question), but if you only got an A, how can this be A*/A-grade advice? I'm currently an A-level English language student, and I appreciate your efforts, but this doesn't exactly reach into the A* grade, does it?
The advice still applies to A*. The only reason I did not get higher is due to lack of practice personally, not for any other reason. Plus if it is any more confirmation I got 96/100 in my coursework
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by barror1)
The advice still applies to A*. The only reason I did not get higher is due to lack of practice personally, not for any other reason. Plus if it is any more confirmation I got 96/100 in my coursework
Oh, that's impressive. I was about to ask about the non-exam assessment. Do you mind sharing some tips, or better yet, giving your scripts or other exemplars? I am doing my non-exam assessment now.
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barror1
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
Oh, that's impressive. I was about to ask about the non-exam assessment. Do you mind sharing some tips, or better yet, giving your scripts or other exemplars? I am doing my non-exam assessment now.
Creative writing or Investigation?
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by barror1)
Creative writing or Investigation?
Currently, I'm doing the original writing. I'd prefer it if we continued this conversation via PM. You might also want to update your original post with advice on the NEA.
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barror1
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Sadly I do not have time to go through the NEA right now because it is too close to exams and I would need to go over it again. I will post on this thread when that is done but do not have the time to do 1 to 1 advice.
(Original post by Tolgarda)
Currently, I'm doing the original writing. I'd prefer it if we continued this conversation via PM. You might also want to update your original post with advice on the NEA.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by barror1)
Sadly I do not have time to go through the NEA right now because it is too close to exams and I would need to go over it again. I will post on this thread when that is done but do not have the time to do 1 to 1 advice.
I assume that you're currently a university student, right? What are you studying?
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barror1
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
I assume that you're currently a university student, right? What are you studying?
I have some extenuating circumstances and am still at sixth form actually! If you want to know more, I'll link my GYG in the spoiler with all the info on what's happening
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(Original post by barror1)
I have some extenuating circumstances and am still at sixth form actually! If you want to know more, I'll link my GYG in the spoiler with all the info on what's happening
Oh! Now I remember.
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AvaramBear
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very good advice. Do you have any tips on child language? I'm with Edexcel
(Original post by barror1)
Hey!
I got an A in my English Language A-level (AQA) and feel like I have some pretty good info to pass on about revision. It can be broken down into 2 main categories:

Content
I would seriously recommend revising straight out of the textbook for this subject. Learn cover-to-cover as much as you can cover-to-cover using active recall and re-revise the content in class to solidify the knowledge. There are also plenty of quizzes online which can be used as a secondary source of revision.

The only exception to textbook revision for me is with Accent and Dialect. There is an amazing selection of videos by 'English Like a Native' who have British dialect videos on Youtube with all of their features (eg. Scouse, West Country). I highly recommend it.

Spoiler:
Show




For anyone doing AQA, this is the textbook I used last year. It was an absolute godsend.

Essay Structure

This is where it gets fun :ahhhhh:
As with any essay subject, you need to obviously learn how to structure an essay. I am therefore going to break this down into two more categories:

Learning from writing

This is where many people fall short (and definitely the reason I did not get an A*). You need to practice questions. There are a fair few past papers available through the exam board websites now, definitely utilise them!
Be sure to use timed conditions and get a teacher to mark the papers if you can! This is applicable to all of your subjects and will be priceless in the end.

If you are unsure how to answer the questions in the first place, be sure to follow the next point!

Learning from exemplars/examiners reports

If you are nervous about answering/ structuring questions, don't worry. It is something I really struggled with (opened a mock one day and forgot how to answer the first question) but I got an A in the end. :closedeyes:

Personally, I found a bunch of exemplars and broke them down to their core to get the structure. It was by far the most helpful thing I did besides learning the content! To get the exemplars you will need to check your exam boards website, but Edexcel usually have a bunch for all of their subjects. As for AQA, you have to be a little more creative. I personally used the papers of an A* student at my school that had been requested back in the summer and photocopied for me when I needed it. It might be worth looking at your classmate's work too, and see if you can photocopy some of their exemplars (with permission of course) and annotate those. I think that though this process might be tedious, it will be extremely rewarding in the long run.

Also remember to use examiners reports, and use them carefully! They tell you exactly what the examiners what to see. They are amazingly useful :yes:

Finally, be flexible. I do not mean to scare anyone, but we were asked an out-of-curriculum question in our paper 2 last year. You need to be able to adapt your knowledge to any question you may be asked. This may be pivotal in your final exam, since you do not know what will be asked.

Best of luck with your exams this summer! :grouphugs:
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barror1
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Of course! Before I answer though, how are your child language questions formatted? Like for ours we got a transcript and a question, just wondering if that's the same for you?
(Original post by AvaramBear)
very good advice. Do you have any tips on child language? I'm with Edexcel
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martidstelling
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So helpful, thank you so much! I have my AS Level English Language exam next Monday!!

P.S. My teacher gave me a copy of the textbook you linked; it is so much better than the new one!!
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barror1
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(Original post by martidstelling)
So helpful, thank you so much! I have my AS Level English Language exam next Monday!!

P.S. My teacher gave me a copy of the textbook you linked; it is so much better than the new one!!
I'm glad you found it useful. Good luck on Monday! :hugs:
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Fallgazer
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Hey there, congrats on the A grade!

I'm taking A-level English Language, but for CIE. I briefly checked the AQA syllabus and they seem to be a bit similar so I wanted to ask you if you have any tips on child language, language diversity, as well as just general tips for structuring your answers?
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