Examhelpp
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Hi, are all questions on aqa GCSE lit exams based around a theme? If so are there certain themes I should know??
Thanks.
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brainzistheword
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(Original post by Examhelpp)
Hi, are all questions on aqa GCSE lit exams based around a theme? If so are there certain themes I should know??
Thanks.
What set texts are you studying for the exams?
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Examhelpp
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(Original post by brainzistheword)
What set texts are you studying for the exams?
Hi, I'm studying A Christmas Carol, An Inspector Calls and Macbeth. I'm also doing the Power and Conflict poetry cluster.
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Davy611
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For 'An Inspector Calls' you can expect one question on a character and one on a theme. You only have to choose one.

The conflict poetry will be thematic: power, violence, horror, confusion, nature, people....

'Macbeth' could be either character or theme: 'How does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth as a powerful woman?' for example. Or, 'How does Shakespeare present the power of the supernatural in the extract and the wider play?'

'A Christmas Carol' could be character or theme too: 'Starting with this extract, how does Dickens present Scrooge as an outsider to society?' for example. Or, 'Starting with this extract, how does Dickens present the importance of family?'.
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Examhelpp
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Hi, thanks for the reply. But are there specific themes for each text on which I could be asked about? If so, how do I know what these themes are?

(Original post by Davy611)
For 'An Inspector Calls' you can expect one question on a character and one on a theme. You only have to choose one.

The conflict poetry will be thematic: power, violence, horror, confusion, nature, people....

'Macbeth' could be either character or theme: 'How does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth as a powerful woman?' for example. Or, 'How does Shakespeare present the power of the supernatural in the extract and the wider play?'

'A Christmas Carol' could be character or theme too: 'Starting with this extract, how does Dickens present Scrooge as an outsider to society?' for example. Or, 'Starting with this extract, how does Dickens present the importance of family?'.
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Davy611
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The themes could be anything relevant to the texts. You can search for the themes of each text online to get the basic ones. Example:

https://www.litcharts.com/lit/an-inspector-calls/themes

But there's no way of 'knowing' what the questions are going to be. Your teachers will be making educated guesses, no doubt. I've landed a few of these myself but that's all they are - guesses.
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Examhelpp
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(Original post by Davy611)
The themes could be anything relevant to the texts. You can search for the themes of each text online to get the basic ones. Example:

https://www.litcharts.com/lit/an-inspector-calls/themes

But there's no way of 'knowing' what the questions are going to be. Your teachers will be making educated guesses, no doubt. I've landed a few of these myself but that's all they are - guesses.
Thank you for clearing this up, also for the questions with an option between character and theme to choose from, which option do you think is easier to get marks in?
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Davy611
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I think it's pretty similar in terms of challenge. However, I think it's definitely worth becoming as knowledgeable as you can about JB Priestley's political views and class/gender division in the early to mid twentieth century. This should be a part of every answer. The Inspector, to all intents and purposes, is Priestley.
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maniccrammer
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(Original post by Examhelpp)
Thank you for clearing this up, also for the questions with an option between character and theme to choose from, which option do you think is easier to get marks in?
I’ve just done my GCSEs and I did Macbeth, Inspector, Jekyll and Hyde and the Power and Conflict poetry. With the AIC questions, I think it’s entirely down to what’s being asked of you - in my paper the character question was for me the obvious choice as I knew I could expand on it well and answer in detail with many ideas, whereas for the theme question I felt unsure as to what to write; after I was chatting with other students and more than I expected had chosen the theme because they felt it was easier, so I think it’s personal preference and where you’re most confident. The CGP revision guides for the texts have character and theme profiles which could help guide you, but I’d definitely recommend finding more for each character/theme than the revision guide has if you want top marks, it’s all about linking parts of the play together and supporting your argument with evidence from different places in the text, for example to show how a theme/character changes or is shown differently. Feel free to PM me if you’ve got any other questions or anything.
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Monsur x
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(Original post by Examhelpp)
Thank you for clearing this up, also for the questions with an option between character and theme to choose from, which option do you think is easier to get marks in?
The theme questions are much easier to get marks in coz u can link it to every character so therefore u will have lots to say so more marks!
I did AIC and omg there’s so much themes but they r all linked together and that’s way I love so I wrote LOADS!
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Monsur x
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For the poem section
Firstly u get an poem given and u compare that to one u have memorised
Then u have unseen poetry where u analyse one poem which is given and then after another unseen poem is given and u compare that one to the one before
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Monsur x
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Also In ACC
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Examhelpp
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(Original post by Davy611)
I think it's pretty similar in terms of challenge. However, I think it's definitely worth becoming as knowledgeable as you can about JB Priestley's political views and class/gender division in the early to mid twentieth century. This should be a part of every answer. The Inspector, to all intents and purposes, is Priestley.
Thank you, I'll keep that in mind. Would you say it's difficult to get in the top band for literature questions and do you know what the examiner would be looking for to get in the top band?? Sorry to keep bothering you.
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Examhelpp
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(Original post by maniccrammer)
I’ve just done my GCSEs and I did Macbeth, Inspector, Jekyll and Hyde and the Power and Conflict poetry. With the AIC questions, I think it’s entirely down to what’s being asked of you - in my paper the character question was for me the obvious choice as I knew I could expand on it well and answer in detail with many ideas, whereas for the theme question I felt unsure as to what to write; after I was chatting with other students and more than I expected had chosen the theme because they felt it was easier, so I think it’s personal preference and where you’re most confident. The CGP revision guides for the texts have character and theme profiles which could help guide you, but I’d definitely recommend finding more for each character/theme than the revision guide has if you want top marks, it’s all about linking parts of the play together and supporting your argument with evidence from different places in the text, for example to show how a theme/character changes or is shown differently. Feel free to PM me if you’ve got any other questions or anything.
Hi, thanks for the help, how much would you say I should write for these questions?
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Examhelpp
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(Original post by Sannah 21)
The theme questions are much easier to get marks in coz u can link it to every character so therefore u will have lots to say so more marks!
I did AIC and omg there’s so much themes but they r all linked together and that’s way I love so I wrote LOADS!
ok, tysm
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Davy611
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(Original post by Examhelpp)
Thank you, I'll keep that in mind. Would you say it's difficult to get in the top band for literature questions and do you know what the examiner would be looking for to get in the top band?? Sorry to keep bothering you.
No problem. These are the requirements for the top band:

AO1 • A critical, exploratory, conceptualised response to task and whole text.
• Judicious use of precise references to support interpretation(s).

AO2 • An analysis of writer’s methods with subject terminology used judiciously.
• Exploration of effects of writer’s methods on the reader.

AO3 • Exploration of ideas/perspectives/contextual factors shown by specific, detailed links between context/text/task.

At the top of the level, a candidate’s response is likely to be a critical, exploratory, well-structured argument. It takes a conceptualised approach to
the full task supported by a range of judicious references. There will be a finegrained and insightful analysis of language and form and structure supported by judicious use of subject terminology. There will be a convincing exploration of one or more ideas/perspectives/contextual factors/interpretations.
At the bottom of the level, a candidate will have Level 5 and be starting to demonstrate elements of exploratory thought and/or analysis of writer’s
methods and /or contexts.

I've attached an example of a top band response to a question about 'An Inspector Calls'. Hopefully you can see how the Assessment Objectives are met. It is hard to write at this level under pressure but the more that you practise, the better you'll get. Also, the more reading that you do of other interpretations will help you to develop your own confidence and skills.
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maniccrammer
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(Original post by Examhelpp)
Hi, thanks for the help, how much would you say I should write for these questions?
My teacher was asked that before our exams and she said it’s more about how you address the AOs than how much you write. I think for mine I did 4 sides for Macbeth, 4/5 for Jekyll, 5 for Inspector and about 3 for known poetry, but it depends on your confidence in the question and how fast you write as well I guess.

Paper 1 is Shakespeare and 19th century novels, so for me Macbeth and Jekyll. The paper is 1hr 45. Each is one question and we had to spend 50 minutes on each with 5 minutes checking time at the end. Even if you’ve got loads to say, make sure to stay on top of your timings and give yourself time to wrap it up nicely in a small conclusion at the end.

Paper 2 is inspector and the poetry, but timings are super important in this paper because there’s 3 sections. Sections A and B are one question and 30 marks each so we had to do 50 minutes per section. Section C is unseen poetry, but there’s 2 questions, one worth 24 and one worth 8 if I remember that correctly. The timings for C is to do about 20 minutes on question 1 and 10 on question 2 - as tempting as it is to spend longer on the last one it’s only 8 marks and is the most simple so spend the least time on it. Again, any more questions feel free to ask.
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jduxie4414
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(Original post by Davy611)
For 'An Inspector Calls' you can expect one question on a character and one on a theme. You only have to choose one.

The conflict poetry will be thematic: power, violence, horror, confusion, nature, people....

'Macbeth' could be either character or theme: 'How does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth as a powerful woman?' for example. Or, 'How does Shakespeare present the power of the supernatural in the extract and the wider play?'

'A Christmas Carol' could be character or theme too: 'Starting with this extract, how does Dickens present Scrooge as an outsider to society?' for example. Or, 'Starting with this extract, how does Dickens present the importance of family?'.
It’s not always one character or one theme for the AIC exams!!!!!!!!! They can both be themes, both be characters, could be a character linked to a theme etc.

For all the questions, it can be a theme, character, something linked to a theme, character linked with theme (e.g Lady Macbeth showing unnatural gender roles).

For both questions in paper 1, you get an extract along with 1 question of the types mentioned above. You need to talk about the question in the extract as well as in the wider text as a whole. Paper 1 is Christmas Carol and Macbeth

For Paper 2:

Question 1 (AIC): You get a choice of two questions, which is USUALLY a theme and character, but not always. Normally you can link whatever the question is to a theme in one way, and with AIC it can pretty much always link to responsibility (even if it’s age, you can talk about young taking responsibility etc let me knowe if you’re unsure what I mean.

Section B (Poetry): You get given one poem from the cluster and a question. You need to answer this while comparing it to another poem from the cluster. I would suggest an opening where you compare the titles, message, form and context, and then 3 comparison paragraphs where you compare 1 point, linking themes, context and what not. Then give it a nice conclusion to round off your answer.

Section C, Q1 you have to talk about how a poem youve not seen shows a theme , usually weather or seasons or something with imagery of this. This is worth 24 marks, so answer it like Section B but without the comparison.
For Q2, You have an 8 mark comparison of the second poem you’re given, compare the METHODS only, a lot of people waste time by not answering the question properly, so check Mr Bruff/ Salles to see how to answer this properly.

Hope this helps
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